Leon RODIER was born at Saïda, Oran Division, in 1918.
He felt in love with the profession of arms at his tender age and later became a soldier. When clouds were building up in Europe, he joined the 149e RIF, a unit of the Maginot Line, stationed at the North of Meuse Division
In June 1940, the regiment suffered attacks from ennemy units, superior in number and armament. It was forced to stop fighting around the Bezonvaux village though with bitter anger. Rodier was taken prisoner and sent to Bavière where he escaped in October 1941. He reached Marseilles through the Jurassic channel and caught the last boat leaving the metropole for North Africa.
Pushed by the passionate resolution to take up arms again, he was posted to the 3rd Zouaves regiment at Constantine in January 1942. Ten months later, he was enlisted in the Glorious Army of Africa where, after the TORCH operation, with limited means, but much courage and honour, he put up a resistance to the forces of the German General, Von Armin, towards Medjez el Bab, while waiting for Allied reinforcement. Later, within the framework of the 1st Army, his unit participated in the Provence landing in August 1944, and in the costly, but victorious campaign for the liberation of France, and in the Rhine crossing.
The obstacle course of Leon Rodier naturally continued, first in Indochina and then Algeria from 1954 to 1961.
Then came postings to the FFA and later, to the headquarters, in Strasbourg, Verdun, Nancy. After retiring from his purely military career in 1971, it was followed by a solid reputation of a patriot and manager, that Colonel Leon Rodier took command of Verdun Memorial, with the objective of ascending to the indisputable international showplace of the 1914 -1918 remembrance, bringing together under one umbrella, the ex-servicemen of Verdun - French and Germans.
After accomplishing his mission to a great extent, Colonel Rodier resigned as the head of the Verdun Memorial for health reasons in February 1995, while still occupying the position of Mayor of Fleury-devant-Douaumont.
Leon Rodier died on January 1, 2008 at the age of ninety. His funeral service was held in the strictest privacy of his family.
Commander of the Legion of Honour, his tie was put on by General Bigeard and he received several commendations. This great ex-serviceman was holder of many decorations: 1939 – 1945 War Cross, Croix de Guerre TOE, Cross of Military Valour, Escaped Prisoners Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Valour, Vietnamese War Merit Cross. He was member of the European Academy, chevalier des Palmes académiques and holder of 1st Class Verdienstkreutz, a German award.