Making Fort Irwin “Go First Class”

The commanding team of this installation presented a streamer to a unit for increasing the dental wellness of Soldiers here, Feb. 24.

National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Maj. Gen. Ted Martin and Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers attached a “Go First Class” dental streamer to the guidon of United States Army Dental Clinic Command during a ceremony here.

Dental Clinic Command improved the dental wellness of Fort Irwin Soldiers to 66.63 percent, said Col. Todd Kimura, commander of the dental unit. This was in large part to the implementation of the “Go First Class” program where Soldiers receive a cleaning and annual exam all in one appointment. They may also receive a filling at the same time, if needed. The U.S. Army Dental Command has set a standard of 65 percent.

“The significance of dental wellness in the Army is that it is a measurement of a Soldier’s dental fitness and resiliency,” Kimura stated. “Granted, some Soldiers have chronic long term treatment plans such as implant bone healing or orthodontics, but if a Soldier is Dental Readiness Category 1, or Class I, this means that the Soldier has no need for any dental work.

Kimura credited Soldiers “who make their make their appointments and make their own personal hygiene and dental wellness a priority.”

Martin commended the Soldiers, Department of Army civilians and contract personnel of Dental Clinic Command for “the work you all have been doing in here, not just this last year, but for the 24 months of this steady climb to building dental readiness, which in effect is combat readiness.”

“It’s been phenomenal and we reached it,” Martin said.

Kimura stated the recognition to his unit demonstrates the cumulative and collaborative efforts of the NTC command teams, leaders, Soldiers, doctors and teammates of Dental Clinic Command.

“Much kudos goes to Mrs. Tiffany Holiday, our receptionist, who kindly reschedules typically 70 appointments a week to keep provider schedules filled,” Kimura said. “One other person I’d like to acknowledge with our “Go First Class” is Mrs. Annie Graham, our Readiness Coordinator. Ms. Lee, Ms. Busdosh, Mrs. Soto, Sgt. Schrank, Spc. Ollison and Spc. Norvell are also champions, who help clean the Soldiers teeth.”

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