Fort Hood, Texas – U.S. Army Fort Hood Dental Health Activity welcomed incoming commander Col. Paul Colthirst and bid farewell to Col. Stefan Olpinski in a change of command on Hildner Field July 1.
According to the reviewing officer, Col. Rafael Caraballo, commander, Dental Health Command-Central, DENTAC will continue its legacy of success under the new command.
Caraballo recognized Olpinski’s leadership and success amid the challenging COVID-19 environment.
“Olpinski successfully led the Fort Hood DENTAC through the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring the safety of every DENTAC employee and all Soldiers,” said Caraballo. “Under his leadership his team professionally reassessed the dental readiness of III Corps through the pandemic to a 95% readiness rate, up from a lull of 87%.”
Olpinski will move on to become the commander of Dental Health Command-Central.
“This has been by far one of my most rewarding assignments and challenging,” said Olpinski. “The DENTAC family worked day-in and day-out during the global pandemic keeping each other safe and the Soldiers ready.”
Caraballo stated that Colthirst knows people and readiness are priority for DENTAC, and understands service in this dynamic time in military history.
Colthirst, who recently served as the Army Surgeon General for Dental Public Health, commented that he is looking forward to working with the new commanders and III Corps and recognized the significance of the change of command.
“Our nation has a military that is fit to fight and ready to fight,” said Colthirst. “The passing of responsibility (during a change of command) and authority remains. The unit is still cohesive, the unit still has guidance, and with guidance we can accomplish anything. I look forward to being the DENTAC commander at Fort Hood.”