Elaine C. Wagner DDS is the first certified pediatric dentist to be promoted to Admiral of the United States Navy Dental Corps. She was named Rear Admiral Lower Half during January 18 ceremonies at the Navy Post Graduate Dental School, Bethesda, MD.
Admiral Wagner grew up in southern Indiana and attended Butler University (BA, 1976) and Indiana University School of Dentistry (DDS, 1980). She completed residency at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis in 1982 and was certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry in 1991.
After 18 months in private duty practice, Dr. Wagner was commissioned in the US Navy in December, 1983. After distinguished tours in San Diego and the Philippines, she was assigned to the National Naval Medical Center as the Dental Department's first pediatric dentist in 1992. Following that assignment, her career carried her through many distinguished Navy dental positions, including a year as a Commanding Officer at the Navy's Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) in Kuwait. The EMF task in Kuwait was to "organize, equip, and train personnel to provide medical support to the expeditionary medical facility in Kuwait and other remote and austere combat environments in support of Overseas Contingency Operations."
In 2009, Admiral Wagner assumed command of the Naval Health Clinic New England.
Admiral Wagner has received many military decorations and awards, including: Legion of Merit with gold star, Meritorious Service Medial and two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medial with three gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars, Meritorious Unit Commendation with bronze star, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze star, The Philippine Presidential Citation Ribbon and the Expert Rifleman Ribbon.
About the Navy Dental Corps
The US Navy Dental Corps was created by a 1912 Act of Congress. Today, the Dental Corps is made up of naval officers who have a Doctorate in either Dental Surgery or Dental Medicine (DDS or DMD) and who practice dentistry for sailors, marines, and dependent family members.