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James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

Office of Warrior Care Policy

Career Roadmap

James's work combines: Armed Services, Government, and Accomplishing Goals

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Day In The Life

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

I am responsible for policy oversight at the Department of Defense's Wounded Warrior programs.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Political Science and Government, General

    University of Maryland-University College

  • Graduate Degree

    International Business/Trade/Commerce

    George Mason University

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Social and Community Service Managers:

High School

Bachelor's Degree: Political Science and Government, General

Graduate Degree: International Business/Trade/Commerce

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life took a while to figure out

  • 1.

    I come from very humble beginnings; I worked from a very young age so I could be self-sufficient.

  • 2.

    I was an athlete all throughout my childhood, and that drive certainly helped to pave my path.

  • 3.

    I joined the Marine Corps because, as we all know, it's the best service in the world.

  • 4.

    While I was serving on active duty, I simultaneously attained an undergraduate degree.

  • 5.

    After I left active duty, I used my G.I. Bill to complete my master's degree.

  • 6.

    I chose to remain enlisted so that I could pursue appointments reserved for military officers.

  • 7.

    I continued to take professional development courses at Georgetown University and Babson College.

  • 8.

    I've also participated in several presidential workshops; I deeply believe in life-long education.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Society in general:

    How typical of you to fail a class. You'll never be successful.

  • How I responded:

    When I was in high school, in order to be eligible to play football, you had to pass all of your classes. I slipped up and failed a class, and my coaches were irate with me. They basically told me, "You were doomed to fail; don't bother coming back." That gave me the motivation to not only start acing all of my classes, but also to work to become the best football player on the field. The following year, I was an All-South Texas first-team starter. That drive to excel continues to fuel me today.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • I'm a Mexican-American from a small town in Texas who grew up in the projects, sometimes without food to eat. That humble background certainly gave me the drive to start working from a young age, and to later join the military.

  • I wasn't only just the first in my family to graduate from college; I was the first in my family to graduate from high school! But my actions changed that tradition and began a new legacy; both of my daughters are currently enrolled in universities.