2003 Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award  

SGM Stephen E. Spadaro assumed his current position as the Sergeant Major, U.S. Army Dental Command (DENCOM) on 1 January 2001. His number one goal was the establishment of a formal continuing education and professional certification system for all military and civilian Dental Specialists assigned to the Dental Command throughout the Army.

SGM Spadaro partnered with the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) and developed the concept to provide quarterly continuing education courses for all military and civilian dental assistants based worldwide.

His brilliant leadership and flawlessly executed plan resulted in an increase in the professional knowledge of our military and civilian dental assistants, increased chairside skills, and improved morale and esprit de corps. This initiative will have a profound positive impact on the Army Dental Care System by raising the bar of professional knowledge resulting in top quality dental care, technically and tactically proficient dental specialists, and high levels of soldier dental readiness.

To date, over 15,000 courses have been completed, 600 certification examinations taken, and over 2,500 Dental Assistants in 5 countries enrolled in his program. In April 2003, certification and ADAA continuing education were added to the 91E Career Management Map.

Sergeant Major Stephen E. Spadaro was born in Brooklyn, New York and entered the United States Army in August 1978. He attended basic combat training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, followed by advanced individual training as a Dental Specialist at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Sergeant Major Spadaro’s military education includes U.S. Army Recruiting School, Station Commander Course, Nurse Recruiting Course, Faculty Development Course, the Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course, First Sergeants Course and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.

Sergeant Major Spadaro’s assignments include numerous leadership positions to include, NCOIC Hospital Dental Clinic, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC; Operations sergeant 122nd Medical Company, Frankfurt, Germany; Recruiter, Station Commander, Nurse Station Commander, New York Recruiting Bn; Chief Instructor AMEDDC & S, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas; First Sergeant C Company Academy Bn; Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, Ft. Bragg, NC; and Hawaii.

Sergeant Major Spadaro is currently the United States Army Dental command Sergeant Major. He and his wife, Cindy, have one son, Stephen, who is 18.