“My Ass Was Not Worth More Than Theirs”: Combat Leadership in Vietnam

Jack Rogers


Jack Rogers was born in Berkeley, California, while his father was deployed during World War II. He grew up as a “military brat,” living around the world while his father served as an Air Defense Officer. He returned to Berkeley for college and commissioned from ROTC as an Infantry Lieutenant. During the summer of 1967, he deployed to Vietnam with orders for the 101st Airborne Division, and was assigned to 3rd Platoon, A Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry. Following his training in the United States, he felt at home in his platoon. As a leader, he never ordered his Soldiers to do something he would not do. Returning from Vietnam, he served as an instructor at the Mountain Ranger Camp before attending Medical School. He became a Pediatrician, serving the remainder of his Army career as a doctor before retiring and entering private practice. In this interview, he talks about his childhood, attending Berkeley during the 60’s, and leading his platoon. He discusses his leadership style, and lessons he learned in Vietnam. Finally, he describes his experiences as a doctor, the importance of reunions, and what his service means to him.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Leadership Camaraderie Character Courage Life After Military Wartime Decisions Teamwork Patriotism Military Medicine
interviewer David Siry
date 17 August 2018


name Jack Rogers
institution UC Berkeley
graduation year 1966
service Infantry / Medical
unit 3rd Platoon, A Company, 2-502, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
specialty Pediatrician
service dates 1966 1986