This Day in Military History May 20,2000

holmes 2lt commissioning13 years ago today I graduated college and was commissioned as a brand new 2LT in the US Army.  I graduated from SUNY Potsdam while taking my ROTC training at Clarkson University.  At the time, I had no idea what the future had in store for me.  I was excited to finish college, have a secure job, and serve my country.

I remember waking up early that morning.  My parents were coming in to town (a long drive from Maine) to see me graduate and receive my commission.  I was excited to see them.  We had a nice small commissioning ceremony at SUNY Potsdam where we my parents “pinned” on my gold bars.  I was so proud.

In addition, my National Guard First Sergeant rendered my first salute and I awarded him a silver dollar, as with Army tradition.

I spent the afternoon with my parents, some of my ROTC peers, and my fraternity brothers.  We went out to lunch, spent a few hours together socializing, and then I drove off to my first duty assignment: Fort Lee, Virginia.

I experienced so many emotions that day.  I was excited about “finally” being an officer, sad to leave all my friends behind at college, and unsure about what the future had in store for me.  Looking back, I was young, naive and very inexperienced (green).  It’s hard to believe how far I’ve come during the past 13 years.

Our lives are nothing more than a series of moments.  This is one of the most “special” moments that I will never forget.


7 thoughts on “This Day in Military History May 20,2000”

  1. Memories are always something to be cherished. I look at the picture and I see a Father that has pride a mile long of a son who endured and won. I see a Mother with a love so deep for her son and also a pride. It is these memories that always keep us moving forward, no matter how difficult circumstances can become. You had every right to be proud Chuck.

    Be sure and store all those old pictures and memories. Children, grandchildren and other family members will always have a story to relive all because of the great choices you made.

    Great post Chuck and thank you for sharing some of your life with us.

  2. Personal moments such as this one always tug at my heart-strings. I did a few years in AFROTC but a bum knee ended my Air Force career before it ever had a chance to get started. It’s awesome to see how far you’ve come since your graduation and commissioning day, your shared experiences stand as a testament to your hard work and dedication, and also serve as an inspiration to others.

  3. Amy Skalicky

    I always appreciate personal stories like this one, Chuck. Thank you for taking the time to share. I can imagine how proud your parents were and are of you. I am sure they were unsure of what the future held in store for you, especially after 9/11 happened not long after, and you were still brushing off you “greenness.” Through your articles on this site, you get a sense of how much you accomplished in a decade, which really isn’t that long when you think about how much you packed into it. It sounds like you hit the ground running.

  4. Justin Long

    Nice article, Chuck. Always interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on their Commissioning day experience. Big day in our lives and for our family members too! I must say there has been some drastic changes from 2LT Chuck Holmes to the Ret. MAJ Holmes!

    1. I sure have changed during the past 13 years. And I hope to change even more during the next 13 years. I am proud of my service as an Officer, but am equally excited about the future ahead. I will never forget my commissioning ceremony. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.


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