At a change-of-command ceremony over the weekend, a Reisterstown resident was promoted to colonel as he took over leadership of the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol Patrol, according to a prepared statement from the air patrol.
Col. William Parris of Reisterstown has been vice commander of the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol since 2011 and was a former squadron commander and group commander, the statement said.
The Civil Air Patrol performs 90 percent of continental U.S. search and rescue mission, as the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. There are nearly 1,700 Civil Air Patrol members in Maryland, where members found five individuals and saved one life last year, the statement said.
Since joining the air patrol in 2002, Parris served three years as the Maryland Wing’s director of operations. In 2008 he was named Middle East Region Operations Officer of the Year, and in 2006 he was the Maryland Wing Staff Officer of the Year. His qualifications on the ground and in the air are numerous, from command pilot to section chief.
Parris, who is a former disc jockey, also works as president of Radio Broadcast Communications, which owns and operates several Maryland area radio stations, a television production studio and internet ventures, the statement said.
Parris became the twenty-second commander of the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol during an April 26 change-of-command ceremony at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River.
The event opened with the national anthem and presentation of the colors by the Maryland Wing Color Guard, represented by the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron.
Parris succeeds Col. John Knowles, who turned over the command he held for four years, according to a statement from the air patrol.
Following the oath of office, the statement said, Parris was promoted to the grade of colonel and his wife, Libby, assisted in exchanging the epaulets on his uniform with the new insignia.