Missouri’s next lieutenant governor served in the Army from 1975 to 1980. State Senator Mike Parson (R-Bolivar) joined the military when he was 19 years old. His Army career included working as a military police officer, conducting military police investigations and working for the Army’s criminal investigation division.
He investigated major cases like homicides and suspected smuggling of military supplies.
“Weapons, military arsenal, where you’re trying to move quantities of that back home for personal gains is a big deal,” says Parson. “Some of them were doing it for the wrong reasons all the way from M60 machine guns, M16 rifles, grenade launchers.”
Parson also attended French commando training school, which involves learning about espionage. He was trained to do things like not be detected, mountain climb and repel across a large river from a high tower.
Parson also recalls helping with security during a NATO summit in Europe in the 1970s.
“All the dignitaries from all over the world were there in their uniforms. The Vice President of the United States was there. I was working with Secret Service. That was kind of a cool experience to do that and see all of the powers that be from around the world,” says Parson.
His military career took him to Germany and Hawaii. After his work in Hawaii, he moved back to Missouri for good. He put his investigative experience to work by serving for twelve years as the Polk County Sheriff in southwest Missouri.
He served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005-2011. He has served in the Missouri Senate since 2011.
Parson will take office in January as Missouri’s Lt. Governor. Governor-elect Eric Greitens could call a special election to fill Parson’s seat.