A Tribute to General F. Michael Rogers

General Rogers (July 6, 1921 – April 23, 2014) was recently remembered by family and friends at a gathering in Montecito, CA. His memory was honored with a flyover. And a spectacular shadow box (right) created by the Foundation's Adam Lewis highlighted the General's achievements.

Tribute to General Rogers
A Shadowbox tribute to General Rogers crafted by Adam Lewis

Flyover tribute honoring General Rogers Flyover tribute honoring General Rogers

General Rogers was one of the few who started his military career as a private and rose to 4 star rank while on active duty. He enlisted as a private in April 1942, became an aviation cadet in August 1942, and completed pilot training and received a commission as a second lieutenant at Yuma, Arizona in 1943. During World War II, Rogers served as a P-39 Airacobra pilot with the 345th Fighter Group, 353rd Fighter Squadron at Hamilton Field, California He moved with the squadron to the European Theater of Operations, flew P-51 Mustang aircraft and became squadron commander. He is a fighter ace, credited with 12 enemy aircraft while flying from bases in England, Italy and France.
He returned to the United States in January 1945 and was assigned to flying duties in fighter aircraft until November 1945 when he became commandant of troops at Hunter Field, Georgia. Between September 1946 and June 1947, he served as flight commander, operations officer, and commander of the 77th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Group, at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. He next was a student at the University of Virginia under the Air Force Institute of Technology program from July 1947 to August 1949. In August 1949 Rogers was transferred to Headquarters United States Air Force as an intelligence staff officer in the Directorate of Intelligence. He attended the language course at Lacaze Academy in Washington D.C., from October 1952 to June 1953, in preparation for attach duties.

He received a bachelor of science degree in military science from the University of Maryland in 1952. Rogers served as assistant air attach in Madrid, Spain from June 1953 to February 1957. He then returned to Headquarters United States Air Force as chief of the Current Intelligence Branch in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations. In 1958 he was transferred to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as director of current intelligence, J-2, and in August 1960 entered the National War College. In July 1961 he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense with duty station at the State Department.

Rogers served as secretary of the Air Force Council in the Office of the Vice Chief of Staff from May 1962 until February 1963, and then as director of the secretariat, Air Force Council Designated Systems Management Group, Air Staff Board. He was assigned to Air Force Systems Command as assistant deputy chief of staff, development plans in September 1966, and became deputy chief of staff, development plans in August 1968. Rogers served as senior member, United Nations Command, Military Armistice Commission, Korea, from July 1970 to August 1971. He assumed the position of deputy chief of staff for technical training at Air Training Command Headquarters in August 1971. He became vice commander of Air Training Command in November 1972. In November 1973 Rogers was appointed commander of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. In this position, he directed the professional military education programs for both officers and noncommissioned officers to meet the requirements of the Air Force. He became commander of the Air Force Logistics Command in August 1975. He was awarded the 4th star on September 1, 1975. General Rogers retired in February, 1978 after 38 years of active duty.
General Rogers moved to the Santa Barbara area in the late 1980's. A recent illness took him back to Walter Reed Hospital for treatment where he died after a brief illness.  He served for many years on the Advisory Board with the Foundation and was a popular fellow at many of the events.  His wit, story-telling, critique of modern decisions, and all around character were admired.