Patrick W. Button, born 7 December 1947 in Key West, Florida, was drafted into the US Army in 1969. He attended Field Artillery Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and was then assigned as Executive Officer of Headquarters and Company A, Student Enlisted Battalion, US Army Ordnance Center and Schools (USAOC&S), Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Released from the Army in 1972, Button earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Montana State University. In 1975 he learned that his application for a Regular Army commission, submitted before his departure from active service, had been approved. Button received a direct appointment as a Captain in the Ordnance Corps.
His first assignment was with the 27th Maintenance Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, serving as Battalion S-1, then Maintenance Officer in the Battalion Materiel Office, and then Commander of Company E. The brigade his company supported maintained such high operational readiness rates, and his company received such an outstanding rating in its annual training and evaluation test, that Button was selected in 1977 to command the maintenance company of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, the first tank battalion in the division to undergo testing under the Division Restructuring Study. He stood up his company and maintained an operational readiness rate of over 95% through three months of field training.
Button next served, from 1978 to 1981, in the 123d Maintenance Battalion, 1st Armored Division in Germany, first as S-1, then as commander of Headquarters and Company A, and finally as the S-2/3. Returning to the US, he was assigned as Logistics Concepts Officer, High Technology Test Bed, 9th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington. He developed the Tables of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) for the first Forward Support Battalions and the requirements documents for the Palletized Load System and Forward Repair System.
In his next assignment, as TO&E Developments Officer, US Army Development and Experimentation Agency, from 1982 to 1984, Button worked out the details for a high-technology brigade. He next served as Logistics Concepts and Doctrine Staff Officer and later Executive Officer, Deputy Chief of Staff for Doctrine, Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command. He developed concepts for logistics support in low intensity conflict and logistics at echelons above division. From 1988 to 1990, he returned to the 1st Armored Division in Germany to command the 501st Forward Support Battalion.
Button then served, from 1991 to 1994, as Director of Combat Developments at USAOC&S, where he oversaw advances in Ordnance doctrine and equipment, to include fielding the Forward Repair System. Button was then assigned as Director for Maintenance Management, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and Operations, Headquarters Army Materiel Command. In addition to managing maintenance policy and the depot maintenance program, he implemented the logistics initiatives of Integrated Sustainment Maintenance and the Single Stock Fund.
In his final assignment as Assistant Commandant, USAOC&S, from 1997-1999, he energized combat development actions and pushed forward the multi-capable maintainer and Force XXI maintenance initiatives. Col. Patrick Button retired in 1999 after more than 27 years of outstanding service.