Vincent W. Patton III

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Vincent W. Patton III
Vincent patton-USCG.jpg
MCPOCG Vincent W. Patton III
Born November 21 1954 (age 62–63)
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Coast Guard
Years of service 1972—2002
Rank Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
Awards Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
2 Meritorious Service Medals
3 Coast Guard Commendation Medals
3 Coast Guard Achievement Medals
Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon
8 Meritorious Team awards
9 Coast Guard Good Conduct awards.

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

Career overview[edit]

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.

Job description and accomplishments[edit]

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.

His numerous military awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon, eight Meritorious Team awards and nine Coast Guard Good Conduct awards. He also earned the Cutterman Insignia (sea duty recognition) and 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).

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).

On March 15, 2016, Patton became president of 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. In addition, Patton is also 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 and the U.S. Naval Institute, and also serves on the Unitarian Universalist Association Committee on Military Ministry.

Personal life[edit]

Patton resides in Alexandria, Virginia and has two adult children (daughter and son). His son is a U.S. Army veteran (82nd Airborne Division).


  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. 

External links[edit]

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