We often hear about the Australian Defence Force being referred to as ‘a big family’, but for three engineering sailors the Navy really is an extension of their own family.
Lieutenant Chris Rodgers, his son Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Scott Rodgers and Scott’s wife Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Nicole Rodgers have amassed more than 70 years service between them.
Currently all posted to HMAS Stirling, the Rodgers are the ultimate in Navy families.
“Even before I joined up, there was already a family tradition of naval service,” LEUT Rodgers said.
“My father, my uncle and a cousin were all in the Navy, so it seemed a natural progression for me to join up as well.”
Given that family link, the progression of Scott into the Navy was also natural.
“After finishing high school I went to Curtin University and studied Politics and Geography, but it was always in the back of my mind that I would join the Navy,” he said.
Early on in his naval career, Scott met Nicole on a leading seaman course, they were married soon after and from there one thing led to another.
“I recently returned from maternity leave,” Nicole said.
“We have a lovely little daughter, Erin, who is 14 months old.
“Juggling motherhood with my job can be challenging at times, but the Navy is very supportive and my workplace is very understanding.”
LEUT Rodgers said there had been many memorable moments in his extensive career but there was no doubt as to which stood out as the highlight.
“It would have to be when I joined Scott on HMAS Perth last year for the International Fleet Review,” he said.
“Being at sea with my son was a special event and it’s hard to top that.”
And as for whether Nicole and Scott’s daughter will eventually join up?
“We’ll have to see about that,” Nicole said.