Lewis H. Rogers Jr. is a 35-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS). He has served at 12 different posts in the National Park System, all of which were in national parks except details to the northeast region office as the Deputy Regional Director, Chief of Staff, and the Branch Chief for Law Enforcement.
He currently serves as Superintendent of Petersburg National Battlefield (NB). During his multifaceted career he has served in a number of parks with strong historical and cultural themes including Independence National Historical Park (NHP), Valley Forge NHP, and Booker T Washington National Monument (NM). Serving in these parks provided Lewis with the opportunity to witness how each grappled with the NPS challenge to tell a complete story. Each park had its own unique challenges but also challenges that were universal.
Lewis has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Parks and Recreation with a concentration in Resource Management from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. He is also a graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia where he received certifications in the Basic Law Enforcement and Basic Criminal Investigator Training Programs. Over the course of his career Lewis has worked in the disciplines of law enforcement, interpretation, wildland fire fighting, and has dabbled in structural firefighting, emergency medical services, and emergency incident management. He has served as an EEO counselor and conflict resolution counselor.
Lewis has spent eight years in the US Naval Reserves as a Sea Bee in the Construction Battalion. He was trained as a heavy equipment Operator at Port Hueneme, Californian and was later attached to Naval Reserve support unit to (NMCB23) Naval Marine Construction Battalion 23 in Roanoke Virginia and later served as Security Force at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.
Lewis is very proud of his career and where it has taken him. He started in the NPS in 1984 as a GS-3 Park Aid and rose to be a GS-14 Superintendent at Petersburg NB. He also served in a number of acting roles at Gettysburg National Military Park, Saint-Gaudens NHP and is currently acting as a GS-15 Superintendent at Shenandoah National Park. He has served as a Chief of Interpretation at Booker T. Washington NM and Valley Forge NHP. He has fought fires in Oregon, California and Wyoming.
As Superintendent at Petersburg NB, Lewis was instrumental in guiding the park through the Civil War Sesquicentennial, during which a new postage stamp was launched honoring the United States Colored Troops (USCTs) who valiantly served during the Battle of the Crater, on July 30, 1864. Lewis was also instrumental in pushing a bill through Congress that authorizes the park to increase its legislative boundary by 7,238 acres which when completed would make it the largest Civil War Battlefield park in America.
Lewis is often heard saying, “My greatest strength is the experience of having seen the agency from every possible level.” One of his greatest challenges is working to make “African American history” simply “American history.” He believes that these stories must be told as part of basic public history and not an add-on. In his lifetime, he has seen African Americans struggle with what to call themselves. They have been called Colored, Afro-American, Black American and African American. He feels that
Benjamin O Davis Jr. summed up his feeling best in a book titled “An American.” African Americans have fought and died in almost every war this nation has entered – “We have earned the right to simply be called an American”.
Lewis Currently lives in Ashland, Virginia with his wife, daughter and one son who lives nearby.
(Biography provided by Shenandoah National Park and Acting Superintendent Lewis Rogers)