Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2011 Induction - Nashville, TN
Retired Colonel Patrick G. Forrester made unique contributions to Army Aviation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) over a thirty-two year Army and NASA career.
Graduating from West Point in 1979, he went on to complete Airborne and Ranger School, Army Flight School and the Instructor Pilot Course. He served as an instructor pilot at Fort Rucker and as the Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commanding General.
Following assignments with the 25th Aviation Brigade as a platoon leader, operations officer, and battalion level S-3, he earned a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia.
In 1992, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School followed by assignments to Edwards AFB and to the U.S. Army Technical Test Center (ATTC), Fort Rucker, AL. He served as a company commander and adjutant while simultaneously conducting test flights and evaluations.
NASA selected him as an astronaut candidate in 1996. After astronaut training, he served as a capsule communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control, as the technical assistant to the Director of Flight Crew Operations, and as the Commander of the U.S. Army Astronaut Detachment.
In 2001, he flew as a mission specialist aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-105 to the International Space Station (ISS). In 2007, he made his second trip to the ISS on STS-117 aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. He made his third trip into space aboard Discovery on STS-128 in August 2009. During his three missions to the ISS, he amassed over 950 hours (39+ days) traveling in space, and flew over 16.4 million miles. He conducted four spacewalks accumulating 25 hours, 22 minutes of EVA time.
He has flown over 5000 hours, logging time in more than 50 different types of aircraft. His career can be summed up succinctly by saying, “He is an Army Aviator first, an Astronaut second, and a Soldier always.”