By MEDCOM Dental DirectorateMarch 31, 2016
First-class flights. First-class accommodations. Even First-class mail. First class signals premium products, priority access, and premier services. A first class upgrade in dental care across the Army gives Soldiers all of that and more.
The Go First Class program has been fully operational across Army Dentistry since August 2013. The new system bundles dental appointments for exams, cleanings and fillings, and has proven to be a model "system for health" in support of the Army Medicine 2020 Campaign Plan.
Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley established Soldier readiness as his number one priority and the Go First Class program has advanced this priority with an all-time high dental readiness of 96% for all active Army units.
Army Dentistry and the Go First Class program won the 2014 Association of Military Surgeon's of the United States' (AMSUS) Facility Based Healthcare Award and the 2015 Army Surgeon General's System for Health Gold Award. As a result of this and other advances in the delivery of dental care, 62% of the active Army requires no dental treatment (dental wellness). There has also been a 25% drop in Soldiers experiencing dental emergencies, meaning less time away from their duties.
"This initiative is a great step in the right direction for improving the overall wellbeing of our troops," said Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, Commander of III Corps and Fort Hood. "Integrated and streamlined approaches to Soldier welfare and readiness like the Go First Class program are critical to keeping the warfighter out of the clinic and in the training areas."
Streamlining and standardizing the Army's approach to delivering dental care has raised Soldier readiness and wellness to all-time highs and has resulted in fewer dental appointments, less time in the dental chair, and more time for Soldier duties.