This year's NYC Veterans Day Parade marches on Fifth Avenue on November 11, 2022
The first Black Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard has been named Grand Marshal of the 2022 New York City Veterans Day Parade.
Organizers introduced Vince Patton at an event on Staten Island Thursday.
"I've got bruises from pinching myself 100 times over, that this is really happening," Patton said.
Over the course of his 30-year career, Patton visited 33 countries, sailed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and took part in more than 50 search and rescues, all while earning two bachelor's degrees, a Master's degree, and his Ph.D.
It has been an illustrious career highlighted further by the fact that at one point he was the most senior enlisted member of the Coast Guard.
"I broke ground that many before me, all they could serve in the Coast Guard was to be stewards and today we have admirals as well as other particular ranks so I'm honored to be the first. I hope I won't be the last," Patton said.
Patton joined the service in 1972 and he said the biggest challenge was the lack of diversity.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Patton was one of 10 children.
He said his parents played a huge role in his success."Success is no accident, it is hard work...perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice but most of all, love of what you're doing," Patton said.
This year's New York City Veterans Day Parade marches on Fifth Avenue on November 11, 2022.
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