William Hays Parks
Parks, William Hays On Tuesday, 11, May 2021, Mr. W. Hays Parks, went to Our Lord after suffering a stroke. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated from Lee High School in Jacksonville, as well as Baylor University and Baylor Law. He was 80 years old. Mr. Parks entered federal service in 1963 as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps. His initial service was as a reconnaissance battalion platoon leader. He served in the Republic of Vietnam (1968-1969) as an infantry officer and senior prosecuting attorney. He served as the first Marine Corps Representative at The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, U.S. Army; as a congressional liaison officer for the Secretary of the Navy; and as Chief, Law of War Branch, Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy. After leaving active duty, Mr. Parks remained in the Marine Corps reserves attaining the rank of Colonel. He was instrumental in the development of a law of War Program to assist the training of Marine commanders and their staffs, as well as judge advocates. During his military service, including his reserve career, he earned Navy-Marine Corps, Canadian, and British Parachutist wings, U.S. Army Master Parachutist wings, and 82nd Airborne Centurion wings. In his civilian capacity, Mr. Parks served as the Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General of the Army for Law of War Matters from 1979 to 2003. He was a legal advisor for the 1986 air strike against terrorist-related targets in Libya and had primary responsibility for the investigation of Iraqi war crimes during its 1990-1991 occupation of Kuwait. He served as a legal adviser for U. S. Special Operations Forces from 1979 until his retirement. He served as a U.S. delegate for law of war negotiations in New York, Geneva, The Hague, and Vienna. He was instrumental in the negotiation of several important treaties, such as the Blinding Laser Protocol. In August 2003, Mr. Parks joined the International Affairs Division, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Defense. He chaired the Department's Law of War Working Group from 2003 until his retirement in October 2010. Mr. Parks occupied the Charles H. Stockton Chair of International Law at the Naval War College for the academic year 1984-1985. In 1987, he was a staff member on the Presidential Commission established to examine alleged security breaches in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Mr. Parks also testified as an expert witness in cases against terrorists both in the United States and Canada. Mr. Parks lectured at the National, Army, Air Force, and Naval War Colleges; the military staff colleges; other military schools; and at U.S. and foreign military units. In 2001, he became the sixth person in the history of U.S. Special Operations Command to receive that command's top civilian award, the U.S. Special Operations Command Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. In 2006, he was awarded the U.S. Special Operations Command's Major General William F. Garrison Award for a career of service to Special Operations Forces. In 2016, Mr. Parks was awarded the NDIA Small Arms Group's Gunnery Sgt Carlos N. Hathcock Award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in operational employment and tactics of small arms weapon systems that have impacted the readiness and capabilities of the U.S. military. Mr. Parks also advocated for the use of ammunition by the military that was more accurate, reliable, and hence more effective, such as "Open Tip Match" ammunition. Approval of this type of ammunition resulted in more effective fire and thereby saved American lives. Mr. Parks did more than answer paper request. He encouraged innovation, provided careful guidance to those responsible for developing ammunition to ensure compliance with our treaty and policy obligations. Mr. Parks was a "watchdog" against challenges to existing military small arms ammunition, such as the 1999-2000 challenge by certain organizations in the international community of the Raufoss 12.7mm Multipurpose Projectile, which he successfully defeated. Hays Parks was a man of profound courage. There are countless U.S. service members alive today because Mr. Parks put more accurate, reliable, and effective ammunition into their hands and the hands of their fellow warfighters. The Department of Defense, Marine Corps, and the nation lost a valuable member of the team. Hay Parks was a man of action, of learning and of justice. He leaves behind his wife of 45 years, Maria Lopez-Otin, and his beloved cats. Please sign the Guestbook at www.legacy.com/washingtontimes
Published by Washington Times from May 26 to May 28, 2021.
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12 Entries
I'm still under the shock of having just learned of Hays' departure. I suspected something was amiss as he always answered his e-mails faster than anyone I know, but in the last few months there was only silence. Now I know why. What a loss. I met Hays in the early 80s in Washington after I had been posted by the I.C.R.C. (International Committee of the Red Cross) as roving "dissemination (i.e. P.R.) officer" for North America in New York. He was quick to see how a lecture by a flesh-and-blood ICRC representative would add substance to the already-rich one-week course on the Law of War that he had put together for the USMC (later extended to the other branches), and he asked me to become part of his team of lecturers. As he explained, he wanted the officers attending these classes to understand what the role of the ICRC was in the likely event that they would find themselves in an armed conflict situation where, inevitably, the ICRC would show up, and they would then know why they were there and how best to deal with them. The program was a great success as far as I could tell and may have paid solid dividends later, notably during and after Desert Storm 1 and 2 as well as the Iraq war. Besides his many intellectual qualities and oratorical talents, Hays was a very funny guy with a sharp sense of humor. He was also a solid friend. Once he befriended you, that was it. I always felt honored that he treated me as one. He had a good life and he did well. May he rest in peace. My sincere condolences to Maria.
Jean-Jacques ("J.J.") Surbeck
Work
July 27, 2021
One of the Giants of the Law of Armed Conflict, his fame preceded him in the academic community and always with the light of true scholarship and profound erudition. He was also a perfect gentleman who will be much missed by all who knew him. My deepest condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.
David Turns
Work
July 13, 2021
A great Patriot, committed to all branches, of our armed forces

