What is a Frocking?
Frocking is a ceremony of graduation form one rank to another. E-1 through E-3 do not get frocking ceremonies because their rank was given due to time served in the military. In order to rank up from E-3 to E-4 you have to take a test. However just because you pass doesn’t mean you gain rank. There are only so many available spots for a certain rank in any given rate (job). You are competing Navy wide for the position. So when you go from enlisted to Petty Officer Third Class, you earned it!
My husband recently had his first frocking. My kids and I got to go and be apart of the ceremony and get pictures with his departments chain of command. He had to muster (be present in ranks) at 8 am. I waited with the kids in the bleachers until 9 am when the ceremony began. One hour with a baby and toddler could have been a tragedy but I was prepared. In my stroller was an arsenal of suckers and Toys R Us catalogs.
Once the ceremony began family members were called to the floor. Everyone who was getting frocked lined up school yard style. Thank God my husband’s last name starts with B because that meant we were third in line. The active duty members were told to stand at attention because the CO (Commanding Officer). My three year old son choose that moment to jump up on his father and hang on his blouse. *hand to face* Holding my wallet and baby I smiled with all eyes on me as I knelt down and grabbed him curling him into my chest. I whispered in his ear. “Daddy loved you very much but he can’t hold you right now. I need you to hold my hand and be still.”It took me a moment to realize I was the only person not standing for the high ranking superiors.
An active duty service member read a general congratulations and formalities letter. Then he announced each sailor and his/her new rank and rate. Once he/she was called they walked up to the Captain saluted him, offered him greetings and received congratulations. The Chain and Master Chief shook my husbands hand and we got a picture.
Here is our photo.
Yup. My son is diggin’ for gold. Ehhhh. Moms (deep sigh) can you relate? He could have picked his nose a second earlier or a second later. Nope. This kid has timing. Of course trying to get him to do anything else in a timely manner probably won’t be executed so elegantly. The most important picture of my husbands career up to this point and the only thing you see is Gage mining for nuggets. I guess it could have been worse he could have struck gold and wiped it on Master Chief.
After we were called and our photo was taken we were allowed to leave. My husband had to report to his chain of command who gave him an extended lunch to celebrate. Then he had to go back to work and do his job with his newly earned authority.
A Navy Tradition
The Navy has a ton of traditions but this one kinda had me chocked up. When you make rank it is tradition to hand down your crow patches to someone who just made the rank you just graduated from. It is suppose to bring luck to the sailor who receives them because you made rank in those crows. Lets hope that they bring the luck that they are legend to bring to my husband.
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