Paul Cataldo, a 1977 graduate of Patchogue-Medford High School, has devoted his life to service with the U.S. Air Force: 40 years, nine assignments in three countries, five states, and countless deployments—the majority of them in the Middle East. Paul enlisted in 1979 and in 20 years of active duty, worked his way up to the rank of Master Sergeant. He saw action in many major operations, including Desert Storm, and played an essential role in the nation’s defense during Operation Enduring Freedom. Although Paul retired in 2000, he returned to the Air Force and continues to serve as a civilian.
Today Paul is the Chief of Civil Engineer Operations Support for the Air Forces Central Command at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. He is responsible for the construction, operation, and sustainment of entire deployed locations, facilitating movement, bed-down, and sustainment of entire fighter wings, and support agencies in support of Enduring Freedom. During his career Paul earned many awards and recognitions, honoring his excellent conduct, humanitarian contributions, and dedication to service. As a civilian, he has received the Air Force Air Combat Command Outstanding Staff Action Officer of the Year Award and Civilian Officer of the Quarter, both two times.
Paul is not only an asset to the military and his country, but also to his local communities. Since 2004, he has coached the highly successful SC Bandits softball team for girls aged 12-18 to three South Carolina ASA State 18-U Championships and two appearances at the ASA 18-U Nationals. In 2008, Paul became a volunteer assistant coach of the University of South Carolina Sumter Fire Ants team. Beyond motivating his players athletically, Paul also coaches them academically. Thirteen of his players have been named Academic All-Americans. Throughout his many years of service, Paul has become known far and wide as a man of integrity who takes great pride in helping others succeed.
At Patchogue-Medford High, Paul played football and also fell in love with—and later married—his high school sweetheart, Nancy, who is also being honored as a Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame Inductee tonight. Paul and Nancy enjoy spending time with their three daughters, granddaughter, grandson, and three dogs. Paul also enjoys working on the1968 Mustang he bought while still a student at Pat-Med.