Patterson joined the Army from Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1966, and by May 6, 1968, was serving as a specialist four in Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. During a firefight on that day, near La Chu in the Republic of Vietnam, Patterson single-highhandedly destroyed a series of enemy bunkers. For his actions during the battle, he was awarded the Medal of Honor and promoted to sergeant.
In the mid-1970s, Patterson, by then a staff sergeant, served as a Basic Training drill sergeant at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Patterson reached the Army’s highest enlisted rank, Command Sergeant Major, before retiring.
Patterson currently resides in Pensacola, Florida, having moved there in 2010.
1. PVT Cuyler L. Hairelson (Milton, FL)