FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Military police special-response teams raided a barracks complex last night on Gruber Road, arresting dozens of soldiers and shutting down an unlicensed dentistry ring that police say caused implausible levels of readiness over several months, sources confirmed today.
“We take readiness and medical credentialing very seriously here on [Fort] Bragg,” said the provost marshal, Col. James Dangle. “And what I saw today turned my stomach. Dental exams in the latrines, root canals in the CQ office, and there was an illicit MEDPROS call center in the day room.”
Dangle said military police arrested several off-duty dental technicians hustling for extra money, yuck-mouths seeking a quick ticket off the CAT 4 hit list, and a handful of odontophiles looking to score a cheap thrill.
Why would soldiers risk their oral health by patronizing an unlicensed mouth mangler? Senior Pentagon operations research analyst Jonathan Northfield provided insight as to why raids like last night's are becoming commonplace.
“Leave and pass approval,” Northfield said. “When the Army made readiness its top priority, along with people, lethality, CrossFit, and 17 other items, the Pentagon underfunded medical and dental programs. Appointment waiting times became longer, soldiers became dental category four, and overbearing senior NCOs began kicking back leave and pass requests. It’s trickle-down pentagonomics.”
“We’re also receiving reports of black market physical therapy, tail-gate radiology, and back-alley colonoscopies.”
Pentagon prioritization aside, some senior leaders advocate that dental readiness is the primary indicator of a unit’s overall readiness, leadership performance, and combat prowess.
“Dozens of Pentagon-sponsored studies have shown that dental readiness is the causal factor for winning or losing a war,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley told reporters. “Napoleon won at Austerlitz because his soldiers were all CAT 1. He lost at Waterloo because he waivered soldiers to bump up readiness numbers. Sure, he was able to get more troops on the field, but the toothless bastards didn’t have any teeth rip the paper on their powder cartridges.”
“Ultimately, dental waivers are the reason we’re still in Afghanistan.”