USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Health Services Department welcomed its new senior dental officer June 22.
Cmdr. Benjamin Young, who arrived aboard from Naval Hospital Rota, Spain, relieved Cmdr. Nevanna Koicheff.
Young, a native of Salinas, Calif., earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1985 at the University of California in Los Angeles. In 1992, he he joined the Navy and received his certificate of residency in comprehensive dentistry in 2000.
Although Young has worked aboard ships before, he is adjusting to some changes that have occurred since his last sea tour. Not only is Lincoln the first aircraft carrier Young has been assigned to, but it is also his first carrier since the merger of hospital corpsman and dental technician rates.
"The merger of hospital corpsmen and dental technicians has left a lot of us asking, 'what's my role?' Before, I would just be a dental officer. Now I'm the principal assistant to the senior medical officer. I've been more involved with the medical community, and overall, I think this merger has gotten us all to work toward what will benefit both the medical and dental divisions of health services department. We're not changing anything about what we do; we're just providing more service."
With more than 20 years of experience in dentistry, Young is more than qualified to take on the responsibilities of keeping the dental health of Lincoln's crew optimal, Cmdr. Benjamin Lee, senior medical officer aboard Abraham Lincoln, explained.
"Commander Young has a way of pulling everyone together around him. He has been such an encourager and leader in the health services department. I feel so fortunate to work closely with him and enjoy his friendship and camaraderie as we work hard together in serving our Sailors."
Lincoln is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to support Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom as well as maritime security operations. Operations in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States' commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.