FORT CARSON, Colo. (July 30, 2013) -- Col. Michael P. Mahoney assumed command of the Dental Activity, during a ceremony on Founders' Field, July 30.

Mahoney, who last served as the commander, U.S. Army Dental Activity Fort Drum, N.Y., replaced Col. John W. Etzenbach.

The transfer of command featured the traditional passing of the unit colors from the outgoing commander to the ceremonial host, Col. George J. Hucal, commander, Western Regional Dental Command, and then to the incoming commander.

"Today we welcome Col. Mahoney and say goodbye to Col. Etzenbach," Hucal said.

"With command comes great responsibility; you are responsible for the failures and successes once you take charge of that (unit)," he said. "Col. Etzenbach oversaw the dental readiness of a post that had one of the highest operation tempos in the Army. He provided guidance of the go first class initiative since its implementation.

"The dental wellness has improved from 16 percent to over 40 percent, and the proficiencies have increased the number of cleanings by 3600 in the last year without increasing the number of staff," he said. 'Under his direction, the average production per month per dentist has increased significantly from $33,000 to $41,000 per month.

"Col. Mahoney I welcome you and your family to the Western Regional Dental Command," he said. "I look forward to working with you."

Etzenbach followed Hucal, welcoming Mahoney and then commending his soldiers' for their achievements.

"I want to say thank you to all of my Soldiers out on the field; you make me feel proud to have serve alongside you," Etzenbach said. "We have seen an incredible transformation over the last few years. We have seen the troop population increase from 18,000 to 26,000. We have gone from providing $1.8 million in dental care to $2.4 million with your help."

Etzenbach's next duty assignment is to be the commander, Pacific Regional Dental Command.

Mahoney thanked Etzenbach and his family for their support to him and his family, and the DENTAC Soldiers.

"To the Soldiers of DENTAC, you look great out there," Mahoney said. "I look forward to working with you and supporting all of the units of this great post. I know it is a great honor to take command of you."

Mahoney has served as a staff dentist, and held multiple commander positions. His military awards include Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters.