They Lead

Video: How One Man Dedicates His Faith And Football To Serving His Country

Mackenzie Meaney

Dominique Rogers grew up with beliefs deeply rooted in faith.

The foundations of the Christian beliefs and the instillment of wanting to serve the people around him became the driving force for Rogers to join the Coast Guard Academy.

“I felt that to serve your country is one of the top things you can do serving-wise because you’re serving other people,” Rogers said. “Just like Jesus served us.”

But, prior to serving, Rogers had a different passion — football.

Prior to joining the Coast Guard, Rogers was an NAIA All-American at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill. After graduation, Rogers was invited to a rookie training camp of the Minnesota Vikings, but he ultimately did not land a spot on the roster.

“I got the satisfaction that I needed to show that I was an NFL caliber player,” Rogers said. “I’m just as fast as the guy who’s from Arkansas.”

Rogers ultimately enlisted in 2016 and now holds the rank of Yeoman Third Petty Officer, and even stated that football served as the foundation of how he responds to situations — how he rolls with the punches but continues to stay positive. Because in football, according to Rogers, nothing will always go your way.

“You might break and get a 14-yard run and it’s called back,” Rogers said. “How do you respond? Are you gonna make an excuse? Are you gonna get the job done?”

Now, Rogers helps coach the Coast Guard’s football team as a defensive assistant. Rogers’ largest goal that he hopes to instill in the team is to work together for the betterment of the entire unit, something he learned in real life from serving.

“You can’t get the job done all by yourself,” Rogers said. “You have to rely on someone else to help you.”

In addition to coaching, Rogers had the opportunity to work with the Philadelphia Eagles as an intern in 2021 and learned a lot about football in that time that he has carried to his own team. Some of those lessons included the importance of being active in your community, inspiring change, and using the influence you have — professional athlete or not — to make a difference.

“There is so much power that they don’t even know,” Geoff said. “They have the power to keep kids’ dreams alive. They have the power to restore communities. They have the power to stop violence. I want them to maximize themselves even at the highest level.”