The Kansas National Guard will add two new names to the ranks of honored noncommissioned officers Sunday, April 29, as officials for the Noncommissioned Officer Hall of Fame host an induction ceremony at the Kansas Regional Training Institute, Building 365, 2929 Scanlan Ave., Salina, Kan. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. The public is welcome to attend.
This year’s inductees will be retired 1st Sgt. Harvey Rogers, Iola, Kan., and Sgt. 1st Class Edna Mae Cogswell, Vermillion, Kan.
This is the third year of the Noncommissioned Officer Hall of Fame. Past Hall of Fame inductees include soldiers who gave the greatest sacrifice in the line-of-duty while deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Retired 1st Sgt. Harvey Rogers
Retired 1st Sgt. Harvey Rogers’s military career started Dec. 18, 1953, when he enlisted in the U. S. Army as a private. After completing basic training, he was assigned as a cook with the Seoul Military Police 8096th in Korea and was promoted to the rank of private first class.
He returned to the United States and was assigned to the 6023 Service Unit Company at Fort Ord, Calif. He was honorably discharged from the active Army Oct. 26, 1955, and assigned to the Army Reserve Kansas Military District. He was a member of the Army Reserve until he enlisted in the Kansas Army National Guard Sept. 24, 1956, and was assigned to the mess section of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 195th Field Artillery Group in Iola, Kan.
He was a member of the Iola unit until Sept. 23, 1965, achieving the rank of staff sergeant and the position of mess sergeant for the Iola unit. He re-enlisted in the Kansas National Guard on Sept. 16, 1972, in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 137th Infantry and was promoted to the rank of first sergeant, where he remained until his retirement on Sept. 15, 1985.
Rogers is believed to be the first African American to be promoted to the rank of first sergeant in the Kansas Army National Guard, and also may be the first African American enlisted in the Kansas National Guard.
Rogers achieved all of his military duties on a part-time status. While he was a member of the Guard he was also very active in his civilian jobs. He worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad for eight years, and for the U.S. Postal Service, retiring after more than 32 years. He was also owner of Rogers Electric Heating and Air, where he achieved the rating of master electrician.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Edna Mae Cogswell
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Edna Mae Cogswell enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 18 Sept. 9, 1955. During her service in the Marines, she completed the USMC Recruiter Course and was promoted to sergeant on May 1, 1958.
Cogswell re-enlisted on Sept. 9, 1958 and was assigned to Recruiter Station in Omaha, Neb. While stationed in Nebraska she completed the Women’s Noncommissioned Officer Leadership School.
On Sept. 9, 1962, she re-enlisted and was assigned to Woman Marine Company at Camp LeJeune, N.C. She completed the two-month Personnel Administration School. She was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps Jan. 11, 1964, with more than eight years of service.
In September 1967, Cogswell went to work for the Social Security Administration. She went from clerk typist to assistant processing module manager.
Cogswell enlisted in the 169th Support Battalion, Kansas Army National Guard, July 23, 1973. She was assigned to Company C, 169th Support Battalion, where her duties consisted of ration breakdown, issuing supplies and doing the appropriate paper work. She was also put in charge of the female barracks.
Cogswell was transferred to Headquarters Company, 169th Support Battalion. She was sent to Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., to attend the Personnel Senior Sergeant Course. During this period, she also attended the Noncommissioned Officer Leadership School at Fort Riley, Kan.
In July 1976, she was promoted to sergeant first class. In August 1976, she was transferred to Company B (Medical), 169th Support Battalion to fill the position of first sergeant. The unit was 20 percent female. Cogswell continued to be responsible for the women's barracks at annual training from 1974 to 1985.
Cogswell left the Social Security Administration in July 1982. Upon leaving the SSA and while still serving in the Kansas Army National Guard, she entered the Ursuline Sisters Convent at Paola, Kan. While a Ursuline nun, she was assigned to St. John's Catholic Church in Bartlesville, Okla. Here she managed the finance department to assist the poor and did some religious teaching. She also was a volunteer for Elder Care, where she performed various chores to keep the elderly in their homes.
Cogswell served in the Army National Guard until July 22, 1985, after completing more than 20 years of military service. She was the first non-nurse female to retire from the Kansas Army National Guard.
In 1997, she resigned from the convent, but continued to work for the Catholic church, helping the poor in Oklahoma. For most of this time, Cogswell was a single mother, helping her daughter, Joy, complete her LPN courses. While Joy was in nursing school, Cogswell cared for her grandson, Michael. With her mentoring, Michael earned his Eagle Scout Award. Cogswell and her family returned to their home in Vermillion, Kan., and Michael enrolled at Centralia High School.
Cogswell’s military awards include the U.S. Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, second award with a star, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Achievement Commendation, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Noncommissioned Officer ribbon, fourth award and Kansas Army National Guard Service Medal.
Cogswell is a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 257, Woman Marine Association, Marine Corps League and Women's Military Service Memorial.