Captain Gary “PATSY” Patenaude is a New Hampshire native who graduated from James Madison University in 1989, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He entered Naval Service in 1990, receiving his commission after completing Aviation Officer Candidate School.
Captain Patenaude was designated an Unrestricted Naval Aviator at NAS Whiting Field in 1992. His first fleet tour was with HSL-51, forward deployed at NAF Atsugi, Japan. He completed multiple deployments, including two cruises to the CENTCOM area of responsibility. During this tour, he married Jennifer Nesbitt. At the completion of his tour, Captain Patenaude was selected to transition to the EA-6B Prowler.
Captain Patenaude was ordered to the Scorpions of VAQ-132 after jet training at NAS Kingsville in 1998. He served with VAQ-132 for five years, deploying onboard USS George Washington in 2000 and 2002 and then onboard USS John F. Kennedy in 2004. During these deployments, the Scorpions supported many operations including VIGILANT SHIELD, SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. His daughter, Emma, was born prior to the 2002 deployment and his son, Seamus, was born during the 2004 deployment.
Captain Patenaude was then ordered to the United States Strategic Command where he served as a Strike Advisor, assisting Commander USSTRATCOM with nuclear war plans. He was selected to lead the operational development and testing of distributed command and control centers.
Captain Patenaude was selected for command and ordered to VAQ-137. He met the ROOKS while deployed to the Arabian Gulf onboard USS Enterprise and took over as Executive Officer. He took command in January of 2009, leading the squadron through workups in preparation for a return to the Arabian Gulf.
Upon completion of his command tour, Captain Patenaude was selected to become Executive Assistant to Commander Tenth Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command. During his tour, he aided the stand up and structuring of the Navy component to the United States Cyber Command.
Captain Patenaude proceeded to the National War College in 2011 and upon graduation, was ordered to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a readiness analyst, working in Global Force Management and readiness recovery.
Captain Patenaude commanded Training Air Wing Two aboard Naval Air Station Kingsville, TX, directing the instruction of future Naval Aviators in the advanced jet syllabus. He has most recently Command Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Washington DC directing the training and education of future Navy and Marine Corps Officers.
Captain Patenaude has flown over 3000 hours in Naval Aircraft, made hundreds of small deck helicopter landings and over 500 carrier arrested landings.