Colclasure retires after 21 years as cop, air traffic controller

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Master Sgt. Patrick Colclasure retired from a 21-year U.S. Air Force career during a ceremony held at 2 p.m., March 17, in the 71st Operations Support Squadron auditorium.

Also attending the ceremony were Colclasure’s wife, Jamie, and their two sons.

Lt. Col. Michael Drost, the 71st OSS commander, served as the retirement ceremony official. He presented Colclasure with the Meritorious Service Medal and his retirement certificate.

Drost also presented Jamie the Military Spouse Medal and a certificate of appreciation, and the boys both received the Military Child Medal.

Colclasure served in both the Security Forces and the Air Traffic Control career fields.

Why did you join the Air Force?
Colclasure: “To do my part to serve this great country we live in. My father was also in the Air Force and retired.”

What's your best memory of your first assignment?
Colclasure: “My first assignment was Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. I loved getting to travel, see history and I met my wife, Jamie, there.

What are three reasons you would recommend the Air Force as a career?
Colclasure: “In today's world protecting our country is important. It is very gratifying to know you are doing your part.
“The military provides discipline to help shape respectful, well trained individuals.
“The benefits are a huge plus. If you do your job, you have benefits for your entire life.”

What advice would you give an airman or lieutenant just starting their Air Force career?
Colclasure: “Stay focused. There will be tough days, but in the end it is all worth it. Never lose focus of why you joined to begin with. Start shaping yourself to be the kind of leader you would look up to.”

What is the biggest change you've witnessed in the Air Force?
Colclasure: “Technology has changed the Air Force tremendously. From deployments to records and everything else, technology has made the Air Force even greater than it was.”