Career Transition Resources

Transitioning from Active Duty US Army Dental Corps to the Civilian Sector
and/or
Transitioning During Decision Points within Your Civilian Dental Career

The Association of Army Dentistry (AAD) would like to thank you for your selfless service to the Army
Dental Care System, the US Army, and the United States of America. At some point in our careers, we all face
the inevitability of leaving active duty and returning to the civilian sector. Whether you are retiring or being
released from active duty, we would like to provide you with some helpful information and points of contact
that may assist you in making an informed decision and choosing a satisfying new career. Additionally, our
members currently in civilian dental careers may reach transition points and may elect to explore a different
career path.

Upon REFRAD/Retirement, Army Dental Corps Officers can transition to a number of possible career paths.
Also, as mentioned above, our members currently in civilian careers may wish to consider a change in their
career path and elect to explore one of the options available to them below. These include:

  1. Group or Private Practice. Depending on whether a dentist wishes to purchase a clinic or work in
    an established clinic with other dental colleagues, resources are available to assist you in making good
    decisions.
  2. COMPO 2 & 3. If you are leaving active duty in the REFRAD category, you should consider the
    option of continuing your military service in the National Guard or US Army Reserves. There are many ways
    to continue your service and while most will require some time and effort, you will be rewarded with continued
    comradery with fellow like-minded patriots while earning points toward a substantial military retirement at the
    age of 60.
  3. Teaching. Many of our departing Dental Corps officers leave active duty to pursue a career in
    teaching. Exciting opportunities are readily available in clinical teaching, research, administration and
    leadership. This is an especially attractive choice for retiring dentists who have advanced training, specialty
    board certifications, and years of valuable experience. Some have gone on to be department chiefs and even
    deans of dental colleges; and a large number of them would be willing to assist you in your transition to a
    teaching career.
  4. VA. Providing dental care to our veterans in a modern VA facility is a very rewarding
    career. Opportunities are available for the young general dentist and the experienced specialist as well.
  5. GS. Some Dental Corps officers who REFRAD or retire desire to continue taking care of soldiers in
    an Army Dental Care facility but as a civilian Government Service (GS) or contract dentist. These can be full
    or part time positions and can lead to meaningful retirement benefits. At least one retired Army dentist works
    for the federal prison system so the possibilities are varied.
  6. Non-clinical Careers in Dentistry. There are a number of reasons an Army Dental Corps officer
    leaves active duty and chooses to pursue a career outside of traditional clinical dentistry. Opportunities exist in
    medical or military education and training, science, research, technology, insurance, dental service organization
    management, and sales/marketing.

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