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AEGD graduation
Members of the Nellis Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency class of 2010-2011 gather for a photo before their graduation ceremony Aug. 5, 2011, at the Nellis Club. The graduates include, from top left to bottom right, Captains Trenton Buttars, Joseph Kayne, Kevin Rasmussen, Jonathan Cardon, Danielle Wehri and Colleen Ferriter. (Courtesy photo)
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Dentists graduate Nellis AEGD program

Posted 8/9/2011   Updated 8/9/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Whitney Jackson
Nellis Public Affairs

8/9/2011 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Six officers from the residency class of 2010-2011 graduated the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program Aug. 5, 2011, in a graduation ceremony put on by the 99th Dental Squadron in the Nellis Club.

The graduates of the Nellis residency class of 2010-2011 include: Captains Trenton Buttars, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; Jonathan Cardon, Pope AFB, N.C.; Colleen Ferriter, Malstrom AFB, Mont.; Joseph Kayne, McGuire AFB, N.J.; Kevin Rasmussen, Canon AFB, N.M. and Danielle Wehri, Osan AB, Korea.

"These graduates have duel professions," said Col. John Degoes, 99th Medical Group commander and Nellis AEGD program chief executive officer. "They are not only highly-trained doctors of dentistry, but also Air Force officers. Continuous duel professions will not come easy or cheap. It demands focus, life-long learning and a hunger for more knowledge as they advance in their career."

During the ceremony, Maj. Jody Harrison, the emcee, announced the graduates, Degoes, along with Col. Erik Tjelmeland, 99th Dental Squadron commander and Nellis AEGD program chief administrator and dean, and Col. John Safar, Nellis AEGD program deputy director, stood to congratulate the graduates on their accomplishments. Once the graduates' names were called, they received their graduation certificate and exchanged words of gratitude with their instructors.

"It's a pleasure to see you graduate," Safar said to his graduating students. "You have a long running road ahead of you with challenges. It's always good to have challenges in a career, without challenges there is no accomplishment. If anyone ever asks you where you're going, say forward."

The Air Force currently offers the AEGD program in 13 states around the U.S. with approximately 85 graduating residents every year. The AEGD objective is to produce competent, well-rounded Air Force general dental officers. Each program is similar and follows the same highly successful template to achieve outstanding outcomes.

The Nellis program is a 12-month course that begins in August and ends the following year in August. The participating officer students go through extensive training to become the best leading dentists. While in the program, the students learn from six specialties that include: endodontics, prosthodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, orthodontics and pediatric dentistry.

The AEGD selection board selects future program participants in October. For more information regarding application deadlines and procedures, contact a local Air Force Recruiter or call 1-800-423-USAF (8723).

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