USADTRD Cases Colors, Becomes USAISR Directorate

Discontinuation Ceremony

Col. (Dr.) Michael Wirt, Commander, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, left, Col. (Dr.) Richard Williams, Commander, U.S. Army Dental and Trauma Research Detachment, and USAISR First Sgt. Natasha Tsantles case the DTRD unit colors during a Discontinuation Ceremony Oct. 1. (Photo by Steven Galvan, USAISR Public Affairs)

The 43-year history of the U.S. Army Dental and Trauma Research Detachment at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research came to an end Oct. 1 as the unit's colors were cased during a command discontinuation ceremony at, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The detachment joined the USAISR in 2010 and will continue research as directorate of the Institute headed by the former DTRD Commander Col. (Dr.) Richard L. Williams.

"The new Dental and Craniofacial Trauma Research and Tissue Regeneration Team will continue their groundbreaking work addressing gaps in combat dentistry, biofilm, craniofacial bone regeneration, and face burns and mitigation of scars," said USAISR Commander Col. (Dr.) Michael D. Wirt.

Although Army dental research started in 1922 with the creation of the Army Dental School at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, DTRD was officially established in 1962 as the U.S. Army Institute of Dental Research. The goal of the newly-established IDR was to improve patient care through clinically relevant research. To meet this goal the Institute recruited and trained dental officers who had specific clinical expertise and advanced degrees to collaborate with biomedical researchers, scientists and highly-trained enlisted personnel to plan and lead research studies with a strong interdisciplinary feature.

"For 93 years, the concept of basic and applied scientific exploration for the Dental Corps has served to develop many talented leaders and clinicians who provided quality care for all of our Service Members," said Williams. "The casing of the colors is a time-honored tradition dating back centuries signifying a transition as units prepare to move and begin a new mission. Today is the sixth and final time this organization's colors will be cased or re-designated. But this ceremony today is only symbolic in that we will continue our amazing mission as a full-fledged directorate in the best medical lab command in the Department of Defense -- the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research."

In 1991, the IDR converted to a detachment and moved to Great Lakes, Illinois, as the U.S. Army Dental Research Detachment. The move was mandated by the 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Act to relocate the DRD with the Naval Dental Research Institute and the Air Force Dental Evaluation and Consultation Service. Trauma was officially included in the research of the detachment and was renamed DTRD as a combat casualty care research organization in 2006.

As a result of the 2005 BRAC, DTRD along with the Navy and Air Force relocated to San Antonio in 2010 where all three units formed the Dental and Maxillofacial Trauma Task Area to continue dental research and solutions to maxillofacial battle injuries.

"As we continue to anticipate future combat casualty care requirements, to include attacking the challenge of prolonged field care in austere, volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous environments, we look to leverage the exceptional research capability of the DTRD staff to meet these challenges head on," Wirt said.

Williams concluded his speech by saying: "As the ISR's newest directorate, we will continue to carry the torch of responsible leadership for the Medical Command -- leading change; resource stewardship; and of course, the accomplishment of our touchstone mission -- optimizing combat casualty care."

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Last Modified Date: 02-Oct-2015