Col. Ralf Beilhardt took command of the Fort Leonard Wood Dental Health Activity in a change-of-command ceremony today at Nutter Field House.
Beilhardt comes from Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as a clinician in the Dental Activity Command.
He replaces Lt. Col. Chun Chan, who leaves Fort Leonard Wood to command the Dental Health Activity at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Col. Rafael Caraballo, Dental Health Command-Central commander, was the reviewing officer for the event via video teleconference from Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.
Caraballo praised Chan’s “superb leadership” as commander.
“He leaves behind a legacy of service, dedication and success few can equal,” Caraballo said. “The Fort Leonard Wood Dental Health Activity’s accomplishments over the last three years are a direct reflection of your leadership and commitment to the Soldiers, civilians and families of the organization.”
To Beilhardt, Caraballo said he couldn’t ask for a better commander to follow Chan.
“Col. Beilhardt understands the people and the readiness of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood are his main priorities,” he said. “He’s fully committed to preserve dental readiness … and understands that we are serving in one of the most dynamic times of our Army history.”
Chan thanked Fort Leonard Wood’s senior leaders for their support.
“Your great leadership has certainly made my job much easier,” he said. “Your willingness to buy-in has allowed us to maintain our troops’ dental readiness and wellness as among the highest in the entire Dental Corps enterprise.”
To Beilhardt, Chan said he feels confident DENTAC is in good hands.
“All in all, our unit has survived many challenges throughout the years and I am sure with Col. Beilhardt’s leadership, the Fort Leonard Wood DENTAC will be just fine the next few years,” he said.
Beilhardt said Chan showed exceptional leadership during his tenure as commander.
“Under your guidance, the Fort Leonard Wood DENTAC continues to be one of the top performers in the region for readiness and wellness, and also showcased the resiliency of the members of this organization during the COVID response,” he said.
Beilhardt also thanked everyone for attending and vowed to work hard to ensure Fort Leonard Wood’s Soldiers stay dental ready.
“You are all rock stars and I look forward to working with you,” he said.
DENTAC’s mission is to provide responsive and reliable oral health services and influence health to improve readiness and advance wellness in support of the force, military families and all those entrusted to their care.