Above: LtCol USMC (Ret) Freddie Blish (Left) and CWO2(Ret) USMC Pat Rogers (Right)
Editor’s note: I “met” Pat Rogers in November 2014, a few months after coming on board with ROBAR. I received a message on Facebook from Pat which said, “I was not sure who you are, but Freddie says you are GTG. Howdy!” From that point forward he was a real friend and encourager. He did relish saying “I don’t really like people,” and yet he was uniquely kind and affable. He called me “T” and once said, “Spunky is how I think of you.” He frequently would give me advice which he claimed was from the Book of Pat. Though I did have Pat on my show for the Veteran’s Day Special 2014, I never met Pat in person. Pat Rogers touched my life with his kindness and humor and I will truly miss him. Tami Jackson
May 4th 2016 will forever be etched in my memory for the day that my friend, mentor, and brother warrior, CWO2 Pat Rogers, USMCR(Ret) passed away.
My phone began ringing shortly after 0700 PST and continued for the entire day. When I wasn’t receiving calls, I was notifying mutual friends, lovingly known as “Friends of Pat.”
Pat frequently claimed that he didn’t like people and preferred the company of animals, preferably dogs and in particular Rotties. However, within the firearms training community Pat had numerous friends – military, LE, and civilian alike. He was extremely beloved by all of those that trained with him, except maybe for those that made his “NFE” list.
We appreciated the depth of knowledge that he taught on the subject of fighting with firearms, as well as on life. Pat was more than instructor, he was a teacher – nay – a Professor on those subjects. Jeff Cooper considered Pat one of the top five Masters at teaching others how to fight with firearms. Pat had the unique ability to critique a student’s failure in a way that was not only humorous to everyone in the class, but to the student as well, so that everyone learned. However, I must have been a bad student, because it took me six classes to finally earn the coveted “MooseCock” award.
I met Pat through Col Bob Young, USMC(Ret). Col Young was charged in 1988 by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, then General Al Gray, USMC with converting the Marine Corps’ old Barracks and Sea Duty Battalions to the Marine Corps Security Forces, which meant that it wasn’t just a name change, but a change in training and mindset. Col Young and several other Marines attended numerous shooting schools around the country and found that the curriculum taught at Gunsite was the most relevant. Col Young became the VP for Operations at Gunsite and I met him when I attended a Gunsite 250C course taught by Jeff Cooper in July 2001. We became friends due to our being Marines, as well as having served in the Marine Corps Security Forces.
After 9/11, I was the Operations Officer for a unit that was training up for what was to become Operation Iraqi Freedom. I called Col Young and told him we needed to get some Staff NCOs up to Gunsite for a “train the trainer” class on handgun, carbine, and shotgun. His response was, “No problem, I’ll get Pat Rogers to instruct them.” Pat did just that! After we returned from OIF I and started work up training for subsequent deployments, I knew that I needed to attend a Gunsite 223 Carbine class and the RangeMaster had to be Pat.
Having qualified Expert as a Marine with the M16A2 over 10 times, I thought I knew most everything there was about manipulating a carbine. Pat smacked me aside the head with a heavy dose of reality. He even pulled my head from my arse regarding combat optics on carbines, especially Aimpoint sights. Armed with the knowledge taught by Pat, we began implementing sweeping changes in how we trained to fight with carbines, as well as equip our Marines. I returned for a 556 Carbine Class at Gunsite the following year knowing that it would be Pat’s last class there. As with all things “Pat” – it proved to be epic!
Later as a Commanding Officer I brought Pat back several times to train my Marines prior to deployment. His influence was demonstrated one day when I overheard several NCOs discussing how they would solve a tactical problem. One them quickly asked, “What would Pat do?” I called Pat and told him. He was “tickled” as he liked to say, because he was helping Marines Kill Bad Guys like Champions!
Pat had a genius for helping connect individuals in the warfighting community with worthy industry professionals, new and experienced alike. There are too many companies to name that owe their success to Pat’s blessings. He had a knack for identifying great young warfighters, as well as sharp young companies/products, and helping them succeed. His After Action Reviews drew the ire of many companies that manufactured sub-par products, but he never compromised his ethics because of his love for the warfighters. If a product performed, he wrote about it, if it sucked he said so. In both cases, he backed it up with quantifiable information as to why. Something our industry needs to see more and we need only to look to what Pat did as our example.
Little did I know that the Gunsite 223 Carbine class that I took with Pat, in April 2004, would begin a 12 year friendship, mentorship, and brotherhood. Much of my success in the firearms industry, to include being a Gunsite Instructor, I owe to CWO2 Pat Rogers, USMC(Ret). This is not only true for me, but for so many others in the firearms industry. We are diminished as a nation, as warfighters, and as a firearms industry, especially the tactical side, by Pat’s passing. There are no words to express my sorrow.
In closing, Pat lived and taught the Marine Corps’ mindset, “Do unto others before they do it to you.” Or as Pat said, “See the Mother F’r, shoot the Mother F’r. Quit thinking about it.” I am convinced that when he reported for duty to guard Heaven’s Streets, St Michael assigned him to training God’s Angels on how to fight. I am also certain that they have never heard such colorful language with such a thick New York Irish accent, nor have they ever laughed so hard while being humiliated by a “warrior sized” Chief Warrant Officer of Marines.
Pat, my brother, Bravo Zulu. Until Valhalla!
ROBAR Companies, Inc
Here are three must watch videos about Pat Rogers:
Panteao Productions Tribute Video
Pat Rogers Uptown Girl Video
Pat Rogers Pro-Tip: Load Procedures aka How to Earn a MooseCock
Patrick Rogers Biography compliments of Bravo Company USA:
Pat was born in Brooklyn NY in 1946.
He has worked shining shoes; delivering newspapers; pumping gas; working on a ride in Coney Island; driving a taxi; a sport parachute instructor, a photographer, and for an airline company that serviced the Far East.
He served in the active and reserve components as a United States Marine starting in 1963.
He served in the former Republic of Vietnam with 3rd Marine Division.
He was an 1811 Tank Crewman; 0311 Rifleman; 0369 Infantry Unit Leader; 8531 Primary Marksmanship Instructor; 8662 Parachutist; 5702 NBC Specialist; 5702 NBC Officer.
He served for 5 years in the Foreign Material Acquisition Exploitation Unit, and finished as Chief Warrant Officer 2.
He was a NYC Correction Officer; a NYC Police Officer, serving in Patrol; Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit; Anti-Crime; investigator in Manhattan Robbery Squad, Central Robbery Division.
As a Sgt he served in Patrol; Anti-Crime; in the Chief of Detectives Office; as a supervisor in the Technical Assistance Response Unit, and as a Hostage Negotiator.
He was decorated 54 times, to include the Medal of Valor.
He worked as an IC with the Counter Terrorism Center of OGA.
He was an SME evaluating the DOS Anti-Terrorist Assistance Program.
He was a Rangemaster at Gunsite for 12 years.
He been the principal at EAG since 1989.
He was the 464th person in the US to accrue 1000 Free Fall Parachute Jumps (USPA Gold Wings #464), the 203rd to accrue over 2000 Free Fall Parachute Jumps (USPA Diamond Wings #203) and the 131st person in the US to accrue over 12 hours in freefall (USPA Gold Free Fall Badge # 131)
He is an NRA High Master Rifle, and CMP Distinguished Rifleman.