Capt. Joseph W. (Bill) Karitis, formerly of Jim Thorpe, retired Dec. 1 from a long career in the United States Navy.

Capt. Karitis enlisted in the United States Navy in 1976. Upon completion of Dental Technician "A" School in December 1976, he was assigned to the National Naval Dental Center, Bethesda, Md., and completed his enlistment on board the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), where he was honorably discharged in August 1981, as a second class petty officer and entered the United States Navy Reserves.

From 1981 until 1983 Capt. Karitis attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, and subsequently graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1987. His first assignment returning to active duty was as a general practice resident at Portsmouth Naval Hospital. In 1988, he was assigned aboard the USS Saipan (LHA-2), followed by three years at the Naval Branch Dental Clinic, Keflavik, Iceland, where he completed a master's degree in management.

Capt. Karitis was selected for advanced training in Public Health Dentistry at the Uniformed Services University, where he graduated in 1995 with a master's of public health degree in biostatistics and epidemiology. He was then assigned as director of Information Management, National Naval Dental Center, Bethesda, Md., for duty until 1998, during which time he attained board certification. He was subsequently selected as the chief information officer, U.S. Navy Dental Corps and served on the staff of the Secretary of Defense, Health Affairs as the project manager for CHCSII-Dental.

In December 2002, he assumed the position of director, Operational Medicine & Joint Support and director, Program Management at the Navy Medicine Information Management Center, Bethesda, until September 2005 when he screened for executive officer. Capt. Karitis then served as chief information officer, Navy Medicine Manpower, Personnel, Training & Education until September 2008.

After serving as dental operations officer, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., he finished his career treating Marine recruits in the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Department at Parris Island until his retirement on Dec. 1

Capt. Karitis's awards include: Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal and Medical Department Surface Warfare Officer. He maintains membership in the American Dental Association, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, American Medical Informatics Association, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health.

Capt. Karitis is a 1976 graduate of Jim Thorpe Area High School and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Kattner from Bear Creek Lake, Penn Forest Township, and the late Joseph Karitis Sr. He now resides in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. with his wife, Debbie. His daughter, Rachel, is a senior at the University of Maryland and his son, Tripp, is a sophomore at The Citadel.