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Charlie Anderson Fergurson, III Obituary

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Charlie Anderson Fergurson, III

Suffolk, Virginia

November 12, 1956 - May 10, 2024

Charlie Anderson Fergurson, III Obituary

Charlie Fergurson, 67, died May 10, 2024. A native of Alton, Illinois, he was preceded in death by his mother, Regina Dorothea “Thea” Erdel; father, Charlie A. Fergurson, Jr.; and brother, Johann Paulus Ferguson.


A true, servant-leader, Charlie entered uniformed service in the U.S. Army in 1986, graduated from the Army’s first Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Specialist Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 1987, and served 26 years on active duty, achieving the rank of Sergeant Major (SGM, E-9), the highest enlisted rank in the Army, and the base rank required for the leadership position of Command Sergeant Major (CSM), in just 19 years - a singular accomplishment amplified by the extremely competitive career field in which he served. The consummate noncommissioned officer, always teaching and training Soldiers and mentoring officers, his impact on the Army’s (Active and Reserve) PSYOP and Special Operations community was immeasurable.


As a new Soldier, he volunteered for every additional duty, training opportunity, and ceremonial detail to develop himself and selflessly serve others – a pattern and practice he continued throughout his extensive career as a highly specialized and trained PSYOP Specialist, responsible for planning and conducting psychological warfare operations to influence the emotions, opinions and behaviors of enemy combatants, government officials and civilian populations overseas in support of U.S. Army objectives.


As a junior noncommissioned officer (NCO), he served multiple tours as a PSYOP Company training and operations NCO and Recruiter, where he honed his craft as a PSYOP Specialist, developed his innate leadership skills, mastered Army training and operations processes, and helped fill the ranks with future PSYOP Soldiers.


As a Sergeant First Class (SFC), he taught the next generation of PSYOP professionals as a PSYOP Instructor at the United States Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (Airborne) and then went back to the field to serve again at the tactical and operational levels.


As a Master Sergeant and Sergeant Major, he spent years in high-profile positions of responsibility (Operations Sergeant Major for the 12,500-person United States Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)), joint (United States Joint Forces Command), and special operations (United States Special Operations Command) assignments, where he helped oversee operations at home and the employment of Army Soldiers and units around the world in support of the Global War on Terror.


A veteran of Peace Enforcement and Combat Operations himself, SGM Fergurson mobilized and deployed four times with the USACAPOC(A) and the Special Operations community to Europe (Operation Joint Guardian (Kosovo)), the Middle East (Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)), Asia (Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)), and Africa (Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (Djibouti)) where he used his communication expertise and mastery of unconventional tactics to persuade and influence others in furtherance of U.S. goals.


While the Army selects PSYOP professionals for their adaptability, intelligence, and resilience, interpersonal and critical thinking skills, and cultural sensitivity, SGM Fergurson stood out above all others. Besides being a highly skilled PSYOP Soldier, recognized frequently for his proficiency by his subordinates, peers, and superiors alike, he was known throughout the PSYOP and special operations communities for his quick wit, sense of humor, and gregarious nature. His distinct and irrepressible laughter could and would often fill a room, and his jokes and pranks were legendary. His zest for life and his boundless energy were only eclipsed by his selfless dedication to duty, country, and his fellow man.


Generous to a fault, Charlie volunteered countless hours of his personal time throughout his life in support of charitable causes and helping anyone in need, even those that wronged him. Although one would not know it when meeting him, Charlie was a man of deep faith that developed a personal relationship with his Lord and Savior. The only thing dearer to him was his love of family, whom he talked about endlessly, spent every waking hour he could with, and supported in all their endeavors. A rabid hockey fan to the end, he never missed a game that his kids played or those of his beloved St. Louis Blues.


Eschewing command positions throughout his career to spend more time with his family, friends, and the Soldiers that he loved, Charlie retired from the U.S. Army in 2016 as the 7th PSYOP Group’s Operations Sergeant Major, with 31 years of exemplary service to the Nation that spanned the end of the Cold War to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.


After he retired, he chose to work as an information operations observer/controller/trainer for the Department of the Army, training future rotations of information operations Soldiers preparing to deploy, so that he could continue to provide current influence professionals with the benefit of his experience.


