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Special Forces Commander is First ROTC Hall of Fame Inductee

Army Brig. Gen. Patrick Roberson participated in ceremony via teleconference.

2016-04-11
Kristine Goodrich, Mankato Free Press, 4-2-2016

MANKATO — A brigadier general serving in Iraq is the inaugural inductee into the Maverick Battalion Army ROTC Hall of Fame.

Army Brig. Gen. Patrick Roberson observed the ceremony in his honor Friday via teleconference. His wife and son were on hand to hang the plaque in his honor at the Wiecking Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Roberson is the first of what is to be annual inductees into the new Hall of Fame. The hall will honor alumni, staff, cadre and supporters of the ROTC program that readies cadets from Minnesota State Mankato, Gustavus Adolphus College and Bethany College for service in the Army. Roberson is a 1990 graduate of the Maverick Battalion and Minnesota State Mankato, earning Distinguished Military Graduate and Magna Cum Laude honors.

Fellow members of his class participated in the ceremony and described Roberson as a focused, highachieving cadet who looked out for his comrades.

One former classmate recalled a training march in which Roberson took a struggling comrade’s heavy backpack and carried it along with his own. Even with two packs, he was faster than most of the runners.

The brigadier general’s wife, Carolyn Roberson, is also a Maverick Battalion alum. The pair, who have three sons, were high school sweethearts from Annandale who came to Minnesota State Mankato together.

Carolyn went on to become an Army nurse who served four years on active duty and another four in the reserves.

Patrick Roberson has served most of his 26 years and counting in the Special Forces.

He’s now in Iraq serving as Special Operations Joint Task Force deputy commanding general for Operation Inherent Resolve (the campaign against ISIS).

Carolyn said her husband went to Iraq in late December and it’s uncertain when he will return home. She’s lost count of the number of times he has been deployed, she said. She guessed about 10. He’s been in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, his wife said.

According to his biography, Roberson’s past deployed assignments included commanding the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2013.

Carolyn said this deployment is the first in which her husband has had relatively reliable Internet access, allowing him to video chat with his family most nights.

Unfortunately the Internet connection between Minnesota State Mankato and Iraq was lost near the end of Friday’s celebration.

Roberson did get to see most of the ceremony but didn’t get to give a few acceptance remarks as planned.

The entire version of this story can be read in a print copy of the Mankato Free Press. Call the Mankato Free Press at 625-4451 or (800) 657-4662 to find out how to purchase a print copy. The Free Press also prints select stories online at www.mankatofreepress.com.

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