Area native is top NCO at Fort Lee
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Feb 10, 2014, 13:40
FORT LEE — A Dinwiddie native who has served in the Army for three decades and travelled all over the world during his enlistment has returned to Fort Lee to serve as the new Command Sergeant Major for the United States Army Combined Arms Support Command.
Terry E. Parham assumed his responsibility as the command’s top noncommissioned officer during an induction ceremony on Friday at Fort Lee.
“Coming home to Virginia after 30 years of service feels like a dream, like an unbelievable dream,” Parham said during the ceremony.
Parham used his time to thank all of the soldiers, military leaders and family members who gave him guidance and a “continuous drive” during his journey to command sergeant major.
“Leaders don’t get to this level by themselves. There’s a whole lot of people that help them out along the way, especially if you pay attention,” Parham said.
Major General Larry D. Wyche, the commanding general of CASCOM who helped appoint Parham to his new role, said that it was no accident that Parham is the new command sergeant major.
“He has consistently served with
distinction and I can’t think of a finer noncommissioned officer in this great army of ours to take the soldiers of other’s command to a greater level of readiness and preparedness,” Wyche said.
CASCOM is considered the Army’s sustainment think tank and premier learning institution, offering training and education to create and sustain innovative professionals in the Army.
Wyche cited three deployments and the personal experience of having seen Parham act as the command sergeant major for the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion as proof of his competency to begin his new position at Fort Lee.
“I can assure you there is no question he is a sterling example of the noncommissioned officer,” Wyche said before quoting the NCO Creed, a promise of uncompromised professionalism, integrity and moral courage as a noncommissioned officer.
The date of Parham’s enlistment goes back to August 3, 1983, where he received basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, S.C., as a food service specialist.
The first time Parham was stationed at Fort Lee he was the senior food service sergeant, where he quickly became a first sergeant after two months.
His service across the world includes stints in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany and England, earning him a slew of awards and decorations, among them the Legion of Merit Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and many others.
Parham’s family lined the front row of the ballroom and included his parents, his wife, Angela (from Petersburg) and three children, Desiree, Brittany and Terry Jr.
During the ceremony, both Parham and Wyche expressed gratitude for the service of Command Sergeant Major Allen Offord, who acted as the interim command sergeant major up until Parham could fulfill the position.
“[Offord] performed magnificently. I can recall on numerous occasions, he would say to me ‘Sir, no worries, I got this.’ ... Please note that those words were quite meaningful and spoke volumes of your professionalism,” Wyche said.