11:25 AM

Tenn. Lawmaker Honored With Exceptional Service Award for Legislative Squadron Command

Tennessee State Rep. John Ragan, a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, was recently decorated by Civil Air Patrol for his service as commander of the Tennessee Wing’s State Legislative Squadron.

Ragan, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force’s volunteer civilian auxiliary, was presented the Exceptional Service Award by Gov. Bill Haslam in a ceremony in the Old Supreme Court Chambers in the state Capitol.

Col. Barry Melton, commander of CAP’s Southeast Region, said the Oak Ridge Republican “demonstrated exceptional organizational ability, accomplishing many complex tasks through diligence, foresight and sound judgment.”

Melton, who lives in Cleveland, Tennessee, said the Oak Ridge Ragan’s “conscientious actions, diplomatic manner and astute advice contributed materially in the accomplishments of Tennessee Wing.”

Ragan has commanded the wing’s largest squadron since 2013 and was recently reappointed to a four-year term as its leader. “I am honored to bring attention to the good works of the more than 1,000 volunteers in service to Tennessee in Civil Air Patrol,” he said.

A graduate of the Air Force Academy, Ragan amassed more than 4,000 jet hours and flight time in two combat theaters during his 24 years in the service. His Air Force duties included wartime command and also experience in managing civil engineering operations, logistics, communications and police organizations.

The Exceptional Service Award, one of CAP’s highest decorations, is awarded to members whose duty performance “greatly benefits the region or wing.”

Col. Arlinda Bailey, Tennessee Wing commander, said her organization was honored to have a leader with Ragan’s extensive background.

The Legislative Squadron boasts almost 100 members, including senators and representatives from across Tennessee.

“Lt. Col. Ragan serves his state and nation through his work since 2010 as a state representative, his almost 25 years as an Air Force officer and his continued work as a member of CAP’s Tennessee Wing,” Bailey said.

During the ceremony, attended by Tennessee Wing members visiting the Capitol during the organization’s annual Day on the Hill, Haslam also presented Bailey with a certificate of appreciation for the wing’s service in emergency service missions during 2016.