By Skip Vaughn, USAG RedstoneSeptember 27, 2010
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Shortly after assuming responsibility as the new commander of the Aviation and Missile Command and Redstone Arsenal, Maj. Gen. Jim Rogers became commander of the Aviation and Missile Command and Redstone Arsenal agreed to an interview with the Redstone Rocket on Sept. 14. He was asked seven questions. Here are his answers.
Question 1: What is your message to the Team Redstone work force'
Rogers: "I think it's the same message - or very similar message - General Myles had which was we're basically here to support the war fighter. And we've got to be effective but we've also got to be efficient. We've got a big year coming up with BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) and everything - everybody moving in. Our goal is to make it as smooth as possible with all the partners. When you think about it, we've got NASA, AMC, SMDC ... If you look at all the major tenants that we have here, and even some of the minor ones we have here, they're all part of the team. And the community is very active. They all work together. That's part of what makes Team Redstone so powerful."
Question 2: What have you learned thus far as the commander of AMCOM and Redstone Arsenal'
Rogers: "I've been on the job for four days and I've learned that I have a lot to learn; that's step one (laugh). I've learned there are probably a lot of people in the community who don't know who we touch throughout the world. We've got to do a better job of communicating (that worldwide impact). It's just amazing what's going on here."
Question 3: What are your goals as the commander'
Rogers: "Obviously the first one is to keep supporting the war fighter as well as we have been. Try to improve on it. And the other one is to make sure we take care of the work force. And make sure we have a path to the future of all the things that are inherent here in the life cycle management command, beyond what we're going to do in the next couple of years."
Question 4: What are your priorities'
Rogers: "Readiness is No. 1. Work force. And education. And then effective and efficient operations. Now when you bring it down to here where we're at, Team Redstone, it's the roads, improving the infrastructure, education and health care. Those are the big four that we've got to continue to improve on as we bring more people here. And it not only benefits us, it benefits the community outside of Redstone. So it's a win-win."
Question 5: Describe your leadership style.
Rogers: "I guess it's ensuring that people do and empowering them to do what their mission is, what their job is. I'm not a big believer that I should be there to make every decision. Empower the people in the organization. I feel very comfortable just seeing the scope that people have been working here. That style should work very well here. We just have some unbelievable people here (laugh). It's great."
Question 6: What would people be surprised to learn about you'
Rogers: "Probably as a senior officer having young kids and all the things that go along with that. From going to the football game tonight to going to the middle school to taking time to go to the parent-teacher conferences (laugh).
"My wife, Reba - perpetually young - and I have a son Jeff, 20, he's a junior at Auburn majoring in mechanical engineering; son Tom, 17, he's at New Century Technology High School and he's an 11th-grader. And then we have twins, boy-girl twins, Matt and Jessi, and they're 13 and they're in eighth-grade at Mountain Gap Middle School. Big in the band."
Question 7: Who will have the better football season - Auburn or Alabama'
Rogers: "Well, I hate to say it: I think Alabama is going to go all the way. But I'm an Auburn fan. I'm both (laugh). I mean this is challenging. And I went to Michigan for graduate school. They're hanging in there. I think they'll both have great seasons. They're doing well. (Laugh) I'm trying not to commit but my money goes to Auburn."