Colonel Farris retired from the U.S, Army in 1996 after 30 years of military service. His areas of specialization in the military were Armor/Infantry Operations, Foreign Area (Western Europe) and Peace Operations.
During his thirty years of service he commanded from platoon through brigade level, the last command position being with U.S. forces in Europe as the Commander, Hohenfels Training Area, U.S. Army Combat Maneuver Training Center. His senior staff appointment was with the Strategic Policy and Plans Directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon.
From 1992 until his retirement in 1996, Colonel Farris' assignments dealt exclusively with peace operations. In 1992 he co-authored a special study for the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, on the U.S. Army's future in peace operations. This was followed by an eight month assignment with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) as head of the Force Commander's Strategic Investigation Teams. Following his return from service with the United Nations in Cambodia he was directed to establish a U.S. Army Peacekeeping Institute to be located at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, site of the U.S. Army War College. He served as the Director of the Peacekeeping Institute until his retirement.
While serving as the Director of the U.S. Army Peacekeeping Institute he participated in writing U.S. Army Field Manual 100-23 Peace Operations, the Army's first "capstone" level doctrinal document dealing exclusively with peace operations.
In the summer of 1994 he deployed with the U.S. Joint Task Force Support Hope to Rwanda where he established and ran the Civil Military Operations Center (CMOC). Later that year he assisted the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division staff in civil-military operation in preparation for the Multi-National Force intervention in Haiti. He was a member of UN DPKO's first Training Assistance Team that deployed to Haiti to aid in the transition from the MNF to UNMH. Later in 1995 he assisted in training the staff of the U.S. 1st Armored Division as they prepared to deploy to Bosnia.
Since retirement in 1996 Colonel Farris has remained active in peace operations. He regularly participates in various peace operations seminars and training programs conducted by both military and civil organizations and institutions. In addition he currently helps teach a five week "Peacekeeping" course twice yearly to foreign military officers and senior defense officials at the Defense Institute for International Legal Studies (DIILS) at Newport Naval Base in Rhode Island.
Colonel Farris has a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from Kansas State University. His principal military schooling includes the Armor Officer's Basic Course, Infantry Officer's Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College, U.S. Army War College as well as Airborne and Ranger training. Among his awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.