Before he retired in 2002, Master Chief Vincent Patton III is was the principal advisor to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral James Loy, his directorates, and the Secretaries of Transportation and Defense, with primary focus is on quality of life issues, career development, work environment and personnel matters affecting over 36,000 active duty and reserve enlisted personnel. He routinely addresses these specific issues before appropriate Senate and House committees along with his senior enlisted advisors of the other four military services.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Master Chief Patton enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in June 1972. His first assignment after graduating from Radioman (communications) School in 1973 was aboard the USCGC DALLAS, Governors Island, NY. Other duty stations as a radioman includes Coast Guard Group and Air Station Detroit, MI and Recruiting Office Chicago, IL.
In 1979, Master Chief Patton changed his occupational rating from radioman to yeoman (personnel). As a yeoman he was assigned to the Ninth Coast Guard District Office, Cleveland, OH, two separate tours at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC, and an afloat tour on USCGC BOUTWELL, Seattle, WA. Prior to selection to his present position, he served as the Command Master Chief for the Coast Guard Atlantic Area. During this assignment he was the senior enlisted advisor to Joint Task Force-160, during Operation Support Democracy, which was the largest alien migration operation in history.
All of Master Chief Patton’s college education 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 Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University, Chicago, IL; a Bachelor of Science degree, in Social Work from Shaw College at Detroit, MI; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Pacific College, Angwin, CA. He is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy, U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (with distinction), and the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.
Master Chief Patton's numerous military awards include 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 eight Coast Guard Good Conduct awards. He earned his permanent Cutterman’s insignia in August, 2001, completing his qualifications aboard USCGC MAKO, homeported Cape May, NJ.
Accomplishing the rank of Eagle Scout, and a former Naval Sea Cadet during his high school years, Master Chief Patton remains active volunteering in a variety of positions in both organizations. An avid runner, he has completed over 150 running events in the past ten years including sixteen marathons. Master Chief Patton also serves as a member of the Coast Guard Academy Board of Trustees, and the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Board of Control.
Master Chief Patton is a single parent of a son and daughter.