According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Dentalman work classification and the Dental Technician rating were established in the Coast Guard in 1948, with personnel at E3 and below wearing the same group-rate mark—white stripes on a blue uniform, navy blue stripes on the white—as Stewards and Hospitalmen. But on the same page of the Coast Guard Web site where this VA document is found, we find a very different timeline that says the rating was introduced in 1954, but only at the E4 and E5 paygrades.

The Coast Guard’s Dental Technicians performed many of the routine dental procedures that we today associate with the civilian world’s dental hygienist: oral examinations, teeth cleaning, dental x-rays, and preventive treatment and education. But they also served as office assistants to Dental Officers, handling administrative and clerical assignments, and by attending their rating’s Class “C” School they earn qualifications to perform advanced dental work such as the fabrication and repair of dentures and other oral prosthetics, as well as the maintenance and repair of dental equipment.

In addition to dental first aid, Dental Technicians were also required to be able to assist with the management and medical care of wounded personnel during a mass-casualty event. This encompassed the prevention and treatment of CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) casualties.

The Dental Technician rating was merged with Hospital Corpsman (HM) in 1983 to create the Health Services Technician (HS) rating. Health Services Technicians spent six months at the Class “A” School in Petaluma learning basic anatomy, physiology, patient treatment and evaluation, pharmacology, and medical administration and office management; graduates are typically assigned to large-scale medical clinics where their skills are honed under the supervision of highly experienced medical professionals. HS personnel deliver health-care procedures to both Coast Guard members and members of their families.

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As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.