Roger F. Brown was born in Front Royal, Virginia, on July 16, 1946. He graduated from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1968 with a Regular Army appointment, detailed as an Armor officer. From 1969 to 1971 he served in Germany as a cavalry platoon leader and then communications officer in the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry, followed by assignments as shop officer and Commander of D Company, 19th Maintenance Battalion, providing direct support to the 14th Cavalry.
Brown next served in Vietnam from 1971 to 1972 as assistant battalion materiel officer, first with the 79th Maintenance Battalion and then with the 266th Supply and Service Battalion. He oversaw a contractor-operated classification and retrograde program involving thousands of vehicles and weapons. Returning to the United States, Brown served from 1972 to 1975 as Personnel Management Officer then Chief of the Personnel Management Branch at the Ordnance Center and School, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland. He devised a system of personnel assignment and control that significantly reduced cadre imbalances and shortages.
After earning a Masters of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, Brown served, from 1977 to 1979, as a Logistics Management Officer at Tank Automotive Readiness Command in Warren, Michigan, where he coordinated logistics support activities for several major systems under development, to include the XM1 Tank and Patriot Missile System. He next served in the 3rd Armored Division's 122nd Maintenance Battalion in Hanau, Germany, from 1979 to 1982, first as Materiel Officer and then as Executive Officer. Returning to the United States, Brown graduated from Command and General Staff College and then served as Chief, Administrative and Personnel Office, Military Entrance Processing Command. In 1985, he returned to the Ordnance Center and School to command the 143rd Ordnance Battalion. He then attended the Army War College and from 1988 to 1990 served as Chief, Ordnance Branch, Officer Personnel Management Division, Personnel Command, managing the careers of 4,000 Ordnance officers.
From 1990 to 1991, Brown was Chief of the Department of the Army's Stock Fund Depot Level Reparables Task Force. He managed a $50 million implementation fund and established a pilot program in Korea. He took command of the 16th Corps Support Group in Germany, containing 5,000 Soldiers providing combat service support to two heavy divisions and an armored cavalry regiment. Brown returned to the United States to serve, from 1993 to 1995, as Chief of the CS/CSS Common Systems Division, Force Development, Department of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. His division managed the battlefield operating systems, equipment fielding, and force structure for ten combat support and combat service support branches. His final assignment, from 1995 to 1998, was as Chief of Staff of the Test and Evaluation Command at APG, where he supervised an annual budget of over $1 billion and managed a 12,800 military and civilian workforce. COL Brown retired after 30 years of distinguished service to the Army and the Ordnance Corps.