Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lt. Hudnell's Commissioning Ceremony...

Good evening everyone,
Today, I write this blog for our company so that the soldiers who went to Iraq with us can see David Hudnell receive his commission. David is a soldier who served as our Post Deployment Health Assessment manager while we were in Iraq. While there he was accepted for a direct commission upon return to the States. We were unable to get it accomplished in time for the entire company to be present before we were released, so today in Shelbyville, Indiana, we had the honor of promoting SPC Hudnell to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

As older officer's like myself start to retire, we are acutely aware of the need to bring in quality young men and women to carry on the leadership and traditions of the Army. Today, in front of a small crowd of family and friends, we were able to pin on his bars. We are all very proud to take part in this ceremony as David is truly a man of integrity and represents the best of the best.
Below are some of the photos' from today's ceremony. For our brothers and sisters of the 215th, we hope you enjoy these pictures and we gave David our best from all of you. By the way, all of you Seargents who used to boss David around, be aware, he will be walking by you as often as he can at our next drill just so that you have to salute him and call him, Sir.
Before I show the photos' I would like to give a quick biography of David. He entered the military as a mental health specialist. He has a Master's Degree in Business Administration and will be commissioned into the Military Service Corps. The irony about David's career is that after high school, he was offered a full scholarship to the Citadel Military Academy to play basket ball. He turned the offer down because he did not want to go into the military. It reminds me of an old saying that goes, 'If you want to make the Lord laugh, tell him your plans.'

We are glad that he came around and saw the light and joined our ranks. We are so very proud of David and we love him dearly. In addition to everything else, I have to say that he was a very good friend to me when we were in Iraq and I thank him for that.

Now, on with the ceremony.

Lt. Douglas Latino, in the class A uniform, will pin one of the gold bars on David's shoulder board the other soldier is David recruiter. I apologize because I didn't get his name but he is a very nice man.

The above three pictures, Lt. Ashley Clifton-Mason is administering the Federal Oath of Office.

Here Doug and David's wife is pinning on his gold bars. He is now, Lt. David Hudnall.

Now, it was time for me to provide a brief history of a tradition that is performed with newly commissioned officers. When a soldier recieves his/her commission it is customary for the new lieutenant to 'Coin' the soldier who provideds the officer with his first salute. Today, SPC Wilkey provided that salute. The coin that is given is a silver dollar. The history of this tradition is not completely known. In the Ancient Roman Empire, it was tradition for leaders to give a coin with the emporer's face on it, to soldiers who had performed above and beyond the call of duty. The tradition for a new officer to give a coin to an enlisted soldier may have originated in the 19th century with the British Army. The coin represented a promise that the new officer would buy the first round of drinks on the next pass. Leave it to the Brits to integrate alcohol into fine military traditions. :0)

SPC Wilkey provides the first salute.

Here Lt. Hudnell provides SPC Wilkey with his coin via a handshake.

I was so happy to shake David's hand. He had been working on his commissioning packet for the entire year while in Iraq. It was so nice to see the pay-off.

David and his family. I used to talk to David about the stress of being a young lieutenant in the Army but then I realized that he has a daughter that will one day be a teenager and well, there are no greater stessors than those that he will face when that time comes.

Here Doug presented David with a very nice plaque to commemorate the occasion.

Here SPC Hatfield came to the ceremony. She was our dental tech in Iraq as well as our personnel clerk. She has returned to college and is taking pre-med classes.

One final picture before we rapped things up. From L-R: Doug, Ashley, David, myself, and SPC Wilkey.

Thank you guys for checking in. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. It is a big deal for those of us in the Army when a soldier receives a commission and we look forward to a long and successful career for Lt. Hudnell. Please lift him up in your prayers.

God Bless,


No comments: