Commanding Officer (February 2011 - July 2012)
A native of College Park, Georgia, Commander Ragland enlisted in the Navy in 1991 and attended the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) program. Commander Ragland graduated with honors from Savannah State College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.
His sea duty assignments include Damage Control Assistant and Second Division Officer on USS SUPPLY (AOE-6); Main Propulsion Assistant and Training Officer onboard USS CARTER HALL (LSD 50); First Lieutenant, Force Protection and Safety Officer on USS HARPERS FERRY (LSD 49) and USS GERMANTOWN (LSD 42) homeported in Sasebo, Japan . During his tour in HARPERS FERRY, Commander Ragland conducted a hull swap with GERMANTOWN; Operations Officer in USS SHREVEPORT (LPD-12), where he supported recovery efforts in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. SHREVEPORT assisted in cleanup efforts, relocation of displaced citizens, and provided liaison with local government officials in the Lower Ninth Ward, Saint Bernard, and Plaquimerans parishes, Louisiana. While deployed onboard SHREVEPORT, in support of the Global War on Terrorism, he further distinguished himself as Officer in Charge of a captured dhow carrying more than 500 AK-47 and various large caliber weapons and munitions off the coast of Yemen. His keen seamanship was key to safely navigating the dhow into SHREVEPORT ’s well deck for further transport and ultimate transfer to the government of Yemen. Commander Ragland’s most recent sea duty assignment was returning to Sasebo, Japan and the Forward Deployed Naval Forces as Executive Officer on USS TORTUGA (LSD 46). During this tour Commander Ragland supervised a crew of three hundred personnel though accelerated basic phase training, while executing five major deployment exercises throughout SEVENTH Fleet. Additionally, he supervised TORTUGA through a highly successful Board of Inspection Survey (INSURV) 2009 in which TORTUGA was the only LSD assessed as “Fit for sustained combat operations” in the last two years. During his tour on TORTUGA he also Qualified for Command at sea.
In 2004, Commander Ragland was selected to attend the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island earning a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies and Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I. Upon graduation from the Naval War College Commander Ragland served ashore as an Strategic Information Operations Planner at the Joint Information Operations Warfare Command (JIOWC), San Antonio, Texas a component command of United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).
Commander Ragland’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various campaign, unit and service awards.
Commander Ragland was selected for Commander Command Afloat on the First Surface Warfare XO/CO “Fleet-Up” Command Screening Board.
Commander Ragland assumed command of USS TORTUGA 12 February 2011.