West Hartford native U.S. Army Major Jerry Gorss has been chosen as the grand marshal for the 2023 Memorial Day Parade, which will be held on Monday, May 29.
The Town of West Hartford and the American Legion Post 96 are pleased to announce Jerry Gorss as the grand marshal for the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony on Monday, May 29, 2023 as well as the keynote speaker for the eighth annual inductees ceremony recognizing graduating high school students entering military service on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
A native of West Hartford, Gorss is a graduate of Conard High School where he earned varsity letters in soccer, wrestling, and lacrosse and is a proud recipient of the Eagle Scout award with Troop 146 of West Hartford.
Gorss served as an active-duty Army officer for more than a decade. Upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Gorss commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Aviation Branch and was assigned to Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama. After graduation from flight school as an honor graduate of his class, Gorss was assigned to the prestigious 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he served in command and staff assignments from platoon leader through troop commander. He deployed to northeastern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and helped test and author the Army’s innovative concepts with regards to manned-unmanned aviation teaming.
He is the second-ever commander of the first Unmanned Aerial Surveillance (UAS) Troop within a combat aviation brigade and deployed to a combat theater.
Following troop command, Gorss was selected to return to the United States Military Academy on the staff and faculty as a tactical officer and primary trainer and leader developer to cadets within the Corps of Cadets at West Point. Later, Gorss served as the regimental executive officer and then chief of plans to the Commandant of Cadets and the United States Corps of Cadets. He worked alongside academy leaders to help educate, train, and inspire cadets for commissioned service as officers in the Army, and shape the day-to-day operations of the Corps.
In 2020, Gorss transitioned from active duty to the United States Army Reserve, serving as an assistant professor of military science for the Reserve Officer Training Corps Battalion at Boston College and Northeastern University. Today, he serves as a military academy liaison officer, responsible for recruiting and assessing high school students for admission to West Point.
Attaining the rank of major, Gorss is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for leadership and excellence in a combat zone, two Meritorious Service Medals for leadership, and two Air Medals for excellence in the performance of flight duties as a pilot in combat. He is a pilot-in-command and air mission commander with over 1,000 flight hours as a rated OH-58 Kiowa Warrior Cavalry Scout Pilot. He holds a bachelor of science from the United States Military Academy, a master of arts in organizational psychology and leadership from Columbia University, and an MBA from the University of North Carolina.
West Hartford takes great pride in hosting its Memorial Day parade and ceremony, held annually on the federal holiday, last Monday of May. It follows a tradition established by returning West Hartford veterans from World War I in the 1920s. All veterans are welcome to march in the parade.
The Memorial Day parade will commence promptly at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 29, from the corner of Woodrow Street and Farmington Avenue, and end at the Town Hall.
Immediately following the parade each year, a brief Memorial Day ceremony is held at the Veterans Memorial to bring special meaning to the holiday. The Veterans Memorial is located at the corner of North Main Street and Farmington Avenue.
In the event of rain, the parade is canceled and the ceremony is moved to the Town Hall Auditorium, 50 South Main Street, at 11 a.m. A notice will be posted on the town’s website, westhartfordct.gov.
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