Many in the IWP community know that the Institute owes a lot to its young interns - they do outstanding work answering phones, helping our professors with research projects, and providing support to IWP's administrative offices.
Not as many, however, know that IWP is also eligible to host a completely different level of intern - Joint Interagency, International, Multinational (JIIM) interns assigned to the Institute by the U.S. Army. JIIM interns are hand picked, and they come to IWP on a 90-day rotation with a wealth of experience in the Army to share with our academic community. They spend their time at IWP guest lecturing, attending classes, attending sessions of Congress, and developing strategic relationships in Washington. They also sit with our professors inside and outside of class to learn about the arts of statecraft and their individual and collective relation to military strategy.
MAJ Terry Parisher, US Army (Ret) was IWP's first JIIM intern in January 2008, and his appearance marked the beginning of IWP's official relationship with the Army. (IWP has since engaged in two additional agreements with the Army - for the placement of select officers into M.A. programs and the hosting of a Senior Service Fellow.) When he came to IWP, MAJ Parisher had already served in the Army for 14 years, following an equally impressive career of service with the Air Force for six years, where he first started his aviation career.
MAJ Parisher is well-known as an expert on drones and other forms of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems). When he joined us, he had just planned and deployed the first Army Predator system in Iraq, his third successive UAS command. Upon conclusion of his tour in the Middle East, MAJ Parisher learned about the new JIIM program, through which he could share his cutting edge experience with UAS with an appreciative academic community. MAJ Parisher was offered eight institutions from which to choose to participate in the program, and he decided to select IWP. It's one of the best decisions he ever made, he says, and one which IWP values.
In class and during interactions with IWP professors, MAJ Parisher was exposed to thinking about policy at the level of grand strategy, while he shared his operation-specific experiences with IWP classes and students. He also attended other briefings and sessions of Congress, toured "almost every facility in D.C.," met with members of Congress, and participated in an Italian Embassy event and a White House event during the visit by the pope to Washington. Before he left to resume his Army career in Nevada, MAJ Parisher presented the Institute with a folded flag which was flown over Iraq aboard one of his UA during an operational mission.
He found that "It was an enlightening experience for me working with the caliber of personnel in and around IWP."
December 2010 is MAJ Parisher's first month as a civilian after serving in the military for 22 years. In reflecting on his time in the Air Force and Army, he found that, "One of the leading highlights of my career was participating as a JIIM intern at IWP - it was one of the main points of interest."
MAJ Parisher is now working as Aerospace Business Development Manager for Land Forces for Northrop Grumman, and as a UAS deployment lead for an upcoming Afghanistan deployment in early 2011.
IWP would like to thank Terry for his service to our country in his first month as a civilian after 22 years.
Above: Terry Parisher (right) with longtime IWP supporter Donald Bently (left).