Oath at commissioning

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by aggie83, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    5
    Can someone, that has had a cadet graduate from the AFA, tell me how the commissioning ceremony works? Does each graduating senior in the squadron have the oath administered to them individually by someone they choose? Then do they sit down, and the next senior repeats?
     
  2. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    514
    Yes, each individual Firstie has the oath administered separately by whomever they choose. Expect about two hours for the squadron commissioning ceremony.

    Stealth_81
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    As stealth said, each individual is done separately during a ceremony. The good news is; it's done at the squadron level with parents/family/friends in attendance. This means you only have about 25 individuals to deal with. Not the entire 1000+ like during graduation where each and every individual's name is called to get their diploma.

    The commissioning is usually done at night in one of the various auditoriums. Each of the 40 squadrons are scheduled a time in a particular auditorium. There's 2 shifts. So it could be around 5pm or around 7pm, depending on your squadron.

    For us; it was probably the most exciting. My wife and daughter, (Mom and sister) pinned on son's rank on his epaulets. Being enlisted, I got the first salute and traditional silver dollar. It was a very moving ceremony.
     
  4. aseanag

    aseanag Eagle2013

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    0
    CC is this just a regular silver dollar Kennedy or the expensive American Eagle silver dollar?
     
  5. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    aseanag- Sorry to nitpick but I just can't help myself. Kennedy is on the half-dollar, and Susan B. Anthony is on the silver dollar. I know, I know; please don't hit me! :redface:
     
  6. aseanag

    aseanag Eagle2013

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are so right! Is it Eisenhower on the silver dollar not sure. There are silver dollars that are expensive and other that are not. Just wondering which silver dollar is used for the first salute.
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    I tried to tell my son, he was CHEAP, because he didn't get me a REAL Silver Eagle. (Worth approximately $30). LOL!!! :shake: Hell, he didn't even get me a Morgan or Peace dollar. (Worth about $23).

    No, he doesn't know the difference. He did at least get me a Bicentennial 1776-1996 because it represented Country/Military. "At least he tried". The funny thing is, I collect a lot of silver. "REAL SILVER". He's seen my silver. He just disn't realize that a modern "Silver Dollar" has no silver in it. Except for some commemorative coins.
     
  8. Don

    Don Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    First salute / shared pinning on

    I think my son will ask a special Full Bird to administer oath, and pin on his rank. Do you think his mom or I should pin one shoulder too? Also his cousin was a TACP. He is out of the military now, but can he come in uniform and recieve or give the first salute? I know after 4 years I should know these things! but hey I'm just a dad. :shake:
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    IMHO: Share the wealth. let the colonel give the oath. Mom and dad each take a shoulder and put his bars on.
     
  10. Don

    Don Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds good to me, what about the cousin? I'm sure he and my son know but now I'm curious.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    I'm retired, but I'm not sure of the protocol for someone who served but isn't active or retired. I would say that it's probably OK. But honestly, I don't know. But if your son wants his cousin to give the first salute, then that's what matters. It's not like there's some law that says you can or can't. I would say if your son wants it, then go for it.
     
  12. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    343
    If you have someone you want to give you your first salute, you are perfectly at liberty to ask!

    That being said...YOU need to be very appreciative!

    I'm a numismatist...coin collector for those of you that have never seen the word.

    I gave a "specific" cadet in the class of 1985 my dollar...it was an 1883 Morgan Dollar in "uncirculated" condition (100 years before my class).

    A once in a lifetime event...worthy of a memento like that.

    FYI...he still has that dollar! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  13. Ambition

    Ambition USAFA Class of 2017

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hate to make myself look even more like the newcomer that I am, but could somebody explain to me exactly what and how the Oath of Commissioning works?
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Steve. Very well said and indeed a great story. When my son started the academy in 2008, he and I had the talk about the first salute from an enlisted, the coin, and the meaning behind it. The "PLAN" was for Holly and I, (Mom and Dad) to pin on his bars; and for Jeremy's grandfather who was enlisted and served during the Korean War, to give the first salute. I had a 1929 Walking Liberty (The year grandfather was born) to give. Unfortunately, because of a stroke, Jeremy's grandfather couldn't make it to graduation. "Fortunately, he is still with us and kicking. God Bless". So I honorably accepted Jeremy's request that I give him the first salute. "Thus having his sister and mom pin on his bars". Jeremy still gave grandpa a "Class Coin" Coin with Hap Arnold (Class Exemplar). That was just as meaningful to grandpa.