To the unfortunate few that did not know him, he “was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

Uncomfortable with heights, he became Airborne qualified in 1993 and remained an active jumper until he retired. A bear of a man yet petrified of general dentistry without, as he would say, “the ether.” A gym rat that regularly maxed the Army PT test, he also had a renowned fondness for sweets (peeps and Tiramisu come to mind). Competitive to a fault on the sports field yet simultaneously a staunch defender of the weak when others played dirty. Serious when needed, but always a big kid at heart.


For those that knew him, however, the key to understanding him was not that hard to grasp; for, his motives were as pure as his heart. He loved the simple things in life; Kansas City Barbecue, a good bargain, and Diet Coke, and he lived every day to its fullest, without regrets, and with abandon. With Charlie, what you saw was what you got. Candid as the day was long, he was never afraid to speak his mind. He would often say it was a long time until his next E-9 board. He epitomized midwestern values. He was devoted to his friends and loved ones. His belief in service above self was resolute. Simply put, no better man, fallible as we all are, father, Soldier, and husband, has walked this earth and drawn a breath than Charles Anderson Fergurson III. All that had the opportunity to know him will miss him sorely, and the world will be a colder, lesser place without him in it.


Charlie is survived by his wife, Heather Lynn Fergurson; seven children, Colton Josiah Jeremiah Fergurson, Charlie Anderson Fergurson IV, Steele Emal Abraham Fergurson, Stone Alton Avery Fergurson, Timber Riley Douglas Fergurson, Meadow Regina Jo Fergurson, and Canyon River Dean Fergurson; two brothers, Michael Fergurson and wife Linda, and David Fergurson; and two grandchildren, Lucy, and Birdie.


A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 25, at 11 AM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 4759 Bennetts Pasture Road, Suffolk. The family will receive friends at the church the hour before the service. The burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery later. Sturtevant Funeral Home, Bennetts Creek Chapel, Suffolk, is handling arrangements.


Contributions to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation are welcome.


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Charlie Anderson Fergurson, III hosted by Sturtevant Funeral Home & Crematory.

Charlie Fergurson, 67, died May 10, 2024. A native of Alton, Illinois, he was preceded in death by his mother, Regina Dorothea “Thea” Erdel; father, Charlie A. Fergurson, Jr.; and brother, Johann Paulus Ferguson.


A true, servant-leader, Charlie entered uniformed service in the U.S. Army in 1986, graduated from the Army’s first Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Specialist Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 1987, and served 26 years on active duty, achieving the rank of Sergeant Major (SGM, E-9), the highest enlisted rank in the Army, and the base rank required for the leadership position of Command Sergeant Major (CSM), in just 19 years - a singular accomplishment amplified by the extremely competitive career field in which he served. The consummate noncommissioned officer, always teaching and training Soldiers and mentoring officers, his impact on the Army’s (Active and Reserve) PSYOP and Special Operations community was immeasurable.


As a new Soldier, he volunteered for every additional duty, training opportunity, and ceremonial detail to develop himself and selflessly serve others – a pattern and practice he continued throughout his extensive career as a highly specialized and trained PSYOP Specialist, responsible for planning and conducting psychological warfare operations to influence the emotions, opinions and behaviors of enemy combatants, government officials and civilian populations overseas in support of U.S. Army objectives.


As a junior noncommissioned officer (NCO), he served multiple tours as a PSYOP Company training and operations NCO and Recruiter, where he honed his craft as a PSYOP Specialist, developed his innate leadership skills, mastered Army training and operations processes, and helped fill the ranks with future PSYOP Soldiers.


As a Sergeant First Class (SFC), he taught the next generation of PSYOP professionals as a PSYOP Instructor at the United States Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (Airborne) and then went back to the field to serve again at the tactical and operational levels.


As a Master Sergeant and Sergeant Major, he spent years in high-profile positions of responsibility (Operations Sergeant Major for the 12,500-person United States Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)), joint (United States Joint Forces Command), and special operations (United States Special Operations Command) assignments, where he helped oversee operations at home and the employment of Army Soldiers and units around the world in support of the Global War on Terror.


