Captain Justin Shirley is a recent dental school graduate because he recieved an Air Force scholarship, he'll spend three years serving.
"To me, it's a very obvious choice, I was really, really excited to do it" he says.
Shirley and nine others were chosen to be part of the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program at Barksdale Air Force Base.
This is a highly competitive program for these students. 120 people applied for just 85 positions across the entire country. They looked at grades, GPA, recommendations and board exams.
"It's a very good opportunity to learn and see what you really like instead of getting out of school and trying to figure it out on your own" says Shirley.
Over the next year, he'll be treating active duty airmen and learning about specialties like gum and oral surgery, pulling teeth and placing implants.
"They're always amazed at how much they learn at the end of the year it's a very fast paced year" says Lieutenant Colonel Michael D. Webb, the program director.
"I was a resident here fifteen years ago, so it's coming full circle for me that i'm in the shoes now, because im the teacher and not the student" says Webb.
"I figured it was a good way to serve your country, you get to learn, get a lot of good experience, you get to travel" says Shirley.
Dental schools are currently four years but some are adding a fifth year to teach students similar skills as the Barksdale program.
The students in the program are able to deploy. A team went to El Salvador for a humanitarian mission last year.