NORFOLK, VA – The special operations community has been rocked by news the Navy's elite counter-terrorism force, SEAL Team 6, recently failed mission requirements for operational dental readiness.
The entire force is currently designated as Dental Fitness Class 3, which places them in a "non-readiness compliant" category. Now non-deployable, there has been an outcry from military commanders unable to utilize an asset normally reserved for high level classified operations.
"This is ludicrous," observed Vice Adm. John Miller, commander of 5th Fleet. "I guess now we know how Bin Laden was able to escape Tora Bora. Seriously, has tooth abscess ever really hurt anyone?"
Command dentists for USNAVSPECWARCOM, remain firm in their diagnosis of the team's ongoing dental wellness issues. "To a man they are on the verge of a dental emergency within the next six to twelve months," said one. He went on to explain Team 6 members suffer various dental conditions including cavities, root canal infections, and temporomadibular disorders.
"Jesse Ventura's had far too much influence on the SEAL community with that Red Man tyrannosaurus business," he said.
Commander of USNAVSPECWARCOM, Rear Adm. Brian Losey, claims overly-relaxed grooming standards and a lack of discipline contributed to the poor dental fitness classification. "It's a domino effect," he claimed. "First they stopped shaving and cutting their hair. Then their dental hygiene went down the shitter too."
But many members of the Navy's elite fighting force disagree. They contend relaxed hygiene and grooming standards helps them blend in with the local culture while deployed on hazardous missions.
"Look, I attend a lot of engagement meetings and shuras with local warlords and tribal leaders. If I blast them with minty fresh breath I'm a dead man," said Chief Petty Officer [REDACTED]. "We spend entire deployments without having a solid crap or wiping our asses, and it has a significant impact on mission success. Halitosis is a force protection measure."
Other team members have deep-seated issues with dentistry in general. "I'll low crawl through broken glass if they want me to," said Petty Officer [REDACTED]. "No way I'm sitting in that reclining chair though. Haji war cries and IED explosions don't bother me in the slightest, but the high pitched whine of a dental drill sets my PTSD off like nobody's business."
Corpsmen attached to USNAVSPECWARCOM have tried to reassure their Naval brethren SEALs have nothing to fear. "Here we're pretty much the Spec Ops of the dental and health care communities," said HM3 [REDACTED], "I once used a water pick on a SEAL during his dental exam. Now I'm practically a SEAL myself. "
SEAL Team 6's dental hygiene issues are suspected to be the reason a recent mission to capture an Islamist terrorist was aborted in Somalia. The scrubbed mission took place the same day Army special operations forces captured wanted terrorist Anas al-Libi in Tripoli, Libya.
Unlike their Naval counterparts, Delta Force commandos are renowned for their immaculate, pearly white teeth.
"Look at the chompers on them," noted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. "They're like a walking billboard for dental floss."