Terminal Rank

Tue – June 1, 2004

I was promoted today!

That’s right, a full-fledged, eagle wearing, four stripe carrying, O-6 type Captain.

For the last 16 months I was a Captain (select). Captains (select) are known throughout the Fleet as, “Commanders.”

Which is pretty much what we were known as before we were Captains (select).

But now it’s official! Which must mean that I am very, very old.

It seems like only yesterday that I was a fresh-faced midshipman, one who could maybe go a day or so without shaving and no one would notice. My company officer (the first commissioned officer that any of us would know), was a superannuated lieutenant of perhaps 30 summers. A nuke submariner, in fact. He had strands of gray hair in his otherwise black hair, and lines around his eyes that didn’t go away when he stopped smiling.

He seemed as old as salt.

A captain was a man who, by definition, had one foot in the grave. They were inestimably desiccated and sere, mere husks of men.

Good thing they’re selecting us younger, these days!

But the ensigns these days! You have to wonder if they have a permission slip from their moms to be here…

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