SgtMaj Edward D. Parsons was born in Taylorsville, NC, in 1974. He graduated from Crest Senior High School in 1992 and enlisted into the United States Marine Corps in September of the same year. SgtMaj Parsons attended boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina and graduated from Third Recruit Training Battalion in December of 1992.
He was then transferred to Camp Geiger, North Carolina where he was assigned to the School of Infantry (SOI) and subsequently trained as an 0341, Mortarman. Upon completion of SOI in February 1993, SgtMaj Parsons was assigned to 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where he deployed to Okinawa, Japan from December 1993 through June 1994, and then redeployed to Haiti in support of Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in July of the same year.
He later deployed aboard the U.S.S. Ponce with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit from January through July 1996, where he served as a Forward Observer and Platoon Sergeant during operations in Monrovia, Liberia in support of Operation ASSURED RESPONSE. In September 1996, Sergeant Major Parsons was assigned to Marine Barracks 8th & I, Washington, D.C. where he served as the Body Bearer Section Leader. In April 2000, he attended Drill Instructor School and was subsequently assigned to Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. Sergeant Major Parsons trained six platoons as a Drill Instructor, two as a Senior Drill Instructor, and served as the Battalion Operations Chief during his tour.
Upon completion of Drill Instructor duty in July 2003, SgtMaj Parsons transferred to 1st Battalion 7th Marines at Twenty-Nine Palms, California. He deployed from July through November 2003 in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) as the Weapons Platoon Sergeant. In September 2004, SgtMaj Parsons deployed again with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF 1-2) to the Al Anbar Province as the Company Gunnery Sergeant and Weapons Platoon Commander, and returned in March of 2005. Upon his return, he was assigned as the Headquarters and Services Company First Sergeant until December 2005.
In December of 2005, SgtMaj Parsons was assigned to the Twentynine Palms Sergeants Course, Marine Corps University as the Infantry and Tactics Instructor, Academics Chief and Deputy Director. From August 2006 to August 2007 SgtMaj Parsons was assigned to Embedded Training Team (1-8), and deployed to Afghanistan with the Afghan National Army’s Commandos as the senior enlisted advisor in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF). Upon his return from Afghanistan he resumed his duties as Deputy Director until he was promoted to First Sergeant in 2008.
In February 2008, SgtMaj Parsons was assigned to Region 1, Marine Corps Embassy Security Group as the Region First Sergeant and covered Eastern Europe and Eurasia until July 2010. In July 2010, SgtMaj Parsons was selected to attend the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (Class 61) and graduated June 2011, and completed his undergraduate degree from American Military University in Intelligence Studies. He also holds a Masters of Arts in Strategic Communications and Leadership from Seton Hall University.
In July 2011, SgtMaj Parsons was assigned to Company B, First Recruit Training Battalion, Parris Island, SC as the Company First Sergeant until he was promoted to his current rank in December 2012. In January 2013, SgtMaj Parsons was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264, and deployed in support of OEF 13.2. From July 2014 to March 2015, SgtMaj Parsons was deployed in support of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 14.2. In October of 2015, SgtMaj Parsons was assigned to Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
SgtMaj Parsons’ personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Air Medal with Gold and Bronze numeral 1, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device (3rd Award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4th Award), Combat Action Ribbon (3rd Award), Parachutist Insignia, and Combat Air Crew Designation.