A recognized and widely-esteemed leader in the Special Forces community and Executive Director of the Green Beret Foundation, Jennifer Paquette, was recently honored by the United States Special Operations Command for her tireless work in support of Special Operations Forces and more specifcally -- the Special Forces "Green Berets". Ms. Paquette received USSOCOM's "Patriot" award March 2, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. She was recognized for her service to the SOF Community that spans well over a decade.
The prestigious award, established in 2007, is the highest honor USSOCOM gives to civilians and is designed to recognize "those individuals who go above and beyond to support Special Operators and their families". Paquette has had the honor of supporting hundreds of Green Berets and their families and raised millions of dollars in support of the Green Beret Foundation - a non-profit which promises to "answer the call of Green Berets and their families so that they can succeed in their next mission".
"I recognize and am honored and humbled that I have been afforded the opportunity to support this elite unit and their families. For a female to be leading an organization that supports an all male unit, is a big deal to me. The fact that a fraternal brotherhood that has been underground for decades allows me to hold a trusted position does not go unnoticed by me. Also there would be no reason to honor me with an award if it weren't the work of the Green Berets and SOF at large," Said Paquette.
Jen has many career achievements over her 25 year career but creating the Steel Mags sorority, a program under the GBF, is one she is particularly proud of.
"I have found my people-girls that are cut from the same cloth being tenacious, steadfast, loyal, dependable for the Special Forces Regiment and their families and local communities. They are just as intelligent and driven by purpose as their Green Berets. These women are my family. I may have founded the sorority but these women have built it and gave legs to the vision," Paquette says.
Paquette identified a need for this special sorority after her husband SSG (R) Roland Paquette, a Green Beret medic, was traumatically injured by an IED blast while serving with 3rd Special Forces supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. "Jen is a very tenacious, loyal and driven person. She doesn't take no for an answer and does not shy away from a challenge even when others say 'Don't do it. You will fail'. When I enlisted, she enlisted with me. We are a team." Says Roland. Roland has since successfully transitioned from military service as a combat medic to a business owner of Med Training Group and an emergency room Physician Assistant.
Realizing that US Army Special Forces have been in the longest hot war in American history, Jen knew that our Green Beret marriages were maturing and children were growing up dealing with the effects of war. Her line of thinking is if we can attempt to keep the ladies and kids supported and as healthy as possible, our Green Berets can focus on the mission at hand whether that mission is being deployed, dealing with an injury or transitioning to civilian life. "Let's share the burden," she believes.
The Steel Mags started with a small group out of Ft. Bragg, NC. They have since grown to be a national group and have been mobilized throughout the country supporting each other, their local communities and teaching even civilian young girls and ladies the philosophies of the Spartan female force of the sorority.
Green Berets are particularly known for their high-deployment rates and consistent high-risk missions; they have the highest per-capita casualty rate of any unit in the US military. Given the intensity of the service and sacrifice, Jen's creation of Steel Mags appears to address an intense "need" in an empathic and vital fashion.
Uniquely positioned to understand and provide essential support to the SOF community, Paquette has a long history of service; she is on the Board of Advisors for the National Special Forces Green Beret Memorial Project near Ft. Bragg, NC. She has been active with JINSA, AIPAC, and Catholic Charities. She was selected for the 2012 Outstanding Young San Antonian award. Jen is also an Honorary Member of the Special Forces Association.
As Executive Director of the GBF, she manages critical aspects of day- to-day operations and handles strategic business development at the Foundation including strategic planning, fundraising, building and maintaining donor and investor relationships, coordination of services with USSOCOM Care Coalition, USASFC, USASOC and delivering those services to Green Berets and their families.
Green Beret Foundation Chairman of the Board Ret. Maj. Gen. Simeon Trombitas expressed enthusiasm for Jennifer's service to the Special Forces community. "Jen is an incredible asset to the Special Forces community. Her commitment has been incredible in times of great stress. Our Green Berets are much better off for having her support. Her efforts come at a critical time of need for Green Berets --- because Special Forces global deployment rates are not expected to slow down anytime soon," he said.
Ms. Paquette earned her B.S. in Business Administration majoring in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University and her Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Not-for-Profits and Public Policy from St. Mary's University. She is a member of Business Executives for National Security, the San Antonio Downtown Rotary Club, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and an associate member to the OSS Society.
"Strong Females. Strong Societies" says Paquette.
The above article came from the SF Brothers Facebook site.