The military is filled with acronyms, words, and concepts that sometimes require additional explanation to those who aren’t immersed in the culture – like frocking. Frocking is when a commissioned or non-commissioned officer is selected for promotion wears the insignia of the higher grade before the official promotion date (aka ‘date of rank’). Last summer, we found out that Clay was selected to promote to Lieutenant Colonel and was subsequently offered a position that would keep us in the DC area a little while longer. In order for Clay to transition to this new position in the coming weeks, he had to be ‘frocked’ because his official promotion date is not until this spring.
On Friday afternoon, Clay pinned on Lieutenant Colonel in front of family and friends at the Pentagon. It was a wonderful ceremony filled with personal stories and some good laughs. In attendance were people from almost every duty station – it really felt like a snapshot of Clay’s career thus far. One of the many perks of being stationed in Washington DC – there are so friends from over the years stationed here too! The logistics of planning a ceremony in a building as secure as the Pentagon proved to be headache-inducing at times but it was by far the best promotion experience yet.
Because I’ve been around since his cadet days and the fact that all of his promotion dates have occurred when he was stateside, I’ve been lucky enough to attend all of his ceremonies and have an active role. When Clay commissioned in 2004, I nervously pinned Second Lieutenant rank on his shoulder completely unsure what the coming years would bring. For his First Lieutenant promotion, I had approximately 45 minutes notice that a group ceremony would be taking place on post with the other promotable Second Lieutenants. So all of us wives high-tailed it to Battalion Headquarters so we could pin our husbands. He promoted to Captain with the same group of guys shortly after returning from Afghanistan. And his ceremony for his promotion to Major was thrown together quickly and due to Violet being a stowaway, I was just thankful I made through the ceremony without throwing up.
The kids were able to be involved in the ceremony, which was super important to us. While the Army is their dad’s chosen career, it is still very much a team effort on their part. A lot is asked of military kids and it’s nice when they’re able to participate in such events.
We are so incredibly thankful to our family and friends who joined us on Friday for the ceremony and the festivities that took place later that night. Over the years, I’ve been incredibly proud of my husband and his accomplishments. His ability to do what he does so well and be a fantastic husband and an incredible father is nothing short of amazing. I’d follow that man anywhere!