Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Sam E. Parish was adviser to secretaries of the Air Force Verne Orr and Russell A. Rourke and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles A. Gabriel. Chief Parish advised them on matters concerning welfare, effective utilization and progress of the enlisted members of the Air Force. He was the eighth chief master sergeant appointed to this ultimate noncommissioned officer position.
Chief Parish was born in Marianna, Fla., and attended Malone (Fla.) High School. He joined the U.S. Air Force in December 1954, and graduated with the first class from the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Gunter Air Force Station, Ala., in 1973.
Following basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, he was assigned to Chanute Air Force Base, Ill., for training as a ground weather equipment operator. After completing the course as an honor graduate in August 1955, Chief Parish was assigned to the 18th Weather Squadron, Wiesbaden Air Base, West Germany, as noncommissioned officer in charge of weather communications.
In January 1960 he returned to Chanute Air Force Base for the weather observer technician course and again was an honor graduate. From August 1960 to May 1966 the chief was assigned to the Air Force Systems Command, Electronics Systems Division, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., as noncommissioned officer in charge of operational procedures for the 433L Systems Program Office. While assigned at Hanscom, he attended the Air Force Systems Command Noncommissioned Officer Academy and was honor graduate of his class.
He returned to West Germany as chief observer for the 7th Weather Squadron at Heidelberg from June 1966 until June 1969. He then transferred to Headquarters Air Weather Service, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., as the command's chief observer and later as chief, observing services and procedures division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations.
The chief attended the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy in January 1973, and in July 1973, was chosen senior airman adviser for Air Weather Service. In October 1975, he was assigned as the weather assignments adviser for Military Airlift Command's deputy chief of staff, personnel.
In August 1976, Chief Parish began his third tour of duty in West Germany as sergeant major for the 36th Combat Support Group consolidated base personnel office at Bitburg Air Base. From November 1977 to August 1980 he served as U.S. Air Forces in Europe senior enlisted adviser at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He then became 40th Air Division senior enlisted adviser at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Mich. In November 1981, the chief was selected as the Strategic Air Command senior enlisted advisor at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He retired from the Air Force June 30, 1986.