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Three decades of service

Local resident, La. Guard Soldier retires after 32 years

By 2nd Lt. Rebekah Malone
Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office

PINEVILLE, La. – Friends and family bid a fond farewell to Col. Patti D. Woods, commander of the Louisiana National Guard’s 199th Leadership Regiment, at a retirement ceremony honoring her 32 years of service at the Stafford House on Camp Beauregard in Pineville, May 4.

Woods worked full-time for the Guard in the purchasing and contracting department. Col. Barry Keeling, director of the joint staff, said her work was vital to the Guard.

“I knew that once you got to your office, you were going to make it happen. I appreciate everything you’ve done. Your service with us has been invaluable,” said Keeling.

Woods joined the Louisiana Guard in 1980 while attending Louisiana College in Pineville, where she received her bachelor’s of science in business. Later she went on to earn her master’s degree in business administration and a master of strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

After graduation, Woods went active duty where she served for 11 years in the U.S. Army, before continuing her career in the Army Reserves. After deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003, she returned to the Guard.

“I started my career in the Guard, and I’m so glad I could go full circle and complete it right where I started,” said Woods. “Having served on active duty and in the Reserves, being in the Guard is something completely unique.”

Woods deployed again in 2010, this time with the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, where she served as the director of public works for Victory Base Complex in Baghdad. After her return, she took command of the 199th Leadership Regiment in February 2011.

“To the 199th staff, you are a true diamond in the rough,” Woods told her unit. “You don’t get the spotlight enough for the great things you do for the Guard. Thank you for making my last position in the Guard so rewarding. To be a part of shaping young officers to be leaders of tomorrow has just been an honor for me to be a part of.”

Woods told her fellow Guardsmen that she would miss the close-knit nature of the Guard.

“It is the camaraderie with you that I will miss the most. It has been my honor to serve with you both in the state and in Iraq.

“It’s a sad day, but a good day,” said Woods. “It’s been an honor to wear the uniform for 32 years.”

Woods received the Louisiana Legion of Merit and the Louisiana Minuteman for her service. She is the wife of the late Command Sgt. Maj. Riley J. Woods, former commandant of the 199th Non-commissioned Officers Academy.


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