Tucker, UR graduate honored for career of military service

U.S. Army Major General Gina S. Farrisee lives to serve her country.

Earlier this month, her alma mater rewarded that service.

Farrisee, a 1978 University of Richmond graduate, received an award from the university for her distinguished service during an event at UR's Camp Concert Hall as part of the school's alumni reunion weekend June 4.

After graduating from Henrico's J.R. Tucker High School, Farrisee went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from UR and was commissioned in the Adjutant General’s Corps. She continued on to earn her master of science degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University.

Farrisee assumed her current position as the commander of the U.S. Army and Human Resource Command at Ft. Knox, Ky., last October.

Her efforts, dedication and skills have been recognized during her time in the service. She has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and a host of others.

But though the awards and decorations are meaningful, Farrisee said she believes that true satisfaction comes from her experiences.

“The journey is the reward, not the destination,” she said. “Not a day goes by when I don’t remember the efforts of those who serve our country. Throughout this decade, they have performed magnificently.”

During her acceptance speech, Farrisee reminisced about her years at the university. She thought that many things had changed but said the faculty and staff were still dedicated to the learning experience and that the students still had the passion to immerse themselves in what UR has to offer.

The university's commitment to academics, she said, allowed her to reach the heights she has reached in the military.

"Thirty-three years ago, I graduated with two credentials,” Farrisee said. “I had my diploma in my one hand and my commission in the second.”

Farrisee's father, Robert L. Sgro, was the one who inspired her to join the ROTC. Sgro graduated from the University of Richmond in 1956 and was an Army Reserve officer for about 30 years.

Farrisee stepped out of college and took on several early assignments, spending time in New Mexico and Vaihingen, Germany. Later, she became chief of enlisted management at Fort Bliss, Tex., and commander of the 525th Replacement Company in Fort Lewis, Wash.

A second German term allowed her to take other positions, including chief of strength management and commander of the 575th Personnel Services Company.

In 1995, she returned to Fort Lewis and was assigned as the commander of the 22nd Personal Services Battalion. Farrisee later served as the 61st Adjutant General of the Army for the Human Resources Command.

Her last assignment as director of military personnel management, Army G-1, in Washington, D.C. concluded Oct. 14 after four years.

Farrisee now lives in Burke with her husband, retired Army Colonel David G. Farrisee. The pair met during their college days, when the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University ROTC combined for activities.

In addition to Farrisee, UR also recognized Allison Marsh Bogdanovic and R. David Shimp, who earned the tenth-year reunion award from the Jepson School of Leadership Studies for their achievements.
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The Henrico County Community Author Showcase, a program that connects writers and readers in the community, will begin at 7 p.m. and continue on the second Monday and every Thursday of the month at various libraries. Angela Wood and Natasha Tabon will share their children’s book “The Misadventures of Tood and Taboon: Lost in the Forest” at Twin Hickory Library. For details, visit http://www.henricolibrary.org/authors. Full text

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