Rodgaard has over 41 years with the naval service of the United States
including 12 years as a petty officer and 29 years of commissioned
service as a naval intelligence officer.
He had several active duty tours as a reservist including two years in the Mediterranean on the destroyer escort, USS Courtney, DE-1021. He has also served on navy and joint intelligence tours with Submarine Group 8, Carrier Group 4, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the J2 Defense Intelligence Agency, Commander Submarines Mediterranean, the US European Command and the Navy Staff. Captain Rodgaard completed four years of active service with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency as a senior collection officer and strategist.
As a civilian, Captain Rodgaard has been employed as a contract intelligence analyst with the National Reconnaissance Office, the Central Intelligence Agency, the United States Air Force U-2 Programme and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
He is a published author and a contributor to several television programmes in the Discovery Channel’s Unsolved History series and the Public Broadcasting Service’s (PBS) NOVA Science Show, “Killer Submarines of Pearl Harbor”. He was the US Naval Institute’s Author of the Year 2000 and is a frequent contributor to the Institute’s Naval History Magazine. He co-authored the only biography of Commodore Charles Stewart, USN the most successful fighting captain of the USS Constitution. In 2018 The Naval Institute Press will publish his next book, Yankees in Nelson’s Navy. The story of those North Americans who served in the Royal Navy between 1793 and 1837.
Captain Rodgaard holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science, a Masters in Political Science, and is a graduate of the United States Naval War College. He is married to Judith Pearson, PhD from Kansas City, Missouri. Captain Rodgaard took over as lead author when his good friend, Bob Moore, the former CO of TS Venomous and the author and publisher of the first edition, died in 2007.
Captain Rodgaard's Mother is from Kings Lynn and he has cousins living in the town. He presented a copy of the previous edition of A Hard Fought Ship to the Sea Cadets of Kings Lynn at TS Vancouver which is named after the discoverer of Vancouver Island who was born at Kings Lynn. HMS Vancouver, a V & W Class destroyer, was renamed HMS Vimy to honour those who died at Vimy, France, in World War 1. Seven years later on the 16 May 2017 he presented a copy of the new hardback edition to the Sea Cadets of TS Vancouver.
John A Rodgaard USN (Ret) presenting a copy of the previous edition to TS Vancouver in Kings Lynn in 2010
From left PO Brian Wratten, OIC TS Vancouver, Ms. Lorraine Werendel (cousin of the author), Capt John Rodgaard USN and PO Cadet Jade Chasney
Right: Presenting the new 480 page hardback edition to PO Sean Moore of TS Vancouver on Tuesday 16 May 2017
Book launch at the Royal College of Defence Studies in Belgrave Square, London
John Rodgaard flew to London from Washington for the launch of the new hardback edition of A Hard Fought Ship
at the Royal College of Defence Studies in Belgrave Square on the 9th May 2017. The Deputy
Commandant, Rear Admiral John Kingwell RN, proof checked the first
edition for Bob Moore in 1990 while helping out at TS Venomous in
Loughborough. The guests at the launch generously donated £183 to the funds of TS Venomous which has not fully recovered from the disastrous fire which destroyed their premises in 2012. The launch was a huge success as can be seen from the photographs taken at the event in this prestigous location in central London.
A Hard Fought Ship is "launched" in the USA
John Rodgaard booked the cinema for the launch and
invited friends and colleagues from the USN to the launch - see below. Venomous
made five trips to Dunkirk and brought back 4,100 troops and Generals
Alexander and Percival. Some of those men tell their own stories in the
chapter on Dunkirk in A Hard Fought Ship. And Private George Wilson of the Green Howards is still alive at the age of 96.
The book launch for the new hardback edition of A Hard Fought Ship in the USA was held at a private showing of the film Dunkirk
on the 13 August 2017 at a cinema in Arlington across the Potomac river
2010 when the previous edition was published Capt John Rodgaard USN
spoke at conferences and meetings around Britain including a meeting
of the South West Maritime
History Society, Bristol; the Society for Nautical Research Centenary
Conference, Glasgow; Loughborough Town Hall, Leicestershire, Training
Ship Vancouver, King’s Lynn, and the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth.
If you live in the USA you can buy signed copies of the hardback edition (2017) from the author
Or order unsigned copies online from Amazon.com
The new edition of A Hard Fought ship was launched at the Royal College of Defence Studies, London, on 9 May 2017