WINSTED, MN In a solemn moment on the floor of the Minnesota State Senate Feb. 11, members paused to remember the three Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk pilots killed during a routine maintenance flight near St. Cloud Dec. 5, 2019.
One of those killed was Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. of Winsted. “At only 28 years old, he was outgoing, charismatic, and beloved by his family and friends a life ended far too soon. James is a hero, and his memory must not be forgotten,” noted State Senator Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson.
State Representative Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, presented a House resolution proclaiming Feb. 11, 2020, Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A Rogers Jr. Day.
“Today’s resolution ensures that James’ dedicated service and sacrifice for our state and nation does not go unnoticed,” said Gruenhagen. “It was truly an honor to present this resolution in James’ memory. The entire Rogers family remains in my thoughts and prayers.”
Gruenhagen presented the resolution the opening day of the 2020 legislative session, Feb. 11. Gruenhagen and other members of the House of Representatives spent the majority of the floor session speaking in honor of those who passed away in the helicopter crash.
Below is a transcript of the resolution that was read on the House floor:
“WHEREAS: Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. was born in Madelia, Minnesota. He graduated from St. James High School, and obtained his bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University; and
“WHEREAS: Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard as a field artillery Automated Tactical Data System specialist, was selected for Warrant Officer Candidate School, with follow-on instruction as a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot.
“WHEREAS: Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. dedicated ten years of exemplary service to the Minnesota National Guard; and
“WHEREAS: Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. served with distinction on two deployments to the Middle East with the Minnesota National Guard, from May 2011 to May 2012 in Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and from June 2018 to June 2019 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve where the unit provided aerial medical evacuation; and
“WHEREAS: Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. died tragically in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash nine minutes after take-off from St. Cloud, Minnesota, on a routine maintenance flight; and
“WHEREAS: Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. loved spending time with friends and family and could always be counted on for a practical joke, a great laugh, friendly smile or a kind word just when you needed it the most; and
“WHEREAS: Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. is survived by his parents James and Beth Rogers, sister Candis Folkens, brother-in-law Bryan Folkens, grandmother Patricia Hoffman, and 19 aunts and uncles; and
“WHEREAS: The State of Minnesota recognizes Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. for his dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice to our state and country.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I Representative Glenn Gruenhagen do hereby proclaim Tuesday, February 11, 2020 Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr. Day.”
Rep. Gruenhagen represents House District 18B, including the community of Winsted, in the Minnesota Legislature.