Vincent W. Patton III

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Vincent W. Patton III
Vincent patton-USCG.jpg
MCPOCG Vincent W. Patton III
Born (1954-11-21) November 21, 1954 (age 64)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Coast Guard
Years of service1972–2002
RankMaster Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
AwardsCoast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Coast Guard Commendation Medal (3)
Coast Guard Achievement Medal (3) with "O" Device

Vincent W. Patton III (born 1954)[1] is a retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard in the United States.


A native of Detroit, Michigan, Patton retired from the U.S. Coast Guard 1 November 2002, after serving 30 years of active duty. He became the first African American selected as the service's senior-most enlisted ranking position as the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard in 1998. His career included staff and operational assignments both afloat and ashore throughout the United States, and a joint military service assignment in Cuba and Haiti.

Patton served as the eighth Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard from May 1998 to October 2002. As the service's top senior enlisted leader and ombudsman, he was the principal advisor to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, his directorates, and the Secretaries of Transportation and Defense, with primary focus on quality of life issues, career development, work environment and personnel matters affecting over 40,000 active duty, reserve enlisted, and civilian personnel servicewide. He routinely addressed these specific issues before appropriate United States Senate and House committees in the United States Congress, as well as with the Commander-in-Chief, along with his senior enlisted counterparts of the other four military services.

Awards and decorations[edit]

USCGCE.jpg Enlisted Cutterman Insignia (permanent)
United States Air Force Parachutist Badge.svg Basic Parachutist Badge
USCG - MCPOCG.png Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Badge
USCG - Commandant's Staff Badge.png Commandant Staff Badge
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Gold star
Meritorious Service Medal with one gold award star
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg Coast Guard Commendation Medal with two award stars
Operational Distinguishing Device.png1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg Coast Guard Achievement Medal with "O" device and two award stars
Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Secretary of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award
Operational Distinguishing Device.png1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg Coast Guard Unit Commendation with two award stars and "O" device
Operational Distinguishing Device.png1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation with two award stars and "O" device
Award-star-silver-3d.png1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg Meritorious Team Commendation with one silver and two gold award stars
Coast Guard "E" Ribbon
Bicentennial Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngSilver-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal with one silver and three bronze service stars
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Humanitarian Service Medal with two service stars
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Special Operations Service Ribbon with four service stars
Bronze star
Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon with service star
Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon.svg Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon
Award numeral 4.png NCO Professional Development Ribbon with bronze award numeral 4
Coast Guard Expert Rifleman Ribbon.svg Expert Rifle Marksmanship Medal
Coast Guard Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg Expert Pistol Marksmanship Medal
  • 7 gold Service stripes. Patton is one of a few Coast Guardsmen to have earned the coveted "Parachutist Wings" specialty badge during his assignment with Joint Task Force 160.


A 1972 graduate of Cass Technical High School, Patton became an Eagle Scout and was also a member of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) JAMES M. HANNAN division during his high school years. All of Patton's initial college education through doctorate degree was earned while on active duty. He received his Doctor of Education degree in 1984 from the American University, Washington, DC. His dissertation was based on the development and implementation of the Coast Guard Enlisted Evaluation System. He has a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Chicago; a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Shaw College at Detroit, Michigan; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Pacific Union College, Angwin, California.

His extensive military education includes U. S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy, U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI).

Patton was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service degree from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, and was the commencement speaker on May 13, 2018.

After retirement[edit]

After his military retirement, Patton completed a Master of Theology degree in Applied Religious Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. In addition, he was an adjunct professor teaching 'Philosophy of Ethics' at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2003, he has performed summer missionary work with the International Rescue Committee in Haiti, and worked as an executive director for the non-profit Halley's Comet Foundation, teaching "at-risk" teenagers seamanship and sailing skills. He served as a volunteer tour advisor and chaplain for the USO, participating in the "Operation Handshake" program to visit U.S. military personnel during the 2004 Thanksgiving holiday in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in the 2003 holiday season with U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia involved with Operations "Iraqi Freedom" and "Enduring Freedom." From 2004 to 2011, he was Director of Government Partnerships & Alliances for Military Advantage, also known as "," the largest website devoted to the military community covering benefits, information and transition. From June 2002 to June 2013 he served on the Board of Visitors for the Defense Intelligence Agency's National Intelligence University. From July 2011 to February 2016 he served as executive director for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). From March to October 2016, he served as president/CEO for Warriors4Wireless, a nonprofit career development program designed exclusively for transitioning military servicemembers and veterans to become trained for careers in the wireless telecommunications industry in construction, installation and maintenance of cellular towers and broadband systems; and remains with the organization as principal advisor.

Currently, Patton is senior vice president for leadership development with NewDay USA, as an integral part of their Character Driven Leadership program.

He also serves on the board of advisors of the Code of Support Foundation, a nonprofit military services organization.[2]

In addition, Patton is a managing partner with Pinnacle Five, LLC, a group of former senior enlisted members from the DoD services who served with him during his tenure as Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard; and is the President and National Commander of the Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA). He holds board memberships with the National Coast Guard Museum Association, U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Northeast Maritime Institute, U.S. Naval Institute and the Uniformed Services Benefits Association (USBA).

Personal life[edit]

Patton and his Canadian wife Melinda Ann, maintain residences in both Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Alexandria, Virginia. Both have two adult children (daughter and son) from their prior marriages.


  1. ^ Powers, B.; Ellis, A. (1995). A Manager's Guide to Sexual Orientation in the Workplace. Routledge. p. 95. ISBN 9780415912778. Retrieved 2015-08-20.
  2. ^ "Code of Support Foundation advisory board". Retrieved 5 June 2017.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Eric A. Trent
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
Succeeded by
Frank A. Welch