Upon graduation from The Citadel in May 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, Rear Adm. Rodriguez was commissioned an ensign through the Navy Reserve Officers Training Course Scholarship program. He immediately reported for duty aboard USS Thomas C. Hart (FF 1092) where he was designated as a surface warfare officer. In June 1980, he reported to the staff of (Tactical) Destroyer Squadron 32.
Rodriguez attended the Naval Postgraduate School from 1982 to 1984, receiving a Master of Science degree in Systems Technology (Command, Control and Communications with emphasis in Computer Science and Communications Engineering). While at the Naval Postgraduate School, he was selected for lateral transfer to the engineering duty officer community. His engineering duty officer tours of duty included: supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Long Beach, Calif., in New Construction Shipbuilding; electronics material officer and combat systems maintenance officer aboard USS Midway (CV 41); the test and evaluation manager and systems engineer for the Milstar Joint Terminal Program Office at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR); and the Aircraft Carrier Service Life Extension program manager, and deputy assistant program manager for In-Service Carriers, for the Aircraft Carrier Program Office, and the group director for the Integrated Information Systems Engineering Group in the Engineering Directorate at Naval Sea Systems Command. From September 1994 to July 1997, Rodriguez served as the officer in charge of the Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center, In Service Engineering, East Coast Division, Norfolk Det., or NISE East Det. Norfolk (formerly Naval Electronics Systems Engineering Center Portsmouth), located at St. Juliens Creek Annex, Portsmouth, Va.
From March 1999 to June 2004, Rodriguez was the program manager for the Naval Electronic Combat Surveillance Systems and Maritime Cryptologic Systems, and subsequently, he was the program manager for the Navy Command and Control Systems, including the Global Command and Control Systems – Maritime, at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and PEO C4I & Space.
Upon selection to flag rank in March 2004, Rodriguez was assigned as the chief engineer for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. Between November 2005 and February 2006, he was the acting commander for SPAWAR, and during the month of September 2007, he was the acting program executive officer for Enterprise Information Services. Rodriguez retired from active duty, effective October 1, 2008.