Humboldt residents talk about Navy captain’s accomplishments

[gtxvideo vid=”MnousTYt” playlist=”” pid=”OTSe9U1y” thumb=”” vtitle=”Navy Capt Jon Rogers”]

HUMBOLDT, Tenn. — A Navy captain from West Tennessee holds a new title after a change of command last month. Capt. Jon Rodgers of Humboldt is now the U.S.S. Makin Island’s fifth commanding officer since the ship’s commissioning six years ago. “All personality, nice kid, smart, worked hard, but everybody loved him,” former teacher Lynn Gray said. The Humboldt native is now commanding nearly 3,000 shipmates halfway around the world. “Things steer you in different directions, and here I am, and I love it to death,” Rodgers said. Rodgers took command at sea the day after Christmas. “You don’t get here without a good foundation of principles and morals,” Rodgers said. Rodgers said he learned his good character traits from his community, but former teachers said Rodgers seemed a born leader. “He was just always such a fine young man. I can’t say enough good things about him, actually,” former teacher Linda Hawks said. Hawks was Rodger’s English teacher at the end of middle school and high school. “Everybody has an issue in the classroom at some point in time, but not Jon. He always did what he was supposed to. He was every teacher’s dream,” Hawks said. Lynn and Terry Gray also were teachers of the 1981 Humboldt graduate. “We’re extremely proud of Jon. Yeah, he makes Humboldt look good,” the Grays said. Rodgers’ Babe Ruth baseball coach, Ralph Jones, said it doesn’t surprise him to see Rodgers in this role because he’s always shown leadership skills. “Jon was a great athlete. Most of all he was a quiet leader,” Jones said. “He wasn’t one that was real talkative at all, but yet the other kids respected him greatly.” Rodgers said no day at sea is routine and that the hometown support is appreciated. “It is humbling. Class of ’81 there at Humboldt had no idea I’d be commanding a ship of this size at one time.” Prior to his recent accomplishments, Rodgers received his undergraduate degree at Cornell University and studied shipbuilding processes in more than 30 domestic and foreign shipyards. Rodgers has been in the navy for 26 years. He is currently in the South China Sea headed east toward home.

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