Major John Reid Rodgers

Major John Reid Rodgers

November 24, 1964 - February 8, 2002



Major J. Reid Rodgers, a career Army officer, resident of Natchitoches, and a native of Sumter, S. C., passed away Friday, February 8, 2002. A military memorial service will be held Monday, February 18 at 4:30 p.m. at Magale Recital Hall on the campus of Northwestern State University.

Major Rodgers was commissioned an Infantry Officer in May, through the Army ROTC program at the University of North Carolina. Prior to commissioning, Major Rodgers served with the North Carolina National Guard for three years as an infantry officer/cadet. His assignments included scout and rifle platoon leader. During his tour of duty with the National Guard, Major Rodgers earned the Parachutist Badge, the Expert Infantry Badge and completed two rotations to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.
Upon graduation from UNC, Major Rodgers was accessed into active Army as an engineer officer. He attended the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Belvoir, Va., and was then assigned to the 5th Engineer Battalion (Combat), Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he served as Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer. In 1990, Major Rodgers was deployed with his unit to Operation Desert Shield/Storm where his unit served under Task Force 4-64 Armor, 1st Bde, 24th Infantry Division, which was to later become one of the most heavily engaged units of the war.

Major Rodgers later served with the 589th Engineer Battalion, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., as chief, Basic Rifle Marksmanship Committee. He activated the post's first Advanced Marksmanship Training Unit and was the OIC/coach of the Installation Rifle Team. Major Rodgers competed in numerous rifle and pistol matches culminating in his first place finish in the 1992 Commanding General's Match. Following this accomplishment he was offered the distinguished opportunity to join the All-Army Rifle Team based out of Fort Benning, Ga. Major Rodgers spent five months touring the country and competing with the All-Army Team.

Major Rodgers volunteered and was selected to attend the Infantry Officers Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Ga. After graduation, he was assigned to the 43rd Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Heavy) as the Battalion S4. During this period he deployed to south Florida in direct support of the Hurricane Andrew Relief Effort. Major Rodgers was later assigned to the 317th Engineers. During his 18-month command he deployed on two National Training Center Rotations. Major Rodgers was in the process of changing command when his unit was deployed to Southwest Asia for Operation Vigilant Warrior. After deploying for combat in the Kuwaiti Desert, tensions eased and his unit returned to the United States.

In 1994, Major Rodgers was assigned to US Army Cadet Command with duty at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn. Here he served as Battalion Executive Officer, and later as Training Officer and Military Science III Instructor. During this assignment, his cadets achieved a national second place finish at Advanced Camp 1997. Following attendance at the Combined Arms Services Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Major Rodgers was assigned to AC/RC duty at Fort Jackson, S. C., where he served as the plans officer for the 4th Training Support Battalion.
In 1999 Major Rodgers joined the Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and returned to Cadet Command with duty at Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, where he served as the battalion S3/operations officer and military science III instructor.

Major Rodgers' awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Reserve Forces Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service with three Bronze service stars, Liberation of Kuwait Medal, Saudi Arabia, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Superior Unit Award, Parachutist Badge, and the Excellence-in-Competition Badge, Rifle.

Major Rodgers is survived by his wife, Lisa Mitchum Rodgers of Sumter, S. C. They have two children, Jordan, 12 and Bryce, 4.

Tributes and Memories

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