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 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 2004-2011, he was Director of Government Partnerships & Alliances for Military Advantage, also known as “Military.com,” the largest website devoted to the military community covering benefits, information and transition. From June 2002-June 2013 he served on the Board of Visitors for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s National Intelligence University.
Presently, Patton is Executive Director for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Educational Foundation. In addition, Patton is a managing partner with Pinnacle Five, LLC, and 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. He holds board memberships with the Coast Guard Foundation, National Coast Guard Museum Association, 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.