Baritone Saxophone ~ Tenor Saxophone
Master Chief Musician James Rodak is a native of Orlando, Florida, where he graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1975. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from Valencia Community College in 1977 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from the University of Central Florida in 1980.
MUCM Rodak was a participant in the First International Solo Saxophone Competition in Gap, France in 1978. After college, he taught music at Liberty Junior High School in Orlando, before joining the faculty of the University of Central Florida as jazz instructor in 1981.
MUCM Rodak enlisted in the Navy in 1983. Upon completion of recruit training at RTC, Great Lakes, Illinois, he was assigned to Musician “A” School and graduated first in his class from the Navy School of Music. His first tour of duty was with Navy Band Great Lakes in Illinois, where he was a saxophonist/clarinetist in marching and ceremonial units, as well as instrumentalist, vocalist, and arranger in the jazz ensemble and contemporary entertainment ensemble.
In 1985, MUCM Rodak auditioned and was selected for duty with the Naval Academy Band. He has performed as alto saxophonist in the wind ensemble, marching band, “Next Wave” jazz ensemble, saxophone quartet, and ceremonial units and currently serves as baritone saxophonist in the wind ensemble and tenor saxophonist in the Next Wave jazz ensemble. He has also served as narrator for wind ensemble performances as well as for several Army-Navy football half-time shows featuring the band with the Midshipmen Drum and Bugle Corps. Additionally he is currently the coordinator for USNA’s Senior Enlisted of the Quarter/Year program, and since 2008, has led Career Development Boards for Sailors (E-1 through E-6) stationed at the Naval Academy.
MUCM Rodak has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2 awards), Navy Good Conduct (8 awards), National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Navy Expert Pistol Shot.