In 2011, Vincent W. Patton III joined the Coast Guard Foundation's Board of Trustees. As the most senior enlisted Coast Guard member, Vince served as the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard from 1998 to 2002. In this position, Vince worked closely with the Commandant on a number of issues that impacted enlisted personnel in the Coast Guard. Two topics that were important to Vince then, and now, are education and planning for the future.
Education is a subject that resonates with Vince. He holds a number of higher education degrees, including a master's degree in counseling psychology from Loyola University of Chicago, as well as a doctorate of education from American University. He pursued these degrees while on active duty.
As Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, he stressed to enlisted members the importance of preparing for their futures, and taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them while serving.
"It's all about preparing you for the afterlife, the next round of what you do," Vince said. "I want to see Coast Guard people become a hot commodity in the labor market once they get out of the service. "
He said he is thankful for the support the Foundation gives to enlisted service members, and proud to be a part of the organization as a way to give back now.
"The hard work they put in day in and day out, the little things mean a lot," Vince said. "Knowing that there are people out there external to the service that care about you, makes a huge difference."
Vince has continued his advocacy for military personnel following his retirement from the Coast Guard. He is now Vice President of Corporate Outreach for AFCEA International, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, an organization that serves government, academic and corporate clients on IT, communications, intelligence and homeland security issues.