Three leading Pennsylvanians named Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army

By Carol KerrJune 4, 2014

Pennsylvania CASA's
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The Secretary of the Army has appointed three new Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army to provide liaison with Pennsylvania's citizens on behalf of the U.S. Army.

On behalf of Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo today invested two leading Pennsylvanians as representatives of the Secretary of the Army in a formal ceremony with the full Army War College student body, faculty, members of the Board of Visitors and The War College's National Security Seminar members, who are a cross-section of influencers from across the United States joining the USAWC student body for a week of dialogue. Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo introduced the CASAs to this broad audience to express the significance of both the CASA program and the National Security Seminar. The third Pa. CASA was invested several weeks ago.

The Army War College commandant led the investiture ceremony in which each CASA swears allegiance to the constitution of the United States.

Doc Parghi

"Mr. Doc Parghi a man of business, patriotism and philanthropy," said Cucolo, as introduction to the CASA for eastern Pennsylvania. "He has a huge energy for volunteerism ranging from Friends of the Red Cross to Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He runs the freedom council of Valley Forge, promoting freedom, individual liberty, and human dignity."

The Freedom Council issued The Patriot Medal to Parghi to recognize the person who best represents freedom, liberty and dignity.

Parghi was a founding team member of the AppLabs, the world's largest independent software testing company. When CSC acquired AppLabs, Parghi worked in global technology sales as Global General Manager of CSC Mobility and Social.

Robert French

"Maj. Gen. Robert French began his career in 1972 as a mortarman … was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School of the Pa. National Guard … and served as the Assistant Adjutant General for Pennsylvania," recounted Cucolo about the new central Pennsylvania CASA. The retired Army major general served nearly 38 years in uniform.

The 2001 graduate of the Army War College holds numerous affiliations within Pennsylvania.

Rory Cooper

Cucolo invested Dr. Rory Cooper as the western Pa. CASA a few weeks ago at a gathering of fellow CASAs drawn from multiple states for the Mid-Atlantic CASA Conference held at Carlisle Barracks in May.

Cooper is the FISA and Paralyzed Veterans of America Chair and Distinguished Professor of the Dept. of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, and professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physical Medicine & Rehab, and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a member of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services -- Medicare Advisory Committee, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Prosthetics & Special Disability Programs Advisory Committee, Chair of the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, U.S. Department of Defense Health Board Subcommittee on Amputation and Orthopedics, and National Academy of Sciences Keck Foundation Initiative on Human Health Span Steering Committee.

In 2009, Dr. Cooper was featured on a Cheerios cereal box for his many achievements, and in August 2010 he, with one of his robots, was the centerfold in Popular Science for his work in robotics to aid people with disabilities and older adults. An Army veteran with a spinal cord injury, Cooper has committed extensive research and publication on behalf of bio-engineering solutions to disabilities. He has over ten patents awarded or pending. Dr. Cooper is the author of two books: "Rehabilitation Engineering Applied to Mobility and Manipulation" and "Wheelchair Selection and Configuration", and co-editor of "An Introduction to Rehabilitation Engineering", "Warrior Transition Leader: Medical Rehabilitation Handbook", and the award winning book "Care of the Combat Amputee".