In the restorative sciences department at HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry, Dr. Brent Hutson is an assistant professor and director of clinical fixed prosthodontics. Outside HSC-BCD, he provides dental care to another group: the U.S. Marine Corps. Most recently Hutson served overseas in the Republic of Georgia during July and August.
Cmdr. Hutson served as the senior medical officer in Operation Immediate Response for the Ohio-based 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. The mission, including participants for Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, had two goals.
The first was to rehabilitate and populate an abandoned training base in a town called Vaziani, located west of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. While the Marines helped train the Georgian Army, Hutson and colleagues from the U.S. Army’s Southern European Task Force (Airborne) from Italy established a military hospital in a building that was formerly a barracks. Once the hospital was operational, it could provide first- and second-level care for the Marines and mission participants.
The second mission goal was humanitarian. The new hospital began to treat civilians from surrounding villages in Georgia. By early August, the mission was complete and the new hospital Hutson helped create was handed over to the resident Georgian Army 4th Brigade.
Hutson went to Georgia to serve his annual duty as part of the U.S. Navy Dental Corps, in which he serves the U.S. 4th Marine Logistics Group. As an active reservist, Hutson serves about 45 to 60 days of active duty per fiscal year. Each year his command receives requests for support throughout the world, and Hutson requested assignment this year to the mission in Georgia.
He has served in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps for 14 years and is permanently assigned to provide dental care for the U.S. Marine Corps. Hutson received direct commission to the Navy Dental Corps after graduating from HSC-BCD in 1993. He has trained at the Cold Weather Mountain Warfare School and the Marine Corps Air Ground Desert Warfare School, both in California, and the Forensic Dentistry Program at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C.
Hutson served overseas six months during the invasion of Iraq from February to August 2003.
He has received numerous awards and honors during his service, including the Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star for second award, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze hourglass for 10 years’ service, the Navy Pistol Expert Ribbon and the Navy Rifle Expert Ribbon. Hutson has received two letters of commendation from admirals and one letter of commendation from a general.
What colleagues say about Hutson:
Dr. Michael McWatters, associate professor in restorative sciences: First of all, I want to thank Dr. Hutson for leaving the college in 2001, because I got his position at that time. Before I ever met Brent, I heard story after story about his antics, even pushing the unflappable Dr. Amp Miller over the edge a time or two. So when Brent came back on at the college, I met this friendly guy who addressed me as “Dr. Mac” and I kept waiting to become a victim of one of his pranks. It never happened.
I have found over the years that Brent is a highly honorable and trustworthy man. And like everybody else, I also found that he’s very smart. I see Brent as a person who lives by this motto: “Don’t ever get tired of doing the right thing.” When my wife, Iris, was battling cancer, Brent was very explicit to me in making sure I put taking care of Iris over my responsibilities here at the college. And like his commitment to his military service for all of us, Brent helped take the responsibility of my work load onto himself that year.
Outside of work, I have enjoyed with Brent a common love for fishing. Earlier this year, we had a successful trout fishing trip together on the White River in Arkansas. We still brag about the trophy brown trout we caught together.
Dr. Stan Cobb, associate professor in restorative sciences: It has been fun to work with Dr. Hutson over the last five years. I have worked with him for 10, but the last five have been fun. Brent looks funny, which is part of it. It’s appropriate that he works in fixed prosth on the third floor; there is more room between the chairs and he can maneuver his big feet and clown shoes so much easier there than the other departments. Anyone who has worked with him consistently knows he is smart. I mean really smart. I believe it’s because he has such a large head, is hyperteloric, and is capable of taking in more information than the average person with his kind of problems. When Gov. Ann Richards signed the special papers to get him into the service, it was meant to be the mail service. Perhaps this was because during dental school he went postal four times, breaking the 1980 record of two. Somehow he ended up in the Navy.
He is exactly the person I would want to take care of my son or daughter in battle...he is not dental but medical. In the midst of the chaos of war and death, he responds; he does not react. He is proactive in caring for his Marines; they trust him. His sense of what is right and wrong is pretty well-defined and has been shaped by his faith. He is known in the military for sticking with the mortally wounded soldier and staying with them, listening to them, talking and praying with them until they pass. He is top shelf. Everyone at the college who works with him knows just how smart he really is. He holds the line and stands up for what is right every single time. I respect that. Even so, I have seen him demonstrate extensive grace to people...and I respect him. He is a weird duck and one of my best friends.
Dr. Steve Karbowski, chair of the department of restorative sciences: Dr. Brent Hutson brings a lot of energy and fun to the Department of Restorative Sciences. His leadership qualities, impressive organizational skills and his “can do” spirit made him a natural choice for directing fixed prosthodontics. He is a dedicated family man and cares deeply about the important things in his life, including his faith, service to country and his role in dental education.