Licensed pharmacy technician, casual lieutenant works at Columbus AFB Pharmacy

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Davis Donaldson
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Before going through pilot training, the Air Force offers lieutenants an opportunity to apply the skillsets they have gained throughout college or through prior occupations, by working at different agencies around base. The opportunity is otherwise known as the Casual Lieutenant Program.

Second Lt. Ian Kline, 14th Medical Group lieutenant casual, is one of the many who have gone through the program.

A Dallas native, Kline received his license as a pharmacy technician in Texas before joining the military. While waiting for his pilot training to start at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, Kline volunteered to work at Columbus AFB’s Pharmacy Clinic.

Staff Sgt. Joanna Sanchez, Columbus AFB Pharmacy Clinic non-commissioned officer in charge, said she and her team are thrilled to have Kline aboard.

“He volunteered himself as a SUPT casual to work in the pharmacy because he’d already had his certification from a previous job,” she said. “We have been so overjoyed to have a helping hand with the day-to-day tasks. I was so impressed that he had sought us out.”

She said she is also thankful for the Casual Lieutenant Program.

“We really appreciate the support that the program provides, it’s given our team opportunities that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to pursue,” Sanchez said.

Kline gained his certification as a sophomore in college while at the University of North Texas, in 2016.

At first, Kline thought he would be a pharmacist in the Air Force, but a plane ride in his first year of college changed his perspective.

“Well, I joined the ROTC detachment, not sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to be a part of the Air Force,” he said. “I thought I would go to medical school because it lines up with the whole pharmacy area, but then I got an incentive ride as a freshman and that’s where I fell in love with it.”

Kline said there are multiple routes to become a certified technician, but he received his certification through the Pharmacy Certification Technician Board. After being certified, he received his license.

Since he received his license is in the state of Texas, it is transferrable to the Columbus AFB Pharmacy Clinic because it is a federal pharmacy.

Kline said he is happy to help of the clinic while he waits for training and that the Casual Lieutenant Program is a great opportunity for him and other casual lieutenants.

“I think it brings the element of resource management for casual jobs,” Kline said. “We come from different majors, different backgrounds… While we’re waiting it’s good to use those skills and backgrounds to help out the Air Force and the base.”