    But yes, the first enlisted salute is indeed a very honorable moment. It demonstrates the respect earned both in rank and as a commissioned officer and leader. Our family is quite small. I have a very large family back east, but I was the only one who left. (And NEVER moved back). I joined the air force, and my family basically consisted of me, wife, daughter and son. The rest of my family consisted mainly of my military brothers and sisters. I know YOU understand Steve. I am closer to you and my Thudgate brothers that I only get to see a 5-6 times a year, than I am with my mom, dad, brother, sisters, and the rest of my blood family. We really wanted "Grandpa" to be part of Jeremy's graduation. Even though he wasn't a career soldier, he totally understood my life and was probably the most supportive of the 4 of us in our "Military Family". Understanding us only getting to see family every 3-4 years. It's a shame he couldn't be there for Jeremy's graduation, but he knows the feelings we have for him and the appreciation he's had for our family and his daughter marrying into the military.

    So if Don's son wants his cousin there for that first salute, definitely go for it. But Steve is 100% correct. It is not to be taken likely. Ceremony and tradition is very important. The commissioning ceremony is one moment where everything your son's worked for over the last 4 years, comes together to make sense and to have purpose. Some indeed take it lightly. Some understand what it symbolizes.
     
  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Reader's Digest version: In order to be commissioned, the new officer takes an "Oath of Office". The whole "State your name, solemnly swear, etc..." At the academy, it's done prior to graduation; the night before. It's done at the squadron level, meaning about 20-25 soon to be commissioned lieutenants. It's done in one of the many auditoriums at the academy in the academic area. One at a time, (Alphabetically), each individual being commissioned goes up on stage. They are accompanied by the officer who will give them the oath of office. They are also accompanied by the individuals who will pin on their new rank. (The rank is on epaulets and placed on their shoulders). Usually mom, dad, family, or very close military friend. If the individual has an enlisted family member or friend they want to give the first salute, they accompany them also. The majority of cadets DON'T have such a relationship. Their first salute is usually given by one of their enlisted instructors from the squadron while they were cadets. This is usually the only enlisted they've ever known. But like Steve did above, some new Lieutenants will have that FIRST salute come from another CADET who is in a lower class. (Remember; cadets ARE in the military). They aren't enlisted and they aren't officers, but they are also a very acceptable person to get your first salute from.

    So, the officer administers the oath of office, the cadet/lieutenant raises their right hand and repeats. When they are done; their guest pins on their rank. Salute if appropriate. Leave the stage. The next individual is called up for their turn. Around 5-6 minutes total time per person.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  16. Don

    Don Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    You guys are great!

    Mike and Steve,

    Thank you for the insight. You both have been a great source of perspective for my wife and me (as have the other “regulars”). Thank you all.

    As to this post, tradition and its function are important to our family too. I would be surprised if my son was NOT up to speed on all this but we are (obviously) not military and are happy to have the information. I am sure this topic comes up this week as we talk about the families plans for graduation.

    Thanks again!
     
  17. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    5
    It says an officer administers the oath so I assume it has to be a military officer? What if you don't have one available to come in your family (i.e. my nephew may be deployed)? I had been thinking of my Dad, which is not military, so guess that won't work. I know we could always use the AOC.
     
  18. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    While some do have family members who are officers, a large portion usually ask one of their favorite instructors or AOC. Some ask their ALO who helped them get into the academy in the first place.
     
  19. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    60
    Your son has likely already picked the person. At least, in my squadron, we were asked to provide a name several weeks ago. I went with an instructor. If scheduling does not work out, I'll happily go with my AOC.

     

Share This Page