JB San Antonio retired general to receive Air Force enlisted top honor
By Master Sgt. Kelly White, Air Force Public Affairs Agency
/ Published January 22, 2018
OINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --
Enlisted Airmen across Air Education and Training Command will bestow their highest honor to an admired San Antonio area Air Force leader during an Order of the Sword ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland’s Gateway Club, Feb. 9.
Recipient, retired Maj. Gen. Leonard Patrick, served more than nine years in the San Antonio “Military City USA” area and more than 14 of his 35-year career in AETC assignments. Patrick and his wife continue to reside in San Antonio.
“There’s no greater form of respect and recognition Air Force noncommissioned officers can present to a commissioned officer than the Order of the Sword,” said Chief Master Sgt. Juliet Gudgel, AETC command chief. “General Patrick’s service has significantly contributed to the Air Force enlisted corps, and perhaps nowhere more so than here in San Antonio where General Patrick served both his first and final command positions and during which time he also commanded all basic and technical training for enlisted Airmen throughout the Air Force.”
Patrick, who was raised in an Air Force family, began his career in 1981 as a civil engineer after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. While he has served in various assignments and levels of command throughout his career, and on installations stateside, overseas and deployed, the majority of his command assignments have been within AETC.
His first AETC command position was at Randolph Air Force Base’s 12th Civil Engineer Squadron from July 1999 to July 2001. In August 2004 he returned to Randolph AFB as AETC’s technical training deputy director of operations, and the following year served as the command’s headquarters civil engineer commander.
In January 2008, Patrick once again served in San Antonio, this time as the commander of Lackland Air Force Base’s 37th Training Wing, the largest training wing in the Air Force. There, Patrick led more than 3,000 military and civilian members who trained and educated more than 90,000 students each year – from enlisted basic military trainees, to technical school, and medical and language course students, encompassing active-duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and joint and coalition partners.
Patrick’s next positon began in July 2009, when the Department of Defense chose the Air Force to lead the transformation of thee independent military installations – Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base, and its eight additional associated operating locations and more than 200 mission partners – into Joint Base San Antonio. As JBSA and 502d Air Base Wing commander, Patrick took the reins of the DOD’s largest joint base, providing installation support across all JBSA locations, encompassing more DOD students than any other installation, more active runways than any other installation, the DOD's largest hospital and only level-one trauma center, and supporting more than 250,000 personnel. As JBSA commander, Patrick also interfaced with 1,000 San Antonio civic leaders, 20 smaller communities, four counties and four Congressional Districts.
Patrick took his final command position of his career, returning to JBSA in July 2014 as the vice commander of AETC where he led the Air Force in recruiting, training and educating more than 293,000 active-duty, Reserve, Guard and civilian and contractor students annually. He retired from the Air Force Sept. 1, 2016.