USACE Vicksburg District retiree Kent Parrish awarded Order of the de Fleury Medal

Published 4:47 pm Friday, June 3, 2022

Kent Parrish, a recently retired engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District, received the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal for his leadership to the district throughout his 38-year career.

The award was presented Thursday at the district’s annual Engineers Day awards ceremony. The honor recognized Parrish’s service to the United States Engineer Regiment as it supports the Army to assure mobility, enhance protection, enable expeditionary logistics and build capacity to provide commanders with freedom of action.

Parrish, who retired in December 2021, began his career with the district in 1983 as a study manager/planner on projects like the Slidell/Pearlington Flood Control Study, Upper Steele Bayou, Upper Yazoo Projects, and Yazoo Backwater Reformulation studies.

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He was also involved in preparing Supplement 1 to the 1976 Mississippi River Levees Environmental Impact Statement for not only the Vicksburg District but the USACE New Orleans and Memphis districts as well.

, Parrish served for more than 20 years as the Mississippi River Mainline Levees senior project manager, overseeing more than 460 miles of mainline levees with a $20 million annual construction program budget.

He was responsible for levees being upgraded, repaired, relocated, setback and built, and his efforts helped protect the well-being of thousands of individuals who lived in their vicinity.

Parrish received several awards throughout his career, including the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, the Superior Civilian Service Award, Vicksburg District Engineer of the Year, Commander’s Award for Public Service and USACE FY13 Program Manager of the Year.

The presentation of the de Fleury began in 1989 by the Engineer Regiment when the Engineer School moved from Fort Belvoir, Va., to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., but its full history can be traced back to the 18th century.

The medal was first cast in 1779 in honor of French engineer Lt. Col. Francois Louis Tesseidre de Fleury, who commanded one of four engineer regiments during the Revolutionary War and was noted for his valor after recapturing Stony Point, N. Y., from British forces earlier that same year, which lifted morale and helped prove the American Colonies were a fighting force.

The Engineer Regiment awards four levels of the de Fleury Medal: steel, bronze, silver and gold. The Bronze Order of the de Fleury is presented to an individual who has given significant service or support to the Engineer Regiment. Only one Gold Order of the de Fleury is awarded each year.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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