Joe Traurig
Coworker
June 8, 2021
I met Hays at the US Army Jag School in Charlottesville, VA,
and worked in the Pentagon when he was serving there in International Law in the Office of the Army Judge Advocate General. He was a pleasure to know and was widely admired. Please accept my regrets at his passing.
John Nichols
Served In Military Together
June 2, 2021
A Marine's Marine -
"He only in a gentle honest thought
And common good to all made one of them.
His life was gentle and the elements
So mixed in him that nature might stand up
And say to all the world "this was a man."
William Shakespeare - Julius Caesar
R.T. Maguire
Served In Military Together
May 31, 2021
Knowing his son Doug and what a fine man he is, we send our condolences to the entire family.
Susan Gravely
Acquaintance
May 31, 2021
Colonel Hays Parks was a great American and a great Marine. This country and the U.S. Marine Corps will sorely miss him
Thomas Flaherty
Served In Military Together
May 31, 2021
I worked with Hayes on many occasions and in many different situations over many years. He was always the consummate professional. All of those who practiced law in the national security arena learned from and will miss Hayes.

Hayes, thank you and your family for your service to our nation.

Very respectfully, RADM Michael Lohr, JAGC, USN (Ret)
May 30, 2021
He was a valued friend and colleague, one of the gang at Navy JAG Code 10 (International Law). He not only knew what he was doing, he was one of those who made that office such an enjoyable and professionally satisfying place to work. God rest his soul!
CAPT Frank B. Swayze, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
Friend
May 30, 2021
I will miss this good friend of over 40 years. A consummate professional whether by lecture or the written word, he was a Mentor's Mentor who impacted positively two generations of military and civilian lawyers, both is the US and abroad. I owe him a great deal as he was instrumental in my career by advising me on assignments and professional opportunities. He had a remarkable and delightful sense of humor that continued even as his health deteriorated.

Til’ the last landings made
And we stand unafraid
On a shore that no mortal has seen;
Til’ the last bugle call
Sounds taps for us all
It’s Semper Fidelis. Marine!

Semper Fidelis old friend. I am looking forward to sharing some hot chow on the High Ground when we next meet.
Col William T. Anderson USMC (Ret.)
Served In Military Together
May 29, 2021
Hays was a Marine's Marine Attorney, and treated all he met with respect.
I knew him in the Pentagon when I was serving as Associate General Counsel of Army and he was advising the Marine Corps, and every interaction socially and professionally was a tribute to this All American Gentleman. It was an honor to serve together with him on many InterService projects that proved his dedication to God, Country and the Marines. A real man among men. He will be missed by all who knew him.
DENNIS DEAN KIRK, ESQ.
Friend
May 28, 2021
I first met Hays when he spoke at one of my college history classes - he was close friends with the professor. She introduced me to him as someone that was due to be commissioned in the USMC after graduation, and he immediately took an interest in me, sending me books while I was on deployment and attending my graduation from the infantry officer course; we saw each other periodically over the years and I was able to attend his retirement ceremont from the Pentagon. He was also good friends with my father, with whom he had worked professionally as a government lawyer. There's not much to say beyond the obituary - what an incredible American life Hays led. We are all fortunate as Americans that he did so much, and those of us that were lucky enough to know him personally benefitted even more so.

Semper Fi Hays - you will be missed, but your legacy will live on in the many people and issues you influenced.
Sam Williamson
Served In Military Together
May 28, 2021
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