TROY alumnus 2nd Lt. John A. Kellum was presented with the Patterson Award as the most distinguished Infantry graduate at the United States Army’s Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., during a ceremony in April.
The Patterson Award, which consists of a certificate of achievement, a monetary award, an engraved pistol and a letter of commendation by the Commandant of the Infantry School, was established in 1952 by friends of Judge Robert P. Patterson. Judge Patterson served in both World War I and II. In 1918, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for his combat service. He went on to serve on the U.S. District Court and the Court of Appeals and later served as the Under Secretary of War for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Secretary of War under President Harry Truman. Judge Patterson died on Jan. 22, 1952 in a plane crash in Elizabeth, N.J.
Second Lt. Kellum, a native of Killeen, Texas, earned a bachelor’s degree in sports and fitness management from TROY. He entered military service in Mountain View, Calif., as an infantryman, attending One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning in 2002, and later attending Airborne School. Following completion of Airborne School, Kellum was assigned to the 2-35th Infantry where he served in positions ranging from Team Leader to Squad Leader.
In 2008, Kellum attended the Ranger Indoctrination Program and was assigned to the 1/75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield. He deployed multiple times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2010, Kellum attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as an Infantry officer. His awards and decorations include: the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.