This post is MAJORLY overdue 😉 Rachel was promoted to the rank of Major in the Air Force on February 1st and we celebrated on February 3rd. Better late than never…here’s a recap of the day!
Rachel works in the Civil Engineering Air Force office in the Pentagon, so her promotion was held at the Pentagon as well. It was really neat to take part in the ceremony at such a special location! We arrived super early to be sure that we all made it through security and we were able to take a tour of the Pentagon with Rachel and Tom as our tour guides. (Gerard was very excited to chime in with anecdotes from his time at the Pentagon as well!) We got to see Rachel’s office as well as the infamous Purple Water Fountain (don’t ask me why…but there’s a purple water fountain in the Pentagon). We toured the 9/11 Memorial Chapel and got to look out over the Courtyards to see the water fountains and picnic areas. It was a really rainy day, so we decided not to venture outside. Around 10 am we headed to the area where the ceremony and reception were taking place and we took our seats.
Once the ceremony began, Rachel’s boss Colonel Thomas discussed all of the great things that Rachel has been a part of in her Air Force career, including her posts in Missouri, Korea, Florida, and Germany, as well as her tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was so neat to hear all about the projects that Rachel’s been a part of, especially her work with the REDHORSE Squadron. Col. Thomas also discussed Rachel’s commitment to her squadron when he briefly touched on the fact that Rachel was chomping at the bit to return to Bagram Air Force Base after sustaining an injury to her arm that required surgery and intensive rehab in Germany in September 2011. She’s crazy, that’s for sure!!!
After the speech, Rachel was “pinned” with the new rank of Major. Her mom Carolyn and husband Tom (also a Major in the AF – such a power couple!) pinned her on.
Then Michael and Rachel’s dad Gerard (a retired AF Colonel) got to pin Rachel on. This was my favorite part of the ceremony. I think it’s great that members of Rachel’s family got to participate in such a special way.
Once Rachel was pinned with the rank of Major she took the oath of her new office. Gerard got to deliver the oath to Rachel which was very neat. Rachel then gave a speech, and finally it was time to celebrate!
There was brief reception held at the Pentagon which was a great time for everyone to get to chat with one another and see Rachel. A lot of family and friends were able to make it for the ceremony. The Wittmans were there (of course!) as well as my parents, and family friends from the area.
After the reception, we went all went to lunch. My parents left for the airport right after lunch, but it was so nice to get to spend the day with them!
It was a great day to celebrate Rachel. Michael and I are so proud of her and we are so happy that we live close enough that we can be a part of celebrations like this.