|Elections 2012: HD45: Rogers Picks Up Petition to Challenge Maggart|
|Sunday, February 26, 2012|
By Jesse Hughes
Retired Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers of Goodlettsville picked up her petition Friday to seek the Republican Primary nomination for House District 45. The seat is currently held by Rep. Debra Maggart who has filed her petition for the Aug. 2 state primary.
Rogers lived in HD45 even before the recent legislative redistricting. The newly drawn district lines add the rest of Goodlettsville in Sumner County and then swings up the western side of the county through Millersville and White House. The newly added areas are totally untested turf for Maggart who has not had a primary challenge since winning a seven-way open-seat Republican primary in 2004, according to election results at the Secretary of State’s Office.
“I did pick up a petition for State Representative of the 45th District,” Rogers confirmed Sunday. “I want to offer people a choice. Right now I am trying to qualify and I am trying to build a team. It’s early in the process.” Rogers spoke of the importance of unity and restoring values.
Rogers retired in 2008 after 28 years of active Air Force and Air National Guard duty. Her father, Ralph Marion Dryden Jr, served as a helicopter pilot of Marine 1 for three presidents, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. Marine Major Dryden was killed in action in the Republic of Vietnam 28 July 1968 at the height of the war’s worst fighting following the Tet Offensive that led President Johnson to decide not to seek reelection.
Rogers was graduated from the University of Southern California in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations and a Certificate in Soviet Studies during the Cold War. She then served in the Strategic Air Command as an Air Force Intelligence Officer.
After a rotation tour of duty in Korea with an A-10 Warthog (Tankbuster) unit, she returned to SAC as a nuclear advisor (AKA targeteer) for the Looking Glass mission. During the Cold War, Looking Glass kept four-star generals with National Command Authority aloft around the clock for authorization to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike and coordinate national defense under the strategic triad as part of the Mutually Assured Doctrine to prevent a first-strike nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.
In 1989-1990, Rogers was the boots-on-the-ground targeting officer during the Invasion of Panama for Operation Just Cause and the follow-on Hunt for Noriega when Special Operations, Special Forces, and conventional forces tracked down the renegade drug-dealing president and brought him to justice. For her outstanding service there and elsewhere in Central and South America as part of counter-narcotics operations, she was named the U.S. Air Force Targeting Officer of the Year in 1990. Her last active duty assignment was at the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific. During the invasion build-up phase in Operation Desert Shield, she helped develop the first targeting cell in the region for Operation Desert Storm that liberated Kuwait from invading Iraqi forces controlled by Saddam Hussein in early 1991.
She and husband Mike both left active duty after the birth of their first daughter, Eryn. The then Major Rogers joined the Tennessee Air National Guard and was assigned to be Operations Officer for the 118th Aerial Port Squadron at Berry ANG Base, the military portion of the tri-use commercial, general, and military aviation complex at Berry Nashville Airport (BNA). She became the Aerial Port’s Commander before her final assignment as Inspector General of the 118th Airlift Wing.
Along their journey through life, the Rogers had another daughter, Kellen, and adopted son Michael who was born in Kazakhstan in Central Asia. Central Asia was one of many regions around the globe in which the 118th AW operated its C-130 Hercules fleet and provided training and assistance to key and critical allies. Central Asia includes former Soviet-controlled countries north of Afghanistan.
In the civilian world, Rogers served a stint for six years as communications manager for Bridgestone/Firestone Commercial Marketing. Since retiring from the military at the rank of Lt. Colonel, she has been a frequent motivational speaker at patriotic events and rallies throughout Middle Tennessee and beyond at which she stresses constitutional principles and Biblical foundations.
Rogers was in the 2011 Class of Leadership Middle Tennessee. She is named in House Joint Resolution 501, sponsored by Rep. Josh Evans (R-Greenbrier) with Reps. McDonald and Maggart listed among co-sponsors, which recognized and commended LMT and the Class of 2011 for its laudable service to the people of Tennessee.
LMT, established in 1999, serves the 10-county area of Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties. As part of the LMT program for the Class of 2011, Rogers was co-chair for “Sports & Leisure & Tourism” for Sumner County.
Retired Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers of Goodlettsville