Contract specialist steps up for 401st AFSB, exemplifies teamwork
Col. Chris Day, commander, 401st Army Field Support Brigade presents a certificate of appreciation to Donna Penick, contracting specialist, 408th Contracting Support Brigade for conducting government purchase card training to 401st AFSB personnel at ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- A contracting specialist with the 408th Contracting Support Brigade received a certificate of appreciation from the 401st Army Field Support Brigade commander here, June 8.

Donna Penick, contract specialist, 408th CSB, was recognized for going above and beyond her duty requirements to lead government purchase card training for 401st AFSB personnel. The training occurred May 18.

"I was really just doing my job," Penick said. "I scheduled an extra training class for them to get their 401st personnel trained so they could establish their accounts because they had a lot of turnover, which is normal here."

In the span of 30 days, the 401st AFSB endured a heavy personnel turnover that left the brigade without a government purchase card holder.

Penick conducts monthly local GPC training. When 401st AFSB leadership approached Penick and requested assistance with their accounts, Penick led an additional class for about 20 people from the brigade.

"They came over and said they were having issues with getting their accounts processed," Penick said. "They had outgoing people, so they didn't want to have a huge gap between people coming and going.

"It was the government purchase card local training, which is mandatory for the department of the Army, that everyone in the program conducts local training because each program can have their own intricacies. We can't take away from the Army's program, but we can add to it, so every coordinator has to do local live training."

The 401st AFSB used to go through U.S. Army Contracting Command-Rock Island accounts for GPC use, a process that changed in the last 12 months to include the 408th CSB. The change in accounting is intended to help the 401st AFSB more quickly and efficiently, by providing oversight and support on the ground in Kuwait.

Penick's training was a vital piece in ensuring the transition continues to operate smoothly, said Ella Samuels, resource management officer, 401st AFSB.

"I'm extremely thankful for her support," Samuels said of Penick. "When I got here, things with our purchase card were bogged down due to the personnel turnover and changes in our accounting lines. Our GPC situation was the next priority behind SHARP for the command, and she took care of that for us."

This type of training and teamwork is necessary to ensure quality of service, Samuels said.

"She took the time to include everyone in the process that should be aware of the entire system, and that really gives us a better system of checks and balances," Samuels said. "She's a true team player."

Penick also emphasized the importance of teamwork and quality of the training.

"I felt it was really good training because they were engaged and had questions, which is what you want in these classes because it's the best way to make sure everyone is providing the best service to their customers as possible," Penick said. "I'm just happy I could help, and maybe make things a little smoother for everyone. It's a great thing to have a great working relationship, especially since we're all on the same big team."

The 401st AFSB commander also presented Penick with a military coin during the brief ceremony.

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