Asahel F. Parmelee

  • First Lieutenant
  • Vietnam


LT Asahel F. Parmelee was born in Westerly, Rhode Island in 1947 and is a graduate of Westerly High School.  He was a member of the baseball and football teams and was Co-Captain of the football team his senior year.  He entered the University of Rhode Island in 1965 and was a member of the golf team and Pledge Master at Phi Mu Delta fraternity. He enrolled in the ROTC program and graduated in January of 1970 as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned as a Regular Army Second Lieutenant of Armor.

Following his Armor training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, and Airborne and Ranger training at Ft. Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina where he was a platoon leader with the 4th Battalion, 68th Armor.  In 1971, Lieutenant Parmelee deployed to Vietnam and became a platoon leader with F Troop, 17th Cavalry, 196th Infantry Brigade.  His unit was tasked with offensive patrolling and defensive operations in the vicinity of Da Nang, Vietnam.  In this capacity, 1LT Parmelee led combat operations to protect the Marble Mountain airfield and the US support bases for I Corps, to include the hospital at Da Nang. These operations routinely were challenged by North Vietnam regular forces.  Returning home in 1972, he was assigned to the training center at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina where he assisted in basic training.  In March of 1973, he left the Army.  Lt Parmelee’s military awards include the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Airborne Wings and Ranger Tab.

He started his business career at Yardney Electric in Connecticut serving in various Material and Manufacturing Management positions.  While at Yardney he pursued a Master of Business Administration at URI. He graduated in 1977 and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma, the national scholastic honorary society of business and management.  In 1978, he started his career at GTE Sylvania.  He held positions of Materials Manager and Plant Manager before his promotion into General Management in 1983.  He rose through the General Management ranks of Sylvania and was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of a multi plant Division in 1989.  In 1995, he was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager of a multi division worldwide group and became a member of Sylvania’s Executive Committee. With manufacturing operations in six states and four offshore countries as well as sales offices throughout the world he had the opportunity to manage several product groups as well as lead a diverse organization.  He retired from Osram Sylvania in 2002.  In addition, during his career he served on the Board of Directors of the Warren, Pennsylvania YMCA and as a Trustee of Gannon College in Erie, Pennsylvania and on the Board of two recreational organizations.

Since retirement Asahel has continued to hone his golfing skills and is an avid motorcyclist having ridden his Harley across the United States and back as well as to the northern and southern tips of the continental U.S.  He has ridden several times in Rolling Thunder in Washington DC.  He is a lifetime member of The U.S. Army Ranger Association and is an annual supporter of their Ranger assistance program as well as the Landings Military Relief Fund which supports active-duty members in the Savannah, Georgia area. He was also a significant contributor to the University of Rhode Island Ryan Center. He and his wife Annita were married in 1972 and they have three children: Kevin, Michael, and Elizabeth. They reside in Savannah, Georgia and have a summer residence in Westerly, Rhode Island.  

1LT Parmelee’s outstanding leadership as well as his devotion to the military, his business organizations and communities reflect great credit upon himself, his family, The United States, and the University of Rhode Island.