FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – An Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Civilian Corps employee at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital was named as the civilian awardee of the Army’s Fiscal Year 2021 Captain John R. Teal Leadership Award, recently.
AMEDD named Mr. David Allard, BACH’s chief of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security, as the civilian awardee for his support to medical operations within Army Medicine, according to an award announcement June 30.
Each year, the Army selects one active duty officer and non-commissioned officer; one Reserve/National Guard officer and NCO; and one Department of the Army Civilian for the Captain John R. Teal Leadership Award, named for the Army’s first Medical Service Corps officer lost due to enemy action during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“Mr. Allard's performance and contributions to our mission are exceptional in every way and I credit a large portion of the organization's success to his inspired leadership and abilities as BACH's operations officer,” said Col. Vincent B. Myers, BACH commander.
BACH’s operations are far reaching. In addition to providing medical care for more than 100,000 eligible Military Health System beneficiaries on Fort Campbell and the surrounding communities, BACH is responsible for supporting the medical readiness of Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell-based units, the medical mission on Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois and a reserve Soldier Readiness Processing site on Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
At Fort Campbell, Allard coordinated critical COVID-19 testing and vaccination contingency operations, requiring much think-outside-the-box planning and coordination.
For COVID-19 testing, his operations team secured and repurposed an existing motor pool on post and developed plans to safely staff, supply and operate a drive-through COVID-19 testing site. This new location provided patients and staff shelter from winter elements while adhering to appropriate COVID-19 mitigation efforts to support testing for as many as 1,000 patients a day.
He also developed innovative local solutions to safely execute BACH’s COVID-19 vaccination mission. Allard and his team worked closely with Fort Campbell and 101st leaders, transforming part of the installation’s Passenger Processing Center into a temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinic during the peak of vaccination efforts, maximizing throughput while keeping safety at the forefront. Additionally he developed methods to precisely track total doses given, supply levels, and distribution of vaccine.
At Fort McCoy, Allard represented BACH’s commander last summer as the lead officer for the first-ever Level-III mobilization exercise, which included executing and validating medical SRP mobilization requirements during U.S. Army Forces Command Exercise Pershing Strike ’21.
“We had the COVID mission here, at Fort Campbell, but still maintained direct coordination with Fort McCoy on the MFGI site,” said Allard. He made regular visits and developed relationships with stakeholders at Fort McCoy.
During Pershing Strike, the BACH-managed reserve SRP was activated and successfully supported the medical processing for Soldiers participating in an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise, Reserve units preparing for real-world deployment and other units reporting for training. Additionally, the team had to plan and implement appropriate Force Health Protection measures for the COVID-19 pandemic. The exercise was a valuable test of BACH’s planning for its role in the MFGI’s capabilities to support the mobilization of Forces as directed by FORSCOM.
“He got the job done and set the foundation for a key partnership with the Fort McCoy Garrison and the Reserve Command for years to come,” said Myers.
Following Pershing Strike’s successful completion in July, Allard returned home briefly before an unplanned return to Fort McCoy in August to lead BACH’s planning for Operation Allies Welcome, a coordinated effort across the federal government to support and resettle vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the United States.
“That was really almost no notice. It was the hospital commander finding out about this happening and us putting our heads together to support the mission, assisting with the medical assets we had there,” Allard said.
There Allard led a team that planned and transformed the MFGI’s medical SRP site into a high-functioning medical campus used by federal and nonfederal medical organizations, supporting medical, dental, and vision screening for about 13,000 Afghan guests over a six month period.
Throughout it all, Allard continued to run BACH PTM&S’s day-to-day mission and sustain it as one of the top performing sections in the entire hospital.
“I've witnessed first-hand Dave's superior contributions and can say with complete certainty, you will not find a more deserving or complete candidate. Mr. Allard's results-driven leadership is truly unparalleled and his consistency in achieving top-notch results while solving chronic challenges with ease is simply amazing,” said Myers.
When the call for award nominees was announced, BACH’s command group unanimously agreed Allard was the perfect candidate and kept the award nomination a secret from him.
“It was surprising and very humbling,” said Allard, when he learned of his selection. “I owe a debt of gratitude to everybody around me on the team because the only reason a supervisor is successful is because of the support of everyone around them. So, I’ll take the recognition on the behalf of the team.”
Much of Allard’s operational planning and leadership can be attributed to skills he gained during his prior military service. The former 101st infantry Soldier retired from the Army as a command sergeant major, previously serving with 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division – “Bulldogs”.
“Operations is operations. It may have a different flavor depending on what you do, but if you follow the tenants and the structure of basic operations and what you can bring to the fight as the coordinating entity, that nucleus, you can be successful in any environment,” said Allard.
Allard and his fellow awardees will be formally recognized in an award ceremony later this year.
About 45,000 civilian employees work alongside military counterparts within the U.S. Army Medical Command worldwide in medical and non-medical occupations to provide the best quality of care to U.S. Army uniformed service members, the retired service members, their families and other eligible beneficiaries.
To learn more about career opportunities in the Army Medical Department Civilian Corps visit https://ameddciviliancorps.amedd.army.mil/