The Month Art “Frocked” Himself…

“In the United States military, frocking is the practice of a commissioned or non-commissioned officer selected for promotion wearing the insignia of the higher grade before the official date of promotion. An officer who has been selected for promotion may be authorized to “frock” to the next grade. Wikipedia

So, in the mid-80’s we had a guy in the 560th who made Major. He was our Squadron ‘Pretty Boy;’ always walking around in somewhat of a perpetual pose – like some sort of a fashion model on a runway somewhere. Anyway, this one monday he comes in the squadron with brand new Major’s leaves sewn on his flight suit. Spends the better part of the morning just walking around with his coffee, ‘saddling up’ to folks, and staring at his new Major’s leaves, waiting for acknowledgement! Just proud as a peacock, he was!

That Friday we had a Squadron party somewhere or another. I happened to see him, standing off with a beer, all alone by himself. So I walked over and asked him what was up.

“I’m not a Major anymore,” he replied.

“What?” I asked.

Then he went on to explain. “My line number (for promotion) was (something like) 1871. I thought it was 1781 and the promotion numbers for the month ran up to 1790 – so I thought I was good. Now, I am a Captain again.” And he was really distraught!

I could hardly “hold it in!” It was ‘kinda sad,’ yet at the same time, funny as Hell! Art had “frocked” himself! And now that he discovered the error of his way, he has to ‘de-frock’ himself. And, it couldn’t have happened to a better guy!

That next Monday morning, I happened to see Art ‘slinking’ into the squadron, as a Captain (again). I decided to leave him alone, but it’s still, Funny as Hell!

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