2023 Grand Marshal
The role of a Grand Marshal is of utmost importance in overseeing and leading the spectacular festivities of our community's esteemed annual Parade of Patriots. As the symbolic figurehead, the Grand Marshal assumes the responsibility of upholding the traditions and values that define our community while also embodying the spirit of patriotism and unity that the parade celebrates.
With their distinguished presence and inspiring demeanor, the Grand Marshal sets the tone for this cherished event, ensuring that participants and spectators alike experience a memorable and pride-filled celebration of our shared heritage. This year, the Parade of Patriots has TWO Grand Marshals in the father and son duo, Chris and Jeff Collins!
Both Chief Petty Officer Chris and Major Jeff Collins are excited to be a part of the festivities this year, moreover, as two of the three of Chief Petty Officer Collin's children and his six grandchildren live in Trophy Club!
Chief Petty Officer Christopher Collins:
After his high school graduation Chief Collins enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in April 1971 and completed recruit training (Boot Camp) in Alameda, California. Having a sense of adventure, he requested an assignment to the Coast Guards Alaska region. His first assignment was aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Balsam, a buoy tender stationed out of Adak, Alaska. This cutter was primarily used for maintaining aids to navigation in the Bearing Sea, west of the Aleutian Islands and to the north as far as Point Hope.
The following summer, he was transferred to attend Aviation Electrician ‘A’ school at the US Navy training center at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL. For the next twenty years, he became proficient in aircraft maintenance and aircrew duties. Early assignments took him to Coast Guard Air Stations in Elizabeth City, NC, Port Angeles, WA., and Eureka, Ca. In addition to his maintenance qualifications, he qualified as a search and rescue (SAR) aircrewman in the HH52 and HH3F rescue helicopters and the Lockheed C-130 aircraft. He was promoted to Chief Petty Officer at Coast Guard Air Station in Sacramento, Ca. where he held a Flight Engineer rating with the C-130 aircraft, was the senior enlisted aircrew Standardization Board member, and a qualified operator/instructor for the full motion flight simulator for the C-130 aircraft.
During this assignment, he was selected and graduated with honors from the US Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Academy in Petaluma, Ca. Shortly thereafter, he was reassigned to the Coast Guard Air Station, National Airport, Washington, DC. During his tour in Washington, he earned his BA from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and attained his FAA Mechanic Certificate. Upon his Coast Guard retirement, Chief Collins became employed with the Federal Aviation Administration. In 2010 he accepted a position as the Flight Standards Associate Division Manager for the Southwest Region in Fort Worth. It was then he built his home in Trophy Club. Currently, two of his three children and their spouses, plus SIX grandkids
Major Jeffrey Collins:
Major Jeffrey Collins retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2019 after beginning his career as an enlisted Sailor in the United States Navy. Over his twenty years of service, his career consisted of 3 combat tours, 8 deployments to recover Prisoners of War or Missing in Action personnel, and numerous training exercises across the world. His duty stations included Great Lakes, IL; San Diego, CA; Diego Garcia, British India Ocean Territory; Quantico, VA; Camp Johnson, NC; Kaneohe Bay, HI, Camp Pendleton, CA; Honolulu, HI; Camp Lejeune, NC; Iwakuni, Japan; and Savannah, GA.
Major Collins spent his first two tours of combat with the Marine Corps’ 1st Force Reconnaissance Company in the Al-Anbar Province of Iraq in 2004 and again in 2005. In 2006 Major Collins was part of the transition of Marine Force Reconnaissance units to Special Operation Command and is one of the plank owners of the 1st Marine Special Operation Battalion (now known as 1st Marine Raider Battalion) as the Logistics Officer.
His third combat tour was as the Future Operations Officer for Combat Logistics Regiment 2 in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.
During his time in-between combat tours, he was assigned to the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command as a Team Leader for Recovery Operations. There he trained and executed missions around the world to bring home our nation's missing. His missions included operations in Vietnam; Iwo Jima, Japan; multiple trips to India; Germany; Poland; and Loas. His team worked with forensic anthropologists to carefully and respectfully excavate the final resting places of our Nation’s men and women who served during World War II and Vietnam and repatriate them to their families. He also consulted on evidence found from World War I sites and Korean War sites.
Major Collins earned his Master of Business Administration from Webster University and Bachelor of Science in Economics from Radford University. He is continuing his Executive Education at the Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University. Upon retirement Major Collins now works for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He has lived in Trophy Club since 2019 with his beautiful wife and three children, who attend the University of Texas at Dallas, Byron Nelson High School, and Medlin Middle School.