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Honoring Our Heroes

Tech Sergeant Willie James Rogers: Age: 72

Tech Sergeant (TSgt) Willie James Rogers served 20 years in the U.S Air Force. His Air Force Service Code (AFSC) was: (1) Disaster Preparedness for 14 years and five months and (2) Fire Protection Specialist for five years and seven months. He received the following medals, awards, decorations, and ribbons: Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Ribbon for Long Tour with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Longevity Service Award ribbon with four oak leaf clusters, NCO Professional Military Education Graduate ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship ribbon and Air Force Training ribbon.

TSgt Rogers was born to his parents, Johnnie and Ione Rogers in Shreveport, LA, October 29, 1951. During high school, he played on the baseball team and the trombone in the school's band graduating in 1970. He attended Southern University for one year and then volunteered to serve in the U.S. Air Force.

TSgt Rogers enlisted January 31, 1972, and he completed five weeks of Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) TX. His first assignment was at Chanute AFB, IL, for nine weeks of firefighting training. He returned to Lackland AFB, TX, and served as a fire fighter there for two years 1972-1974. He reassigned for three years 1974-1977 to Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, a Military Airlift Command (MAC) and United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) installation. He was reassigned back to Lackland AFB, TX, for four months. He then cross trained into Disaster Preparedness and spent six weeks in technical school at Lowry AFB, CO. He began working in disaster preparedness serving at Reese AFB, TX, 1977-1980. His second overseas tour was at Lajes Field, Azores 1980-1983. He returned to the USA and served at Homestead AFB, FL in 1983-1986. His second tour to Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany was in 1986-1990. His final assignment was at Castle AFB, CA, 1990-1992 where he retired from military service January 31, 1992.

After his military retirement, TSgt Rogers worked in 1992-1994 as a civilian at Castle AFB, CA, working as an environmental technician with the Base Realignment and Closure Agency (BRAC) determining if there were any hazardous materials left at the base that was closing. After his wife was reassigned to Maxwell AFB, AL, Mr. Rogers then worked as an instructor at Maxwell AFB, AL, at the Air University's Commanders Professional Development School teaching disaster and emergency response from 1997-2015 and then retired from all employment. While working as a civilian in CA and AL, he used the GI Bill and received an Associate Degree in Hazardous Material Technology from Merced Jr. College in 1993, and he received a B.A. Degree in Human Resource Management from Faulkner University in 1998.

TSgt Rogers and his wife, Sherrie, have been married 41 years, and they have four children, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. They met when both were serving in the Air Force Lajes Field the Azores. Mrs. Rogers also served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and retired at the rank of Technical Sergeant. They are members of the First Missionary Baptist Church at Prattville, AL, where he serves as a Deacon. He is presently serving as the Jr. Vice Commander of the Department of Alabama American Legion, and Mrs. Rogers is currently serving as the 32nd District Executive Commander Representative..

TSgt Rogers' conclusions about his military service are: "It meant that I had an opportunity to learn to excel and prepared me for future civilian employment. It allowed me to travel to foreign countries, see and enjoy different lifestyles which I enjoyed while I was there, but I was always ready to come home." He would like to be remembered as being trustworthy, dependable and a man of integrity.

 

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