Marietta Armory, Marietta, GA, August 15, 2015, By SGT Lisa Kennedy – Command Sergeant Major Ron Simmons has taken the helm as the Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) First Brigade Command Sergeant Major. Simmons was selected for the position upon the retirement of outgoing CSM Richard Parmenter. The transition took place during a ceremony at the Marietta Armory.
CSM Simmons was born in Gainesville, Georgia, attended Gainesville High School, and graduated from the former Southern Tech in Marietta, Georgia with an Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. He entered the U. S. Army in 1967 and served a deployment in Vietnam as a rifleman with the D/1/27 (First Wolfhounds) of the 25th Infantry Division.
Simmons enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1974 and retired in 1995 as SFC E7. His assignments include the 802d Ordnance Company in Gainesville, Georgia and the 3283d USAR School in Chamblee, GA. His reserve military training and certifications include Basic and Advanced NCO Development and DA Instructor Training Course.
His U. S. Army awards include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal w/ 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon (3rd award), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
CSM Simmons joined the Georgia State Defense Force in 2004 and has served as the CSM of the 3rd Bn, 1st Bde, 1st Bde S3 NCOIC, and CSM of the 1st Brigade. His GSDF awards include the Commendation Ribbon (2nd award), Achievement Ribbon (2nd class), Military Proficiency Ribbon, State Active Duty Ribbon (4th award), Volunteer Service Ribbon, Good Conduct Ribbon, Longevity Service Ribbon (10 year), and the Outstanding Unit Citation. The State of Georgia awards include the GACOM, State Active Duty Ribbon and the Georgia Humanitarian Service Ribbon.
He served as a volunteer with the American Red Cross and received training in Emergency Assistance, Damage Assessment, Mass Care, and Shelter Operations. He currently serves as the president of the Vogel Volunteers, a chapter of the Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites.