Assistance to the military | Local news

A former army chief in Citrus County received an award on Nov. 16 that no one in the county has received before.

Colonel Peter Tan of Hernando was deployed as a civilian aide to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth. Tan joined eight others from across the continental United States and Guam, who were named to the post.

The ceremony was at Zoom, and 13 people watched the event from Tan’s House, while the secretary discussed the program’s mission and talked about each inmate. Then she relinquished the office to the helpers.

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“It was certainly a great honor to be selected and to be recognized by the Secretary and to have the opportunity to serve the U.S. Army and the nation at the highest level,” Tan said. “The responsibility we have is an important responsibility for the future success of the Army.”

In his new role, Tan will serve “as the secretary’s eyes and ears,” said Curt Ebitz, adjutant at Citrus County’s Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776 Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The helper helps, among other things, with recruitment, with promoting diversity and inclusion in the army and with supporting the idea that those who have served in the military are soldiers for life.

Tan retired as a colonel in the Dental Corps of the Army Reserve after 36 years in the Army. He is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Among his many positions, he has served as the highest-ranking reserve dental officer in the office of the Surgeon General and the Pentagon. He was the Deputy Commander of the Pacific Regional Dental Command as well as of the Europe Regional Dental Command. He commanded the 185th Dental Company and 7,301 medical training support battalions.

He previously had a private practice in oral and maxillofacial surgery in Maryland and taught, among other things, for the Army and for the University of Maryland.

He chaired such groups as the Maryland Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology and its Anesthesiology Research Foundation, and the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology’s Maryland Component, among his many contributions to professional groups.

The ultimate high priest, Tan has apparently always been this way. He was the valedictorian of his elementary school graduating class. He was a Notre Dame Fellow, an honor extended to only about 13% of students. Tan was enrolled in ROTC in college and trained in field artillery.

However, he was immediately admitted to the dental school and was transferred to the Medical Service Corps and the Dental Corps.

After graduation, Tan took his dentists and married Grace Armonio. Then the army overtook Tans. Peter was sent to Fort Sam Houston for training. He was then stationed at Fort Leavenworth, where the Tans had their first child, Kristin.

Then it was three years as a general practitioner dentist with the Army, followed by medical school at the current Rutgers University to study oral and maxillofacial surgery. More investigation followed in craniofacial / maxillofacial surgery and oro-facial pain at St. Louis University School of Medicine / St. Mary’s Health Center. Tan has also earned a Masters Degree in Public Health Health and Emergency / Emergency Preparedness from Touro University California, in Cypress, California.

Today, Tan is somewhat retired. He is the President and CEO of TANARM, a consulting firm that deals with leadership development, health care, emergency and disaster management, public health consulting and military / defense work.

He is a partner in Academic Innovation Partners Inc., a consulting group that encourages the application of academic research to real-world issues.

Tan and his wife, Grace, were named Family of the Month in January by St. Scholastica Knights of Columbus Council 14485.

He has been elected President of the Military Officer Association of Citrus County and Vice President of the Association of US Army Suncoast Chapter.

His local performance is all the more impressive because Tan and his wife have only lived in Citrus County since 2019. They moved here from Frederick, Md.

“My concept of retirement is not to go from 100 to zero,” Tan said.

He said he wants to continue to be an advisor to those who could use his help. But retirement also means “I can play golf more. I can enjoy the weather more. And I am able to have more family time. ”

On November 12, his daughter, Kristin, gave birth to the Tans family’s fifth grandchild and first grandchild.

“To me, I consider this a robust retirement,” Tan said.

For his job as a civilian aide to the Army secretary, Tan is only expected to work about 120 days a year.

The positions that Tan remains involved in are top-level positions where people look to him for advice and decisions.

He said that his philosophy of being the one that others look at – the boss – is “to have understanding, to have compassion and empathy. It’s not about me, it’s about them.”

He and his wife chose to retire to Citrus County after vacationing in Florida for years. They decided to settle in Citrus County after looking in Tampa / St. Petersburg area, as well as in Naples and Jacksonville. They saw an ad for Citrus Hills, “and after we saw it, it was a done deal,” Tan said.

“We like the climate. There are three good seasons and a not bad fourth, “he said.

He said he also likes that “We are surrounded by so much volunteer work. In the Northeast it is about jobs. Here it is volunteer work.”

Giving of his time and abilities is something that appeals to the veteran officer in the army. Staying active in and loyal to the military is also something that is important.

Tan said he made some of the best friends in the army and they live all over the world.

“We believe in selfless service. Betale Paying it forward is what I do most,” he said.

Both Tan and Grace come from military families. Tan’s father served in World War II, and his mother was a military nurse who received a Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for her service as a nurse and as a guerrilla in the Philippines during World War II.

Tans’ son, May. Peter Tan Jr., is also in the Army Dental Corps, and their son, Ryan, just graduated from West Virginia University and is a military intelligence officer and second lieutenant.

Grace’s family members were in the Navy and Marines, and some survived the Bataan death march and were prisoners of war.

Tan has won many medals and awards for his military service, including the Legion of Merit Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (a silver oak leaf cluster and two bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (two awards) and Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon.

He also received an Army Service Tape, an Army Staff Identification Badge, the “A” Proficiency Designator from Surgeon General and the D7A Skill Identifier from USA NORTHCOM. He is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.

Tan said he learned many of his “life lessons” from military comrades.

While teaching life lessons to others in his role as a civilian helper for the Army Secretary, Tan will also serve as an example of what it means to be a soldier for life.

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