By Benjamin Horvath
Warriors4Wireless President Vince Patton’s resume reads not like one individual’s life accomplishments, rather three or four successful people’s combined. For 30 years Patton served in the United States Coast Guard, reaching its highest officer position as Master Chief Petty Officer in 1998.
After retiring from active military duty in 2002, Patton climbed the ladder of the academic world, earning a Master of Theology degree from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Patton even taught as an adjunct philosophy professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Patton has also been heavily involved with nonprofit work since his departure from military duty, volunteering with organizations like the International Rescue Committee, Halley’s Comet Foundation and the USO.
And, as of earlier this year, Patton added a new line item to his ever-growing list of titles and accomplishments—president of the wireless industry’s veteran training organization Warriors4Wireless.
Patton was named president of the organization in March, and says he was motivated to accept the position due to his personal experience with service men and women who have made the too-often difficult transition from military to civilian life.
“I had a tremendous amount of exposure in working with people, particularly those who were getting out [of the military] who talked about what their life was going to be after the service, so I learned about how to support veterans during the transition process,” Patton said.
Patton said one of the main difficulties that transitioning veterans face is the lack of transferable occupational skills.
“Once you get out of the military, jobs like service infantry and artillery and missile technicians aren’t in the wanted section,” Patton said.
But one thing transitioning veterans do bring is a tremendous work ethic, attention to detail and a level of trainability that is rarely found outside of the military world, Patton said.
“These are people that know how to follow attention to detail, that know about precision maintenance, are great team members and will take responsibility,” Patton said.
Patton said veterans can be trained to do “just about anything,” and he cites as proof young soldiers who, after basic training, are put “in charge of multi-million dollar equipment in just a short period of time.”
As president of Warriors4Wireless, Patton said his main long-term agenda item was expanding the organization’s training facilities, particularly in the Midwest and western regions of the U.S. where the bulwark of new cell tower construction is expected.
In particular, Patton noted companies like Google and Comcast’s plans for broadband deployment along the west coast, a region that Patton is eying for a future training center. Warriors4Wireless currently offers a Broadband Technician course.
Patton said the most important thing he will focus on short-term is “raising the visibility of what W4W is all about,” as well as an awareness within the industry that it can provide viable careers for our nation’s veterans.
“Our organization has an opportunity to offer to the industry a group of young men and women throughout the country who have a great sense of pride in what they’re doing and their work ethic and ability to get things done.”