Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4), released the following statement welcoming Master Sergeant Becky Patterson as his guest for the president's State of the Union Address next week:
"It is truly an honor to extend this opportunity to Master Sergeant Patterson in recognition of her exceptional military and civilian service. In addition to her responsibilities at Keesler Air Force Base, her extensive volunteer efforts exemplify the core Air Force value of service before self. Her leadership by example should be an inspiration to us all."
Palazzo has traditionally extended his one guest ticket to the recipient of the Thomas V. Fredian Community Leadership Award. The award is given each year at the Mississippi Gulf Coast's "Salute to the Military" dinner to an enlisted member of the military, in recognition of outstanding community service and leadership. As the 2013 recipient of the award, Sergeant Patterson was honored by Congressman Palazzo, Governor Phil Bryant, and General James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, at the 2013 dinner in October. Palazzo has also arranged for Sergeant Patterson to tour the White House and the U.S. Capitol during her trip to Washington, D.C.
In a statement, Sergeant Patterson said: "I was honored to receive the 2013 Thomas V. Fredian Community Leadership Award and I am grateful to have this opportunity to see our leaders at work up close and personal. I especially want to thank Congressman Steven Palazzo. Without his continued military support, I would not have had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Patterson is the Superintendent of Curriculum, Archibald Mathies Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) at Keesler Air Force Base, where she is responsible for the instruction of a 223-hour Professional Military Education curriculum for students from twelve Air Force Wings, the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and all Air Force Office of Special Investigation Agents. Her direct supervision prepares approximately 1,050 noncommissioned officers annually for increased leadership and management responsibilities. In addition, Sergeant Patterson manages the academy's electronic faculty credentials to meet Air University requirements, ensuring Community College of the Air Force accreditation. Finally, she leads the coordinate seven formal graduation ceremonies a year highlighting the class' significant career milestone and success.
In addition to her assigned duties, she serves as the Community Service Coordinator; Air Force Sergeants Association Family and Community Trustee; the volunteer liaison for both the Armed Forces Retirement Home and Keesler AFB Fisher House; and as booster club treasurer. Throughout her career she has volunteered with various groups, including: "Meals on Wheels", Easter Seals, AIDS/HIV outreach efforts, and the Salvation Army. She has logged almost 3,000 volunteer hours, led at least 69 events, raised $120,000, and saved $60,000 in labor costs.
The previous winner of the Fredian award, Master Sergeant Nicole Dismute, attended the State of the Union as Palazzo's guest in 2013. She is also an Airman serving at Keesler Air Force Base.