Retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Vince Patton was inducted last week into the Michigan Military and Veterans Hall of Honor in Lansing.
Patton was one of six veteran inductees chosen by the board of directors from 19 finalists honored for “a record of exemplary service to others after military service” and “a legacy of making a lasting impact in the communities in which they live.”
On his Facebook page, Patton thanked family, shipmates and friends who showed their support at the induction ceremony.
“I can only say that I am truly humbled by your presence and caring love you have for me,” he wrote. “My success has been based on the many people who have supported me over the years both in and out of the Coast Guard. It was because of your belief and trust in me that helped me move up the ladder of success with confidence knowing that you would be there for me if I stumbled. You truly have my back!”
In his acceptance speech, Patton, who served as the eighth MCPOCG from May 1998 to October 2002 and is a member of Homeland Security Today’s editorial board, paid tribute to his oldest brother and “number one mentor in life” retired Navy Capt. Gregory Patton.
“I owe much of my success to him, for he gave me the reason to establish a clear vision for my goals and to never accept defeat. It was through my brother that I learned the true meaning of mentorship as expressed in Proverbs 27:17 – ‘As iron sharpens iron, so does one person sharpens another.’ Thank you brother Greg!” he said.
Patton thanked his wife, Melinda, “the love of my life,” for “being by my side and strongly supportive of my proactive interest in continuing to carry out my passion of taking care of people!”
As the service’s top senior enlisted leader and ombudsman, Patton was the principal advisor to the commandant of the Coast Guard, his directorates, and the secretaries of Transportation and Defense, with a primary focus on quality of life issues, career development, work environment and personnel matters affecting more than 40,000 active duty, reserve enlisted, and civilian personnel service-wide. He routinely addressed these specific issues before appropriate Senate and House committees 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. Patton is also on the Editorial Board of HSToday.