…Concerning Promotion Ceremonies.
The first of the month is always a fine time anywhere in the Marine Corps. Not only do we all get paid (usually), we also get to promote a few deserving Marines in whom we’ve reposed special trust and confidence.
This week we promoted one of our Marines to Sergeant, three to Corporal and one to Private First Class.
|Cpl Rehfeldt receives his warrant from the CO.|
I normally begin the promotion ceremony by calling the company to attention and have each of the platoons report their accountability: “All present or accounted for!” Then I about face and wait for the Company Commander to march on and take his position in front of me. Here I render the report and he will say: “Take your post!” or simply: “Post!” I then move in to my position to his left rear.
|“Sir, do you like how I positioned myself to be in the shade while you remain blistered with ultraviolet radiation?”|
Next I will order: “Marines to be promoted, CENTER! MARCH!” They march around from behind the formation and report to the CO.
Then I read the warrant authorizing the promotion of the Marine.
Now days, Marines being promoted to an NCO rank or higher are given the privilege of requesting who they would like to pin on their new chevrons. This privilege is supposed to highlight the major step taken from a troop to a small unit leader and NCO. If you don’t think this is a big deal then you haven’t been paying attention.
Above, two of our Sergeants pin Corporal chevrons on a newly minted Cpl Beeby. To the right the Commanding Officer and America’s 1stSgt exercise the privlige of promoting Private First Class Carrissosa.
It is at this point where I sometimes tighten my jaws at promotion ceremonies. I have witnessed promotions where those pinning the Marine remove the old rank insignia and disdainfully toss it away. I don’t know where this started but it strikes me as profoundly disrespectful. Tremendous feats of valor have been accomplished by Privates, PFCs and Lance Corporals throughout our history. These are not ranks to be despised.
I had a SSgt toss a Lance Corporal chevron into the grass during a promotion. Immediately following the ceremony the SSgt aided me in combing through the grass to find it. When we were successful I explained there were a lot of good Marines buried in Kaneohe Bay bearing this insignia. It would be ignoble of us to callously cast aside something they bore honorably in combat. Our mantle is something we pass down to worthy successors not hurl into the dirt to be forgotten. Arlington Cemetery
It hasn’t happened again in my presence, but if it did someone would find themselves subject to a nose to nose counseling from
’s 1stSgt. America