The Patterson Award

The United States Army OCS Alumni Association


the Queen of Battle"

The Patterson Award

Judge Robert P. Patterson was born in Glenn Falls, New York on February 12, 1891. He attended Union College in Schenectady, New York, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912 and went on to Harvard University where he received his Bachelor of Law in 1915.

Judge Patterson enlisted in the New York National Guard in 1915 and was mustered into federal service for border patrol duty on 26 June 1916 as a private. He was commissioned as a 2LT, Infantry Section, Officers Training Camp, Pittsburgh Barracks, New York. This was the WWI equivalent of what is now known as Officer Candidate School.

Promoted to Captain in August 1917, he was transferred to the 306th Infantry in January of 1918. His unit left the US for service in France on 13 April 1918, where he served in the Baccarat, Vesle, and Foret-d' Argonne defensive sectors, and the Oise-Aisne and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. For extraordinary heroism in action on 14 August 1918, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross with the following citation Captain Patterson, accompanied by two noncommissioned officers, made a daring daylight reconnaissance into the enemy lines. He surprised an enemy outpost of superior numbers and personally destroyed the outpost. Later he again had an encounter with another outpost, during which several of the enemy were killed or wounded and one member of his patrol wounded. The enemy advanced their outposts, and Captain Patterson covered the retreat of his patrol, during which he dropped into a depression and feigned being killed in order to escape capture. Here he lay until he was able to escape to his lines under cover of darkness.. For Gallantry in action on 26 September 1918, he was again cited and awarded the Silver Star. He was also awarded the Purple Heart for bravery. Judge Pater-son was promoted to Major in March 1919 and assigned to command the 2nd Battalion, 306th Infantry.

Judge Paterson returned to the US on 27 May 1919 and was honorably discharged from military service. In 1920, he married Margaret T. Winchester and they had four children. He practiced Law in New York City and served as a Judge of the US District Court and the US Circuit of Appeals of the Second Circuit. He was appointed the first Under Secretary of War upon creation of the post on 12 December 1940. President Harry S. Truman appointed Patterson as Secretary of War in 1945. Patterson advocated unifying the armed services (army and navy) and having a single chief of staff. Steps to this effect were begun by the National Security Act of 1947 and revised several times, finally by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986. Patterson participated in the desegregation of the armed forces, specifically during late stages of World War II with regard to creating an African-American fighter group, known now as the Tuskeegee airmen.

Judge Patterson returned to his law practice in 1947. President Truman reportedly offered to reappoint Patterson to his former judgeship on the Second Circuit, but Patterson declined, opting to return to private practice. The firm, which continues as a preeminent law firm in New York City, still carries Southern District of New York's name, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. Judge Patterson later served as the president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the president of the Council of Foreign Relations. Judge Patterson died on January 22, 1952, returning from meeting a client, onboard American Airlines Flight 6780 which crashed on the approach to Newark Liberty International Airport in Elizabeth, New Jersey; he was age 60. Patterson's son, Robert P. Patterson, Jr., is himself a federal judge.

List of Patterson Award Recipients

1953 - Herbert Towle Perrin, Jr.

1954 - Robert John Geniesse

1955 - Dandridge Michael Malone

1956 - John Joyce Carter Herndon, Jr.

1957 - Robert Gordon Matheson

1958 - James Jay Barber

1959 - Harry Edward Warnberg

1960 - William T. Bayha

1961 - Howard Robert Mosley

1962 - John Henry Hayes

1963 - Albert George Schooler

1964 - Robert Jay Baker

1965 - Robert Lee Brandkamp, Jr.

1966 - Robert W Kaszer

1967 - Herbert D. Williams, III

1968 - Marco A. Cordon, Jr.

1969 - Augustin Fabian

1970 - Edmund Lee Davis

1971 - Charles O. Hershey

1972 - Thomas L. Ferguson

1973 - Gary D. Messano

1974 - William G. Butler

1975 - Christopher F. Burton

1976 - John A. Damoth

1977 - Thomas G. Foster, Iv

1978 - James G. Thyne, Jr.

1979 - Richard K. Benner

1980 - John S. Emmerson

1981 - Billy M. Blackwell

1982 - Jack B. Rogers

1983 - Michael D. Hanley

1984 - Arthur K. Hargrove

1985 - Floyd Z. Light, Jr.

1986 - Brian Meade

1987 - Michael J. Lipinski

1988 - Dana J. Foley

1989 - Douglas J. Morse

1990 - Darren Lee McMahon

1991 - William J. Hoy

1992 - Mark A. Jackson

1993 - David W. Witmire

1994 - Robert W. Kinder

1995 – Jeffrey A. Saeli

1996 – Patrick P. Stobbe

1997 – Scott J. Malone

1998 – Dennis W. Terry

1999 – Kevin Burke

2000 – Douglas A. Taylor

2001 – Ronald J. Andert

2002 – Dennis Ray Berry

2003 – James A. Clark

2004 – Adam M. Marsh

2005 – Douglas Weston-Kerr Ray

2006 – Kwesi A. Ramsey

2008 – Nicholas Kane

2009 – Kerry L. Zanders, Jr.

2010 – Kyle P. Soler

2011 – John Allen Kellum, Jr.

2012 – Chip Glass

2013 – Kyle A. Goodroe

2014 – Robert L. Wright

2015 – Michael J. Texeira

2016 - Charleston H. Faglie

2017 - Rob J. Janssen

2018 - Maguire L. Bennett

2019 - Xiovani Guanill

2020 - Billie Getche

2021 - Brendon Edward Wellendorf

2022 - Spencer Lawson

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