Bitonti, a native of Greensburg, Pa., graduated from Saint Vincent College in 1981 with a bachelor of arts in chemistry and received a doctor of dental medicine degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 1985. Upon graduating, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Navy Dental Corps. His commands included Naval Dental Center Charleston, the USS Holland (AS 32), Naval Dental Center Norfolk and the USS Enterprise (CVN 65).
In October 1997, following his second tour aboard the Enterprise, Bitonti reported to the National Naval Medical Center as staff surgeon and associate director of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program. He was then chosen to serve duty as an adviser to the Surgeon General, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and a member of the Presidential Support team. In October 2003, Bitonti became the head of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Dental Department at the National Naval Medical Center.
In July 2009, Bitonti was named the deputy commander for Integration and Transition at the National Naval Medical Center. There, he oversaw the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative, directing the merger of the facility with the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center to form Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). In December 2011, Bitonti was named the senior military advisor to the commander of WRNMMC, where he served until his selection as commanding officer for NSAB.
“I am truly excited and honored for the opportunity to be the commanding officer of NSAB,” said Bitonti. “Our mission is simple, to take care of the visitors, active duty and the civilian employees who serve on a daily basis. Support is in our name and we are here to do that for you.”
Rear Adm. Markham K. Rich, commandant of Naval District Washington, presided over the change of command ceremony. In his remarks, Rich praised Kass for his ability to lead the installation in a period of transition. Kass assumed command as NSAB’s second CO on Oct. 18, 2011, only one month after BRAC.
“It has been a privilege, a true once-in-a-lifetime honor, to have been the commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Bethesda,” said Kass. “The effort put forth every day to make this a special place for staff, visitors and guests never stopped impressing and amazing me. I will miss being a part of something so important and meaningful. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.”
Kass will be retiring with his family – his wife, Leslie, and daughters Sophie, Margo and Elise.
Naval Support Activity Bethesda’s mission statement is to create an environment that enables patients to heal, help staff to thrive and make guests feel at home. The NSAB vision is to provide customer-focused installation management and base operating support to its tenant activities in their pursuit of excellence, while partnering in healing, wellness, research and education.
For more news from NSAB, visit www.cnic.navy.mil/bethesda or www.facebook.com/NSABethesda.