A veteran of Peace Enforcement and Combat Operations himself, SGM Fergurson mobilized and deployed four times with the USACAPOC(A) and the Special Operations community to Europe (Operation Joint Guardian (Kosovo)), the Middle East (Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)), Asia (Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)), and Africa (Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (Djibouti)) where he used his communication expertise and mastery of unconventional tactics to persuade and influence others in furtherance of U.S. goals.


While the Army selects PSYOP professionals for their adaptability, intelligence, and resilience, interpersonal and critical thinking skills, and cultural sensitivity, SGM Fergurson stood out above all others. Besides being a highly skilled PSYOP Soldier, recognized frequently for his proficiency by his subordinates, peers, and superiors alike, he was known throughout the PSYOP and special operations communities for his quick wit, sense of humor, and gregarious nature. His distinct and irrepressible laughter could and would often fill a room, and his jokes and pranks were legendary. His zest for life and his boundless energy were only eclipsed by his selfless dedication to duty, country, and his fellow man.


Generous to a fault, Charlie volunteered countless hours of his personal time throughout his life in support of charitable causes and helping anyone in need, even those that wronged him. Although one would not know it when meeting him, Charlie was a man of deep faith that developed a personal relationship with his Lord and Savior. The only thing dearer to him was his love of family, whom he talked about endlessly, spent every waking hour he could with, and supported in all their endeavors. A rabid hockey fan to the end, he never missed a game that his kids played or those of his beloved St. Louis Blues.


Eschewing command positions throughout his career to spend more time with his family, friends, and the Soldiers that he loved, Charlie retired from the U.S. Army in 2016 as the 7th PSYOP Group’s Operations Sergeant Major, with 31 years of exemplary service to the Nation that spanned the end of the Cold War to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.


After he retired, he chose to work as an information operations observer/controller/trainer for the Department of the Army, training future rotations of information operations Soldiers preparing to deploy, so that he could continue to provide current influence professionals with the benefit of his experience.


To the unfortunate few that did not know him, he “was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

Uncomfortable with heights, he became Airborne qualified in 1993 and remained an active jumper until he retired. A bear of a man yet petrified of general dentistry without, as he would say, “the ether.” A gym rat that regularly maxed the Army PT test, he also had a renowned fondness for sweets (peeps and Tiramisu come to mind). Competitive to a fault on the sports field yet simultaneously a staunch defender of the weak when others played dirty. Serious when needed, but always a big kid at heart.


For those that knew him, however, the key to understanding him was not that hard to grasp; for, his motives were as pure as his heart. He loved the simple things in life; Kansas City Barbecue, a good bargain, and Diet Coke, and he lived every day to its fullest, without regrets, and with abandon. With Charlie, what you saw was what you got. Candid as the day was long, he was never afraid to speak his mind. He would often say it was a long time until his next E-9 board. He epitomized midwestern values. He was devoted to his friends and loved ones. His belief in service above self was resolute. Simply put, no better man, fallible as we all are, father, Soldier, and husband, has walked this earth and drawn a breath than Charles Anderson Fergurson III. All that had the opportunity to know him will miss him sorely, and the world will be a colder, lesser place without him in it.


Charlie is survived by his wife, Heather Lynn Fergurson; seven children, Colton Josiah Jeremiah Fergurson, Charlie Anderson Fergurson IV, Steele Emal Abraham Fergurson, Stone Alton Avery Fergurson, Timber Riley Douglas Fergurson, Meadow Regina Jo Fergurson, and Canyon River Dean Fergurson; two brothers, Michael Fergurson and wife Linda, and David Fergurson; and two grandchildren, Lucy, and Birdie.


A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 25, at 11 AM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 4759 Bennetts Pasture Road, Suffolk. The family will receive friends at the church the hour before the service. The burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery later. Sturtevant Funeral Home, Bennetts Creek Chapel, Suffolk, is handling arrangements.


Contributions to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation are welcome.


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Charlie Anderson Fergurson, III hosted by Sturtevant Funeral Home & Crematory.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Charlie Anderson Fergurson, III.