Before joining the faculty of the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, James C. Ragain, Jr., DDS, MS, PhD, FICD, FACD, had a very successful career in the United States Navy, retiring as a Naval Captain. His military training began for him as a student in the Army ROTC Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
On Saturday, Dr. Ragain, now the dean of the College of Dentistry at UTHSC, and seven others were recognized for their contributions as members of the armed forces and as civilians during the UT Knoxville Army ROTC Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.
“This event allows us to not only honor these outstanding U.S. Army ROTC Alumni for their selfless service, but also to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the UT Army ROTC and the critical role that Army ROTCs have in providing a continuous source of excellent military leaders for our nation,” said Brigadier General (Retired) Geoff Freeman, president of the Army ROTC Alumni Council at UT Knoxville.
An East Tennessee native, Dr. Ragain received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 1984, Dr. Ragain earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the UTHSC College of Dentistry. He is the first alumnus of the UTHSC College of Dentistry to serve as dean of the college. Prior to that, Dr. Ragain was an associate professor in Restorative Dentistry and interim chair of the Department of General Practice Dentistry. He has been with the college since 2013.
While on active duty, Dr. Ragain served in numerous senior administrative positions in clinical dentistry and dental research, and has held several adjunct faculty positions. He directed the largest Operative Dentistry Department in the Navy at the Naval Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois, and he commanded the Naval Dental Research Institute/Naval Institute for Dental and Biomedical Research for four years.
Other honorees in the 2019 class included: Samuel J. Furrow, Lieutenant Colonel Hugh E. (Bud) Howard, II, (Retired), Francis E. (Hank) Lauricella, Lieutenant Colonel John W. Skidmore, (Retired), Lieutenant Colonel Douglas R. Thomson , (Retired), Colonel James Walker, (Retired), and Lieutenant Colonel John S. Daniel, Jr., (Retired), who was honorarily inducted, although he was not a member of the ROTC.