Lt. Col. John Rockland “Rocky” Rhodes is the Battalion Commander of the United States Army New York City Recruiting Battalion, United States Army 1st Recruiting Brigade; one of the largest recruiting Battalions in the United States Army Recruiting Command. The New York City Recruiting Battalion covers over 1,700 miles and a population base of over 10 million people; with 34 recruiting stations within the 5 boroughs of New York City, and the counties of Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk Long Island –to include the iconic career service center in Times Square located in the heart of Manhattan, New York.
Prior to his arrival to the Empire Battalion, Rhodes commanded 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment at Joint Base Lewis- McChord, Washington, where he deployed with 2-2 SBCT to take part in NTC 21-09 and as part of the first Stryker rotational force in Korea. Earlier, he served with U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) as the Chief of Staff for the Enterprise Information Technology as a Service pilot program, the G31 Division Chief, and the Deputy Executive Officer to the Commanding General. As a Major, he was a squadron operations and executive officer in 2d Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, TX. He deployed with Sabre Squadron to Afghanistan in support of Operation Resolute Support and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Before his deployment, LTC Rhodes was an assistant professor at the United States Military Academy, where he taught military history and served on the Historical and Memorialization Committee.
Rhodes commanded a company at the Infantry Officer Basic Course in Fort Benning, GA, where he trained newly commissioned infantry lieutenants. For the first six years of his career, Rhodes was assigned to 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, HI. He served in the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. He remained in the battalion during its transformation to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team and again deployed with the “Golden Dragons” to Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09 as a company commander.
Rhodes graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2003 (Knox Trophy recipient). He holds a Doctorate and Masters of Art in History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His military education includes the ILE Advanced Operation Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate and Pershing Award recipient), ILE Common Core Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate), Maneuver Captains Career Course, Ranger Course, Infantry Mortar Leader Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate), Infantry Officer Basic Course, Sapper Leader Course, and Airborne School.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (6), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3), Valorous Unit Award (2), Meritorious Unit Award (2), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (4), NATO Medal, Ranger Tab, Sapper Tab, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge.