At the 140th National Encampment, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War elected Michael A. Paquette of Fredericksburg, VA as the 135th Brother to hold the office of Commander-in-Chief. Brother Paquette entered the Order as a Charter Member of the Irish Brigade Camp #4, Department of the Chesapeake in 2000.
Within the Department of the Chesapeake Brother Paquette has held the positions of Commander, SVC, JVC, Secretary-Treasurer, Patriotic Instructor and he served as Commander of Irish Brigade Camp #4. He has led the Department host committee for the National Encampment twice; first in 2011 in Reston, VA and then in 2015 in Richmond, VA. At the National Level he has served on the Council of Administration, Program and Policy Committee, National Encampment Site Committee, National Monuments Grants Committee Chair, National Committee on Communication and Technology, the Commander-in-Chief Appointed Strategic Development Committee, and the Commander-in-Chief Appointed Committee on Headquarters and Planning. Brother Paquette is also a dual Charter member of the Col. Crowther Camp #89 in the Pennsylvania Department and a dual member of the Gen. Zenas Bliss Camp #12 in the Department of Rhode Island.
Brother Paquette grew up in Pawtucket, RI and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after graduating high school. He learned about the SUVCW at a recruiting effort held by the Irish Brigade Camp organizer in Fredericksburg, VA in 1999. He traces his direct Civil War lineage through his GGG grandfather William G. Stratton, Wagoneer, Company H, 19th Maine Volunteer Infantry, who served from July 31, 1862 until mustered out with his company on May 31, 1865.
Brother Paquette is a 20-year Marine Corps veteran. After boot camp, he served as a bandsman at Parris Island, SC and after three years performed a lateral move to the Data Processing Military Occupation Specialty. During his military career he participated in the transition from mainframe computers to personal computers along with the implementation of the internet and network-based services across the Marine Corps. While on active duty he served various posts at Quantico, VA, Camp Pendleton, CA, and Okinawa, Japan. While stationed at Camp Pendleton he served overseas with the First Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group during the Persian Gulf War and later during the Somalia peace keeping mission. He retired as a Master Sergeant at Marine Corps Computer Science School in Quantico, VA in 1997.
Brother Paquette is a member of the 28th Massachusetts, Company B, Volunteer Infantry reenactment group. He is a Charter member and past president of the Fredericksburg Concert Band which was founded in 1998. He is a member of the Band of America’s Few, a Marine veteran musicians’ group. He is a past Pit Crew Chief and Band Parent Booster for 15 years at a local high school in Spotsylvania County, VA. He is a former Boy Scout and Assistant Scoutmaster and led two high adventure treks to Philmont, the BSA National Scout Ranch located in Cimarron, NM. Brother Paquette is also a Third-degree Knight of Columbus.
Brother Paquette is married to the former Patricia Martin of Pocatello, ID who he met while attending the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. They have four daughters and one son.