Patterson was an American officer during the Battle of Anchorage.
Patterson dies shortly before the player character arrives at the U.S. Army field headquarters and is never met in person. The player character takes over their team and mission in the quests Paving the Way and Operation Anchorage!.
There is some inconsistency regarding his rank. General Chase refers to him as "Colonel Patterson" whereas his terminal greets him as "Lieutenant Patterson." This may be due to a field promotion, or multiple field promotions, as traditionally Colonel is a higher rank by several pay grades. Therefore, the computer has not been updated since his arrival at Anchorage. Such a change wouldn't be unexpected as the large losses sustained by American forces would cause a shortage of good officers, with commanders promoting on the spot to fill ranks. It is also possible that Patterson was promoted posthumously after being killed in action. Therefore, General Chase would refer to him by his new rank out of respect, but his terminal would likely not have been updated yet.