Corporal Robert Parente resident and graduate of New Rochelle High School has honorably and proudly served his country earning himself a promotion to Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. On July 1st 2013, in a promotion ceremony in Quantico Virginia, Corporal Parente will soon officially be called Sergeant Robert Parente.
Born and raised in New Rochelle, Robert is the son of Donna and Nicky Parente, has an older brother Nicholas Parente, sister Amanda, and younger sister Gianna. His roots are deep in New Rochelle, his values, work ethic and leadership skills were all developed here. What began in New Rochelle, in Feb. of 2009 at 18 years old, Parente took his will to succeed and dedication to the United States Marine Corps. From a New Rochelle High School football field to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, his accomplishments prove that he has the intestinal fortitude that only a very select few possess. He has persevered and completed some of the most rigorous training and real life combat to achieve his current rank with the USMC.
Corporal Parente was stationed on the Marine Corps base in Hawaii on the island of Oahu in September of 2009 with the 1st Battalion 12th Marines. Deployed to Japan at the end of May in 2010 on a UDP (Unit Deployment Program), Parente was promoted to Lance Corporal and stationed on Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan. While conducting fire support training exercises in Japan, (pictured above) what was supposed to be a 7 month deployment got cut short to 4 months returning him back to Hawaii in August in 2010 to start his work-up for his deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. Parente is an 0811 Field Artillery Cannoneer. He is a crew chief and operates a Howitzer. Parente was originally supposed to be a motor transport ( truck driver) but after failing a depth perception eye test before shipping off to boot camp, he ended up getting an open contract and got placed in field artillery and couldn’t be happier. After 3 years of working in the trenches on the gun line, Parente became a section chief and had his own gun, the M777 Howitzer and he had a handful of marines under his charge. What was usually the job of a Staff Sergeant, Parente was a young Corporal taking charge. From the moment he fired his first Howitzer, he fell in love with artillery and realized this is where he belonged. not in on office, but on the gun line slinging steel rain down the range. Artillery is where Parente would like to remain through his career with the Marine Corps. All his training was preparing him for what was going to be his first deployment to the war in Afghanistan.
Deployed to Afghanistan in May of 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Parente went off to war a Lance Corporal and was promoted to the rank of Corporal in September 2011. Supporting the 3rd Marine regiment with artillery support, they set up their own FOB ( forward operating base) from the ground up and after 3 months, tore everything they built down and headed to the combat outpost Fiddlers Green in Afghanistan. After about 2 weeks at Fiddlers Green, Parente’s platoon was asked to help support Battery “E” ( Echo) also a part of 1st Battalion 12th Marines with artillery support in the Kajaki Dam in the most dangerous province in Afghanistan, the Helmand Province. It was there that Corporal Parente finished out the remainder of his deployment.
Challenging intense weather, sand storms, tensions of being at war, and extremely limited communications with family, the support the marines received from home by means of brief internet calls and care packages helped keep morale up. His platoon did re-supply convoys, foot patrols and artillery support missions. He returned on November 23rd to Hawaii, the day before Thanksgiving 2011. Welcomed home to New Rochelle with open arms and numerous media outlets covering his homecoming in December of 2011, Corporal Parente couldn’t have made his family and New Rochelle any more proud.
Parente continues to conduct live artillery exercises annually. Parente is also a Black Belt Martial Arts Instructor (MCAMP Marine Corps Martial Arts Program), a Marine Corps Marksmanship Coach (Coaches Marines on annual rifle qualifications on proper shooting techniques), is an expert rifle shooter and a sharpshooter pistol shooter. Corporal Parente just re-enlisted for the 1st time for a second term this past March of 2013 and is currently stationed in Quantico VA at TBS (The basic school) with War Fighting Platoon, Artillery Instructor Battery. After 4 1/2 years in the USMC, New Rochelle ‘s own Corporal Parente is being promoted to Sergeant this July 1st.
The next time he steps foot into New Rochelle, we can proudly welcome Sergeant Parente back home.