New chief of U.S. Naval Dental Corps honed management skills in Church

The new chief of the U.S. Naval Dental Corps gained his first experience in management when he served years ago as a stake YMMIA president in Hawaii.

"That was the turning point as far as my management leadership experience was concerned," said Adm. Milton C. Clegg, now a teacher's quorum adviser in the Great Falls Ward, McClean Virginia Stake. "As I supervised dental clinics, I would use the principles I had learned as a stake Mutual president."Through the years he honed his leadership skills as a commanding officer of a dental battalion and clinic; assistant chief of staff for dentistry for the Naval Medical Command, National Capital Region; and a director of the resources division in the office of the Director of Naval Medicine. This past year, he served as the commanding officer of the Naval Dental Clinic in San Diego, Calif., with additional duties as fleet dental officer of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

With his promotion to rear admiral on March 1, Adm. Clegg became chief of the Naval Dental Corps, deputy director of Naval Medicine for Dentistry, and deputy commander for Dental Care Operations. As the Navy's supervising dental officer, he's responsible for the dental health of 750,000 sailors and marines. He oversees a dental corps that includes 1,700 dental officers and 3,500 dental technicians serving in 270 dental clinics throughout the world.

Adm. Clegg was born in Salt Lake City Sept. 1, 1933. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in 1956 and his doctorate in dental surgery from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, University of Maryland. After graduating from dental school he entered the Navy.

"I enjoyed the travel," he said of the Navy. "I enjoyed the educational opportunities of the dental corps, and I enjoyed the camaraderie of the people with whom I served."

Having been stationed throughout the United States and in Korea, Adm. Clegg received many opportunities to serve in the Church.

He has been in three bishoprics, one branch presidency, on two high councils and in one district presidency. Most of these callings were in outlying areas with ample opportunities to teach and be an example.

He met his wife of 22 years, Mary Ellen McCaffrey, while he was in graduate training for the Navy. She was a Navy nurse and not a member of the Church. Six years after they were married, she joined the Church and has since served in many callings in the Primary and Young Women organizations. They have two children, Mary Ellen and Dennis, both students at BYU. In addition, he also has two older daughters by a previous marriage, Alison Brockbank and Barbara Evans, who live in Utah.

"In today's military there is a great emphasis on family life," Adm. Clegg said. "When I first came into the military in 1960, there were comparatively few Latter-day Saints. Now many Latter-day Saints are serving in the military and a lot of them are converts."