JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
After more than 35 years of mentoring, leading and sacrificing for the U.S. Navy, Cmdr. Marquis Patton retired June 20, 2014, during a ceremony abroad the USS Yorktown (CV 10) in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
The retired commander successfully served in numerous roles throughout Joint Base Charleston, including Navy Munitions Command Unit Charleston commander, and most recently as the Naval Support Activity executive officer.
Patton had 18 sea tours during his career. As an enlisted seaman, he rose to the rank of chief petty officer in 11 years. For many, this would be the pinnacle of their naval career, but for Patton it was only the beginning.
In August 1992, Patton was commissioned an ensign under the Limited Duty/Chief Warrant Officer procurement program. During the next 22 years, he rose through the officer ranks and was promoted to O-5.
Patton deployed 11 times to the Western Pacific/Persian Gulf, supporting Operation Earnest Will, Operation Praying Mantis, Operation Southern Watch, Maritime Intercept Operations/Visit Board Search Seizure Operations, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"Commander Patton's success as a leader can be seen in the success of joint basing," said Cmdr. Charles Phillip, Naval Munitions Command Unit Charleston commander and guest speaker at the retirement ceremony. "His intensity, dedication and hard work have contributed to the success of JB Charleston, as well as the local community.
"All I can say is, what a career," Phillip continued, referring to Patton's 35 years of service.
"I admire his dedication to our nation and the Navy, his leadership and ability to execute the mission."
Patton has also dedicated countless hours to the local community as a volunteer with the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets - Yorktown Division, a youth program for young Americans designed to develop an interest and skill in basic seamanship, seagoing skills and to teach patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred virtues.
During his closing remarks, Patton thanked Phillip for addressing the audience and thanked those in attendance, including his friends and family and his colleagues among JB Charleston leadership.
Before being piped ashore as is the custom in naval tradition, Patton left the audience with some words of wisdom.
"You're responsible for you," said Patton. "(To the service members) get your qualifications, hit the books and study, learn your trade and make the most of it."
Patton added a tidbit of advice a mentor had given him in the past; "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet."
After 35 years of naval service, Patton doesn't plan on sailing off into the sunset anytime soon. Upon retiring, he plans to volunteer for the Charleston - Navy - Marine Corps Relief Society as a way to continue his dedication to something that means so much to him ... serving, mentoring and helping his fellow Shipmates.