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By Kimberly J. Locke, SBD 3
/ Published February 27, 2023
SSgt. Carlos McLeod, center, receives the Diamond Sharp Award from MSgt. Edward Caldwell Jr., left, and MSgt. Ryan Gava at the SBD 3 All Call and 4th Quarter Awards Ceremony led by Col. Mia Walsh, SBD 3 commander, Feb. 2, on Los Angeles Air Force Base.
SSgt. Carlos McLeod, pharmacy technician with the 61st Medical Squadron, Space Base Delta (SBD) 3 on Los Angeles Air Force Base (LAAFB), was recently recognized with the Diamond Sharp Award for his ability to persevere on a recent training assignment.
The award was presented Feb. 2 by MSgt. Edward Caldwell Jr. and MSgt. Ryan Gava at the SBD 3 All Call and 4th Quarter Awards Ceremony led by Col. Mia Walsh, SBD 3 commander, in the Gordon Conference Center. Caldwell and Gava represented the LAAFB First Sergeant Council in presenting the award.
McLeod, as a newly pinned staff sergeant, is the front-line supervisor for the base pharmacy. “We fill 67,000 prescriptions annually,” he says. “Additionally, as a pharmacy tech, I collaborate with providers on medication clarifications, contraindications, allergies, interactions and dosages, to ensure reliable safe patient care.”
As part of his new role, McLeod was given the career enhancement opportunity, by his leadership, to participate in a temporary duty training assignment as part of the “pay it forward” team. This team is comprised of individuals from across the Department of Defense who will travel to other military bases to help implement the new electronic health record system.
“Initially, there were challenges with training staff members I didn’t know and maybe weren’t as receptive to the training. Instead of being discouraged, I tried to ensure that whoever was willing to learn was trained. Months later I told my leadership about the obstacles I faced,” says McLeod. “I was grateful to provide additional help to the members we trained when the new electronic health record system was officially implemented,” he recalls.
McLeod attributes his ability to successfully work with different personalities he encountered during his assignment to the fact that he has always enjoyed challenges. “As the head coach for the SBD 3 women’s basketball team, I am used to being challenged and I love it,” he says.
“I understood that the installations our training team visited were going through a high stress time and implementation of the new system was a huge and stressful task. I tried to be empathetic and, luckily for me, I have had practice dealing with people when tempers are high. I usually know how to alleviate tense situations and how to talk to people.
“Before I joined the military, I earned a bachelor’s degree in theology and, when I was in college, I used to volunteer with at-risk youth. I noticed at-risk youth usually have something to prove and ego issues so working with them while using my theology background prepared me well for working with others throughout my career,” he explains.
“Our team nominated Staff Sergeant McLeod because he has, on numerous occasions, shown that he truly understands and strives to embody our core values,” says Maj. Huette Wong, Diagnostics and Therapeutics Flight commander, Ready Reliable Care Champion, 61st Medical Squadron.
“Throughout his most recent assignment, which required him to train other service members at many different ranks, Staff Sergeant McLeod maintained his military bearing and by exemplifying service before self and excellence, he received the respect that he deserved,” Wong says.
The Diamond Sharp Award is sponsored by the First Sergeants Council and recognizes outstanding Airmen and Guardians who demonstrate superior leadership skills, professional appearance, attitude, and performance.