Faculty conversations: Bill Parker
Bill Parker hasn’t always known where home would be in the past 20 years, but for the last six months he has found one at Michigan State.
“It’s been a long journey,” said Parker, a chairperson and professor of the Department of Military Science. “As the old adage goes, ‘home is where the Army sends you.’”
Prior to arriving in East Lansing, Parker served on the Army Staff at the Pentagon and at Fort Campbell, Ky., in the 101st Airborne Division. He has been a commissioned officer in the Army since 1995 and currently is serving a three-year assignment leading MSU’s Army ROTC Spartan Battalion.
“The Army forwarded Michigan State a nomination, and I was accepted by the university,” Parker said. “Educating, developing and training cadets is something I’ve found I really enjoy. The support from the university is tremendous in what we do here.”
As the primary instructor of Military Science 400, Parker teaches ROTC cadets problem solving, military tactics and strategy, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and more. However, he said his primary responsibility is to incite leadership in the soldiers of tomorrow.
“Our job is to train, educate and inspire in order to develop the best possible officers for the United States Army,” Parker said, “but more than anything we develop leaders of character for our nation and our Army.”
Parker found his perfect fit in Cadet Command. He said he would like to pursue teaching as a career when his service ends.
“It’s something I thoroughly enjoy because you get to see the culmination of years of effort,” Parker said. “I’ve found it gratifying to interact with and develop our future leaders.”