By Pvt. James Hemingway

13th Sustainment Command public affairs

Soldiers of the 502nd Dental Company Area Support held a change of command ceremony at 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion Fitness Field, Aug. 1.

The outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Dianne Pannes, passed her command to incoming commander, Col. Theresa Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, a graduate of the College of Charleston, assumes command of the 502nd as Pannes heads to Schofield Barracks, Ha., to serve as the assistant director of the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program.

Gonzalez was commissioned in to the Dental Corps after graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina and completing a one-year General Practice Residency at Fort Jackson, S.C. In 1992 Gonzalez completed a three-year training program at the postgraduate dental school in Bethesda, Md..

Gonzalez recently served as the director of Chronic Pain Management and Rehabilitation Service at Tripler Army Medical Center.

“It is often said, leading an organization is like conducting a symphony orchestra, but I don’t think that analogy is correct. Leading an organization is like playing in a jazz band,” Gonzalez said as she addressed her formation. “It requires a great deal more vivacity, audacity, more improvisation and an abundance of perspiration.”

As commander of the 502nd, Gonzalez promised to do her absolute best. “You should accept no less,” Gonzalez said enthusiastically.

The mission of the 502nd Dental Company is to provide emergency, preventive, general, and specialty dental care on an area support basis of operations for EAD forces in support training, combat and humanitarian relief operations; provide far forward emergency and preventive dental care: on order reinforce or reconstitute other dental assets.

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