JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Dental Health Activity here held a memorialization ceremony June 1 to rename and dedicate one of its clinics after a former Dental Corps chief.
JBLM’s Dental Clinic #2 is now called the Maj. Gen. Billie B. Lefler Dental Clinic, named after a dedicated provider who served more than 34 years on active duty as a general dentist and prosthodontist, including more than three years as the 20th Chief of the U.S. Army Dental Corps.
Lefler passed away in 2017.
The invocation and benediction for the ceremony was given by Chaplain (Maj.) Stephan Buchanan, a chaplain at Madigan Army Medical Center. Spc. Muhota Mbuthia, a dental specialist assigned to the Presidio of Monterey (Calif.) Dental Clinic, sang the national anthem.
Lefler was selected for the honor due to his distinguished military service as both a dentist and an educator.
Lefler graduated from the University of Tennessee School of Dentistry in 1956 and was commissioned in the Army that same year. He completed the fixed prosthodontics residency program at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1968. Lefler was a recipient of the Army Surgeon General’s “A” Prefix, the highest award that can be made in recognition of professional attainment within the U.S. Army Medical Department.
Lefler Dental Clinic is a state-of-the-art, 22-chair clinic with capabilities to perform the full scope of dental care, including exams, fillings, cleanings, orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, pathology and oral surgery. The clinic also hosts the yearlong Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency program.
Last spring, Dr. (Col.) Kendall Mower, at that time the JBLM DENTAC commander, sought out to name JBLM’s Dental Clinic #2 after Lefler.
Mower said he knew this would be an extensive process for the clinic, especially since Lefler never served at Fort Lewis. The dedication proposal was routed through U.S. Army Medical Command and Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the 45th Surgeon General of the Army, approved the name change to the Maj. Gen. Billie B. Lefler Dental Clinic.
The justification for the name change reflected the dedication Lefler had to the Army Dental Corps, coupled with the record of leadership he displayed at every level of the Dental Corps and AMEDD.
“To me, his legacy is about the life he lived both in and out of the military,” Mower said, during his remarks. “It is the selfless service he gave in everything he did. It was about the way he was committed to the corps, his country, his community, his God and his family.”
The Lefler Dental Clinic is part of the U.S. Army Dental Health Activity, Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The clinic provides oral health care for active-duty military, along with National Guard or Reserve service members on active duty.