We had an exciting day yesterday – my husband promoted from an O-3 to an O-4. I posted a picture of us on my “Promotion Day” post 🙂
This was the first time my husband promoted since we’ve been together, so I didn’t know what to expect. I asked some friends about the promotion process, but, like most military events I attend, the reality was different then what I expected.
If you are wondering what to expect at a daytime Naval officer’s promotion, here are a few bullet points:
– The promotion took less then 10 minutes and occurred in a conference room. All of his coworkers, officers and enlisted, attended.
– His boss read the promotion speech and read him his oath, my husband repeated the oath, his boss and I tore off his old rank to expose his new rank, and then my husband signed a document that made his new rank official. On their way out, all of his coworkers shook his hand.
– I wore an outfit that I would wear to a Christmas Eve church service (nice dress, black tights, black heels, and a cardigan). I could have been a little more casual, but I don’t recommend being more casual then Sunday Dress. I’m sure some people dress more casually, but I feel that this kind of event dictates a nice outfit.
– One of my husband’s coworkers took pictures for us. It worked out really well because he’s a good photographer. If you want a professional there, have one. Several people told me that there would be an official Navy photographer taking pictures of the promotion (apparently this is typical protocol?) and that I could request the photos from the photographer, but there wasn’t one present at my husband’s promotion. So, if you want pictures of the event, make sure that you have someone there to take pictures, regardless of whether there might/should be an official photographer there.
– The promotion was a very informally formal event. Although the promotion ceremony has a little pomp and circumstance, lots of jokes were tossed around (mostly at my husband’s expense) and I was laughing through the whole thing. It was one of the more fun military events I’ve attended.
– One thing I wish I had known to do was to bring a snack for my husband’s coworkers. Had I realized that everyone would be there, I would have brought brownies or something. Some spouses might think this is overkill, but everyone who attended the promotion would have appreciated the gesture, I’m sure. They had to take 10 minutes out of their day to watch my husband get promoted, so the least I can do is provide some brownies or something.
– Enjoy the day. Celebrate. We didn’t do anything special afterwards because of my husband’s work schedule, but it seems like most families go out to eat or make a favorite meal for dinner. We accidentally ruined our dinner last night, so we had a very anticlimactic end to a great day 🙂
– Following the promotion, Naval officers typically have wetting-downs at some point in the weeks that follow their promotion. These can occur in a home, at a bar, or elsewhere. The promoted officer spends his increased pay on drinks and/or food for his friends. I’ve attended lots of wetting downs and they’re a very good time.