John Rodgers was laid down on August 12, 1976 by Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss. and commissioned on September 4, 1979.
On September 16, 1983 while operating off Lebanon, John Rodgers fired her guns against Syrian controlled portions of Lebanon in response to Syrian shelling near the residence of the U.S. ambassador. This made her the first ship to use the Mk 86 Gun Fire Control System in combat.
John Rodgers made eight major deployments, including extensive operations in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and the Persian Gulf. She also took part in numerous counter drug operations in the Caribbean Sea. She and her crew participated in Operations Desert Shield, Support Democracy, and Sharp Guard.
John Rodgers was decommissioned and stricken on September 4, 1998; she was stored at NISMF Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, awaiting sale for scrap. By 2005 she had been sold to International Shipbreaking Limited of Brownsville, Texas although scrapping work had yet to be completed. On December 29, 2005, John Rodgers (DD-983) was spotted heading south along the east coast of south Florida under tow. She has since been broken up for scrap.