To his patients, he is Dr. Charles F. McQuade, a dentist who operates at 10 Main St. in Andover. But McQuade also has a second job, or as he calls it a “commitment.”
McQuade recently reached the next level of this commitment when he was promoted to a captain in the U.S Navy Reserve.
McQuade, who has been part of the Navy Reserve for 14 years and a dentist for more than 25 years, was promoted in a ceremony on the USS Constitution.
“It’s been rewarding to serve this great nation in some capacity with the skills I have learned in life,” McQuade said.
McQuade said he was attracted to the Navy both because he had relatives who had served and a sense of personal duty.
“I wanted to serve the country,” McQuade said. “With the skills I had.”
When McQuade first joined his role was that of his regular job, a dentist, but as he progressed in rank his job became overseeing other dentists.
McQuade’s work in the Reserve also involves participating in humanitarian exercises around the country providing care for underserved communities.
“The whole mission is for us to learn how to respond to a disaster, but in the process of doing it we do care at no cost for the community,” McQuade said.
McQuade said his role in these missions is providing care for “a lot of people who wouldn’t normally go to the dentist.”
In terms of training, McQuade said it goes far beyond dentistry.
“If we are in a combat zone we’ve got to know how to do combat casualty care,” McQuade said. “So we know those skills, stopping a bleed, dealing with wounds. We also do certain training missions.”
One of these missions is a simulated ship sinking.
“We go in this tank of this ship that is taking on water and sinking and you are basically taught how to plug the holes and what to do to stop it,” McQuade said.
McQuade said you also have to pass a physical fitness test twice a year.
“I always stay in shape so it has never been a problem,” McQuade said. “I kinda look forward to it.”
As he moves up in rank, McQuade said the job has become more of a commitment.
“It is sometimes hard to balance the time, it is a commitment,” McQuade said. “And as I have moved up in responsibility, job responsibilities it becomes a lot more time consuming, so trying to balance that with my practice, my life.”
McQuade’s commanding officer said the promotion was a significant accomplishment.
“Not that many people make it that high either in reserves or in active duty,” said John De Jesus. “It’s quite a feat for him.”
De Jesus has known him since 2013, a few years after McQuade joined the Reserves.
“He had the heart to serve,” De Jesus said. “He excelled in taking care of people.”
De Jesus said he enjoys the job of teaching people about the rules of the military.
“It’s more of task, sort of a goal to get people to the point where they understand the military chain of command, military positions of authority and customs and courtesies,” De Jesus said.
“It’s a joy to see people grow in that aspect of their lives,” De Jesus said.
Despite the fact that he is ordering around a group of people who excel in their fields, De Jesus said people respect the chain of command.
“People tend to respect that, because it is a different part of their lives,” said De Jesus. “There is a military order, so everyone has to follow that, not only by rank but by position of authority”
While there is technically still room for McQuade to be promoted, McQuade said it would be unlikely.
“At this stage in the game next is Admiral, but I probably got in a little too late in life to ever hit that level,” McQuade said.