UNC Charlotte Graduate and Sherrills Ford Native Assumes Command of US Navy Warship


The US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG-59) just held a change of command ceremony at the San Diego Naval Base. Cmdr. Matthew W. Foster turned over the role of commanding officer to North Carolina’s Commander Ryan K. Rogers.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve with the Sailors and Officers aboard Russell, and I am extremely humbled and proud of their accomplishments,” said Foster. “This has been my most rewarding tour. I am confident Commander Rogers will continue the valued traditions and operational excellence of USS Russell.”

A native of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, Commander Rogers graduated from North Carolina State University in 2001 and received his Navy commission through the NROTC program. He later earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Since joining the Navy, Rogers has been awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and Craftmaster badge.

Rogers assumed command of Russell in accordance with the Navy’s Fleet-up Program after serving as Russell’s executive officer.

“It is a great honor to have the opportunity to lead the outstanding Officers and Crew of Russell,” said Rogers.

Commissioned in 1995, Russell is named for Rear Adm. John Henry Russell and his son, Commandant of the Marine Corps John Henry Russell, Jr. Assigned to Destroyer Squadron 23, Russell is homeported in San Diego.