Precociously very attracted to the military, he joined the parachute corps on 1st January 1983. Having undergone training to become a noncommissioned officer, appointed sergeant, he was sent to the 35th parachute artillery regiment of Tarbes, after which he left for Africa. He stayed twice in the Central African Republic as a detachment commander, and, upon his request, he was admitted, in 1989, in the CRAP team of the regiment.
It was within the framework of this search and action in depth commando in charge of carrying out very risky missions behind enemy lines that he participated in operation Daguet, during the first Gulf war, early 1991. After the liberation of Kuwait, during the offensive on the Iraqi territory, he was wounded by a mine explosion during an attack against an As-Alman fortlet and had to be flown back for health reasons, late February 1991.
In 1992, Staff Sergeant Sonzogni reintegrated the 1st artillery regiment of Montbéliard where he became the assistant commander of the in-depth observation team.
In 1993, Warrant Officer Sonzogni was sent to Yugoslavia, and, after spending sometime in the 35th RAP of Tarbes, he left for overseas missions, first to the Central African Republic, in 1996, and subsequently to Bosnia and Kosovo, within the prestigious Parachute Commando Group, CRAP's new appellation.
In August 2001, Chief Warrant Officer Sonzogni was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and was entrusted the command of the parachute commando group; this made him to serve, on several occasions, in Kosovo and Macedonia.
Upon becoming an intelligence specialist, Captain Sonzogni left on 23 November 2008, for Afghanistan, where he voluntarily opted to be sent to the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT), within the Afghan army. On Wednesday, 11 February 2009, early in the afternoon, he was a member of a fifty-man French-Afghan motorised detachment, to carry out operations in the Logar province. Upon arriving the Deh e Manakah village, 30 kilometres south of Kabul, the vehicle on board of which was Captain Sonzogni crossed an improvised explosive device (IED), which exploded. Insurgents, who had taken ambush, opened fire and a violent confrontation started with the about fifty soldiers retaliating. Two A10 planes and Apache helicopters brought their immediate support to the patrol and the insurgents were obliged to disengage. But Captain Sonzogni lost his life in the ambush as well as that of the Afghan interpreter who accompanied him, while a chief brigadier was also seriously wounded.
The ceremony of the removal of corpse of Captain Patrice Sonzogni took place the following day at the Warehouse camp parade ground, before being taken to the camp chapel for a wake, followed by its repatriation to France.
Patrice Sonzogni leaves behind a wide vacuum for his wife and two children, as well as for all his close relatives and friends. He was the officer who had the highest number of awards in his regiment: knight of the Legion of Honour, holder of the military medal, a commendation in the army order of overseas operations with a vermeil-starred war cross, a commendation with award of the military valour cross, the serviceman cross, overseas medal with Middle East hooks, CAR, Congo, national defence golden medal with TAP/MAE hooks, former Yugoslavia commemorative medal, the EU Concordia medal, the NATO medal, the nation’s recognition title, and Kuwait liberation medal.
Captain Sonzogni leaves the memory of an uncompromising enthusiastic man, who was constantly an example to his men as well as his bosses; he always volunteered for very dangerous missions, having offered and sacrificed his life for the service of France.