Sunday, April 15, 2012

Always With Honor

Last week I had the honor and pleasure to attend the graduation of Basic Officer Training Class 12-04 at Maxwell Air Force Base. I'd never been to a military graduation, but the thick-stuffed envelope that was the invitation had my expectations very high. I was not disappointed.

We began the multi-day celebration with a sort of orientation session where we saw a slide show chronicling the graduates ninety-day journey from the blue-line ceremony on their first day, to the final week-long deployment in the woods of Alabama. 
Following that, our graduate took us on a short tour of the place he'd called home for the last three months. Let's just say, I have a new appreciation for neatness. Not that I'm ever going to use this, but here is a video on how to roll your socks, Air Force style.

Next on the agenda was the Awards Ceremony. I can't say this enough. I was honored to be in the presence of so many intelligent and dedicated young men and women. My hat is off to Tiger Flight who were named Honor Flight for this graduating class.

That evening was Dining Out - a formal affair for the graduates and their dates. I can't resist. Here's my daughter all dressed up and ready to go. Her date looks mighty spiffy in his formal dress uniform too.

Graduation was next - that translates into a pinning ceremony where the Officer Candidates take the Oath of Office, then receive their rank (Second Lieutenant bars). I was pleasantly surprised when our graduate sang the National Anthem. 

Each graduate chose someone to administer the Oath of Office to them. Ours chose his father, a retired Air Force officer. It was a special moment for the father/son duo. 
Our graduate received his bars from his mother (on the left) and my daughter (on the right).

It was all smiles afterwards!!
And time for a parade.
See if you can pick out our new Lieutenant.
It's time for a real celebration.

Congratulations to all the graduates. You are awesome, and I feel so blessed to have shared this momentous event with you. 
Best of luck at your new posts.

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