Pate resigns advisory post
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 26, 2010 1:46 PM
After more than 30 years of service to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the city, county and state that call it home, local military advocate Troy Pate Jr. has submitted his resignation to Gov. Beverly Perdue.
Pate, who has served as chairman of the governor's Advisory Commission on Military Affairs since 2002, said in a letter dated Tuesday that it was time for a new generation to lead the group he was first appointed to in the mid-1970s.
"There comes a time when new people with fresh new thoughts should be given the opportunity to contribute to the great relationship North Carolina has developed with the military in our great state," the letter reads.
Pate's role as a staunch advocate for Seymour Johnson and its airmen took form during former Gov. Jim Hunt's administration, and since that time, he has, among other things, traveled to Afghanistan to see the Air Force mission firsthand and led the effort to protect Seymour Johnson when the Base Realignment and Closure Commission was convened in 2005.
For his efforts and dedication, he was recently awarded the Air Force's Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian.
But a few days after that ceremony, the 10-time Military Affairs Commission chairman and president of the Seymour Support Council -- a group he co-founded in 2000 as a preemptive strike against BRAC -- announced he was taking a step back from his role with those two groups.
"It's not like I'm not going to be involved. I'm just giving up the day-to-day activities," he said last June. "But (the award) coming at a time when I'm beginning to phase out, it's a fitting climax to a great ride. I came sliding into home."
Gov. Perdue, on behalf of herself and the state, thanked Pate Thursday for his years of service.
"North Carolina and the military community is deeply indebted to Troy Pate for his work on the Advisory Commission," she said. "In particular, he helped me tremendously during the Base Realignment and Closure process. I thank him sincerely for his service."