Suffolk native assumes brigade command

Published 5:49 pm Saturday, January 14, 2017

Members of the 418th Contract Support Brigade welcomed their new command sergeant major during a change of responsibility ceremony Jan. 9 at Fort Hood, Texas.

Command Sgt. Maj. Darnyell Parker, a Suffolk native, assumed responsibility of the brigade from Command Sgt. Maj. Marlon Cooper in a ceremony officiated by Col. Lynda Armer, the 418th CSB commander.

Parker comes to the brigade from the 901st Contracting Battalion at Fort Hood, where he served as the battalion sergeant major, returning last month from a deployment to Afghanistan.

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“It is nothing that guides and shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make, and I have been committed to the Army ever since the day that I joined,” Parker said. “My commitment contributed directly to the development and growth of me receiving the opportunity to be appointed as the 418th Contracting Support Brigade command sergeant major, and for that I am grateful. This is truly a humbling opportunity.”

Parker added the opportunity to remain at Fort Hood will allow him to continue to serve the soldiers, civilians, friends and families with whom he has fostered positive relationships over the last year.

“I have learned during my time in service that people are the most important, and I am passionate about taking care of soldiers and civilians because they will take care of you,” Parker said. “As the brigade command sergeant major, I will support my commander, provide top-notch support to the battalions and continue to enhance the training and readiness in order to operationalize contracting support forces to the warfighters.”

Parker said he will continue to build upon what Cooper has already established to include the standardization of processes and procedures, establishment of key performance indicators that are constantly measured, promote critical thinking, empower subordinates, build relationships and educate customers on the brigade’s operational contract support.

The new enlisted leader entered the Army in October 1993 as a petroleum supply specialist and has since served in numerous leadership positions. Parker entered the Army Acquisition Corps in 2009 and holds a Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certification in contracting. He is a graduate of all of the Army NCO Education System courses, including the Sergeants Major Academy class 65. He also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University.

Cooper, who joined the 418th CSB in September 2013, retires from the service after 26 years of service.

The assumption of responsibility ceremony included the passing of the brigade colors. The colors symbolize the heritage and history of the organization as well as unity and loyalty of its soldiers. As the brigade command sergeant major, Parker is the keeper of the colors.