Welcome! Somebody Has To ‘Be In Charge’

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Hardcore Leadership: 11 Master Lessons from My Airborne Ranger Uncle’s “Final Jump”

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Welcome to these words “somebody has to be in charge” uttered by my late uncle, Command Sargent Major Harris L. Parker, that form the base for his leadership stance. I honor his legacy of “being in charge” and the lessons he provided. And I hope for other leaders, regardless of organizations and affiliations.  Yes, my uncle was an ‘old soldier’ Vietnam Veteran, Airborne Ranger. But those designations speak to the power of one aspect of his  leadership story, yet there are many other parts in the span of his life to know and share. Lovingly and jokingly known as “Hardcore” or “Horace” to the family, he lived his life as a dedicated and loving son, father, brother, uncle, cousin, wise counselor and visionary. Also a staunch community advocate, lover of history, semi-pro Army football player, teacher, and church deacon, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Supreme Court of Virginia as a Chief Magistrate and ardently served as Honorable Chairman of the Sussex County Board of Supervisors.

Hardcore, fiercely loyal and steadfast.

After I published my first book, Navigating Life’s Roadways: Stories of Insight from My Odyssey and Inspiration for Your Journey in July 2011, I had a conversation with Uncle Horace about writing. He expressed a desire to put some of his own experiences down on paper and noted that a few of his veteran friends had done the same. I picked up on that wish as a possible joint project, thinking there would be time, though that was not to be the case. While he spent his final weeks in the hospital, his loved ones still hoping for a miracle, I brought up the book writing goal again. “I’ll help you, Uncle Horace,” I said, to which he gave a throaty chuckle and replied, “I’m using all of my juice to get through this thing right now.”

A tough fighter to the end!

So now in honor of Uncle Horace’s wise teachings, I press on. I know he would have wanted me to do so and ‘approve his message’. Capturing his teaching persona.

In this book I also share my own insights of leadership, as a fellow army veteran and leadership development coach through my company, The DPJ Training Group.

Join this hardcore leadership journey.

Deborah L. Parker

Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Reserve (Retired)

Chief Inspirer, Principal Consultant and Speaker



My mother and Uncle Horace pinning me as a Second Lieutenant in 1979, Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia.

What’s your leadership story?

Mainly, the goal for any leader should be to move past obstacles – to claim a triumph. Being in tune with the landscape of people, processes, and priorities can guarantee such an accomplishment. From this experience, a personal victory narrative can take shape, one that becomes solid and surefire.

Lead on!

Craft your creed!

Know your authority!

Lead Strong!

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With my uncle at my booksigning in September 2011


Click to access 12078099-army-veteran-speaker-author-virginia-native-deborah-parker-releases-poignant-leadership-book.pdf

Contact Deborah:

(703)463-0363 or   dlparker6@verizon.net.