04 June 2012


This past Friday, I celebrated two very different occasions.  On the one hand, it was my birthday.  But more importantly, it was B's Captain's retirement.  I had never been to a formal military retirement ceremony before (or even a change of command), so I thought this was pretty cool.

Even though the guy was a submariner (a previous commander of the USS Pennsylvania), he decided to have his ceremony right under the replicas of the Blue Angel jets flying in the Naval Aviation Museum.  Hey, when in Rome . . .

If you look closely, you can see the Dolphins on his chest
I've only seen B in his dress whites ONCE before, and it was after we had driven for two days straight (to get to this duty station), so I didn't appreciate it much.  As this is the second and probably last time I got to see it, I was very excited, as he and the other LTs were Sideboys (that term cracks me up!).

B is on the left
One of the special parts of the event was a Flag Ceremony.  The MC read this poem while a flag that had flown atop the Captain's former sub was passed along the line, saluted by each sideboy, and then presented to the Captain.

Sorry some of those pictures are a bit blurry--I was actually standing at the back holding a squawking infant in one arm while taking pictures with the other! 

B was the lucky one who got to hand it off to the Captain.  He told me it was because he was the shortest, as they were in height order.
I also really liked how the Captain thanked his family, and they gave his spouse a certificate as she transitioned from "Navy Wife" to "Navy Wife, Retired."  It was also their daughter's high school graduation; her ceremony was the following morning.  The family got to leave on the red carpet as a Boatswain's Mate rang a bell and declared, "Navy Family, Retired, Departing."

During the ceremony, the MC read a brief timeline of the Captain's naval career.  He was commissioned a week before I was born in 1984, and for whatever reason, that was just really neat to me.  Actually, at the party that night, it was mentioned that it was my birthday, and the Captain asked me (slightly joking) if I was 22.  I said, "Nope, I'm the embodiment of the length of your naval career--this is what 28 years looks like," as I leaned into my husband and my baby.  "Looks pretty good, right?"

Yep, it looks VERY good.  :)


  1. I've been to the museum! :) The whole ceremony seemed very nice and your family is so adorable!

  2. Actually, B's wearing his Summer Whites....the Dress Whites are the Chokers....and Dinner Dress Whites are the shorter jacket with cumberbund and black pants... It's easy to confuse them all though....LOTS of uniforms!

    1. I stand corrected, thank you! B doesn't own dinner dress anything (he just informed me it's not required until O-4). He hasn't worn his choker whites since 2007, when we lived in different states. He did point out that the Captain is in his Dress Whites in these pictures, so if anyone else is confused, check that out. Glad to see someone knows what's going on--I'm kinda glad B is leaving the Navy, since it's pretty obvious I'm not a very good Navy wife!

  3. Cute line!

    In all the years my hubby was in, I rarely saw him in dress whites too. gotta love that uniform, right?! ;-)

  4. Oh how the dress whites make me swoon! Your daughter is so beautiful!