Thursday, June 15, 2017

Major General Thomas R. Tempel, Jr., Commanding General of the U.S. Army Regional Health Command – Central

Today’s guest is Major General Thomas R. Tempel, Jr., the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Regional Health Command – Central, and the Chief of the US Army Dental Corps. The Regional Health Command - Central is one of four geographic commands in the US Army Medical Department. The Regional Health Command - Central is the largest geographic command, and covers from Louisiana to Minnesota in the east and Southern California to Idaho in the west. It includes fourteen subordinate commands, including 12 hospitals and outpatient clinics, as well as the Dental Command - Central and the Public Health Command - Central. The Command provides care for more than 440,000 military beneficiaries, and in 2016 delivered 5.8 million clinic visits, 7,600 live births, and 57,000 admissions. 

Major General Tempel is a third generation member of the Army Medical Department. He entered active duty in 1991 as an Army dentist, serving with a variety of operational units including the 1st Special Forces, and commanded the 464th Dental Company while deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later served in a series of clinical leadership roles including the Commander of the US Army Dental Command and the Commander of the Western Regional Medical Command before coming to his current role.

I really enjoyed talking with Major General Tempel about his unusual career. We conclude with a brief discussion about his leadership philosophy, but I think you will get a sense of the kind of leader he is throughout the interview.

Links to the Podcast
Full Length: 

Podcast Outline (applies to full length interview)

Time      Topic
0:02:14 Gettysburg College, pre-dental
0:04:16 being an Army brat, the influence of ROTC on his future
0:07:08 Family history in military medicine
0:08:27 dental school at U of MD
0:09:14 surprises about dental school
0:10:28 establishment of clinician identity
0:11:55 coming on active duty
0:14:48 residency in general dentistry
0:15:56 examples of specialties included in the residency
0:16:30 training and selection for the special forces
0:19:59 selection and Q course
0:21:24 role of the dental surgeon with the Special Forces
0:23:59 leadership lessons from Special Forces experience
0:26:51 unique clinical experiences working with the Special Forces
0:30:16 providing dental support in Iraq during OIF
0:33:10 first experience of command
0:35:53 Command of Ft. Meade DENTAC - transition from operational (TOE) units 
                        to fixed facility (TDA) units
0:38:54 Commander, Northern Regional Dental Command
0:40:49 adjusting leadership for a geographically dispersed organization
0:44:21 Commander, US Army Dental Command
0:46:49 scope of the US Army Dental Command
0:47:35 "Go First Class"
0:52:47 Chief of the Army Dental Corps
0:55:19 what do most people misunderstand about dentistry?
0:57:51 what doe people misunderstand about military dentistry?
0:58:27 Commander, Western Regional Health Command
1:00:12 scope of Central Medical Command
1:03:15 structure of the Central Medical Command headquarters
1:04:52 how does the regional structure add value
1:06:18 role of the Commander
1:06:54 a day in the life of the Commander
1:08:22 most important metrics tracked
1:09:21 what keeps him up at night
1:10:55 what is he most excited about in the future of Army medicine
1:12:18 leadership philosophy
1:15:41 advice for early careerists

Topics Discussed:

Major General Thomas R. Tempel, Jr. Biography

Regional Health Command - Central

Gettysburg College

University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Army Dentistry

US Army Special Forces Training

Ft. Meade DENTAC

We are now using TinyLetter to send out announcements related to the podcast!

You can subscribe by entering your e-mail address below.

We will send out no more than one e-mail each week.

powered by TinyLetter

follow us on Twitter at @healthlf