Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our Son In Law Awarded Naval Aviator Wings!

June 11, 2011 NAS Corpus Christi, Tx.
Yesterday the 10th was a busy day! We got up early and Joyce did her daily 3-4 mile walk while I worked on cleaning up the Jeep. The day was going to be filled with activities surrounding our Son-In -Law's Naval Aviator Winging Ceremony.  This was the much anticipated event for which we had spent the better part of the Spring hanging out in Texas so that we would be close enough to attend. My sister, Lynn and her friend were to arrive from Dallas around noon with their fifth wheel and park next to us in the campground to attend the celebration. Andrew's Mom and his brother were also here from out of state.
The day kicked off with a 10:00 "Soft Winging Ceremony" at Andrew's training squadron.

The Naval Aviator Insignia is a warfare qualification of the United States military that is awarded to those aviators of the United States Navy,Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who have qualified as Naval Aviators. The Naval Aviator insignia is identical for all three branches, as are the similar Naval Astronaut and Naval Flight Officer badges. Naval Aviation Pilots were awarded the Naval Aviation Pilot badge which, while considered a separate award, was identical in design to the Naval Aviator badge.[5] The all-gold badge was designed by John H. Towersc1917, and consists of a single fouled anchor, surmounted by a shield with 13 stripes, centered on a pair of wings.
To qualify for the Naval Aviator insignia, a service member must have completed flight training and be designated a qualified pilot of a military aircraft. Traditionally, Student Naval Aviators are awarded "soft wings" immediately after the completion of their final training flight. These soft wings are typically gold-leaf impressions on leather patches that Velcro to the flight suit. The official Naval Aviator insignia are later awarded at a "winging" ceremony.

Andrew and Ashley (A2)
The "Soft Winging" consisted of the "Skipper" of the training squadron awarding the soft patch with Andrew's name rank and Naval Aviator insignia, worn on his flight suit. There were 29 military aviators from the Navy, Air Force, Marines and foreign countries receiving the honors.
Soft Winging Presentation
In the picture below you can see the insignia on his chest has been changed from two pictures above.
A2 with New Soft Wings
After that brief ceremony, we got about 1/2 an hour in a flight simulator!
Some Simulator Action!
One of the T44's was set up as a static display for the families and guests.
Andrew's big brother Matthew a Lieutenant in the Navy arrived to take part in the celebration!
Andrew and Matt
We took a break for a quick lunch before the main ceremony at 3:00, the official and formal "Winging Ceremony" presented by the training Commandant and a two-star Rear Admiral guest speaker. 
Ashley pinning on Andrew's Wings

Andrew's Mom getting a hug!
Ashley and her Aunt Lynn after Ashley received a bouquet from Andrew!
Afterwards there were plenty of drinks and snacks in the Officer's Club.
Brothers: Matt and Andrew.

Ashley, Andrew, me and Joyce.

A2 and Nancy (Andrew's Mom)
We are all proud of Andrew! Becoming a Naval Aviator is not an easy task. It was explained in some of the speeches that perhaps less than 10% of eligible candidates make through the intense training and qualifications.
Andrew and Ashley will next be assigned to Jacksonville where Andrew will become qualified as a P3 pilot.
After the main ceremony we all went out for dinner on Padre Island before returning the group to the Officer's Club for an open bar celebration. Joyce and I stayed for just an hour before leaving with the knowledge that the Navy would be providing them a ride home!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful day for all of you. You have a right to be very proud, in fact as a country we should all be proud of these young men and woman who give so much and train so hard. Congratulations to Andrew and his fellow aviators!