The Coolest Promotion Ceremony Ever [Dispatches from Antarctica]

Lt. Col. Vaughan administers officer’s oath to Lt. Col. Adelia at McMurdo Station with the U.S. flag in the background. (Photo: Lt. Col. L. Adelia/USAF)

Lt. Col. Vaughan administers officer’s oath to Lt. Col. Adelia at McMurdo Station with the U.S. flag in the background. (Photo: Lt. Col. L. Adelia/USAF)

This is the sixth entry in the Armed with Science series, Dispatches from Antarctica. The series features Air Force Lt. Col. Ed Vaughan’s first-hand experiences on OPERATION: DEEP FREEZE, the Defense Department’s support of National Science Foundation research in Antarctica.

2 October 2010: McMurdo Station, Antarctica — promotion ceremony.

Last night’s NVG mission delivered a piece of equipment vital to this year’s planned over-land traverse to the South Pole. The long traverse will begin in a few weeks. Among other advantages, the effort to deliver fuel and cargo to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station using overland traverses frees up some LC-130 ski-plane missions to support NSF’s work in other science field camps on the continent.

The official order from the Air Force arrived today. Our chaplain, Major Laura Adelia of the Texas Air National Guard, is promoted to the grade of Lieutenant Colonel. Now we just have to find a suitable place, with a U.S. Flag, to perform the ceremony. The associated photos speak for themselves.

View of  Lt. Col. Adelia's oath with McMurdo Chapel of the Snows in background. (Photo: Lt Col L. Adelia/USAF)

Lt. Col. Adelia's oath with McMurdo Chapel of the Snows in background. (Photo: Lt Col L. Adelia/USAF)

Maj (Dr.) Richert pins Lt. Col. rank on Chaplain Adelia. (Photo: Lt Col L. Adelia/USAF)

Maj (Dr.) Richert pins Lt. Col. rank on Chaplain Adelia. (Photo: Lt Col L. Adelia/USAF)

For Classroom Discussion: What was the role of tractors in earlier overland traverses to the South Pole? How does the Kiwi base near McMurdo trace it roots to this traverse? Located on the Ross Island with McMurdo Station is New Zealand’s Scott Base. Scott Base has its roots in the historic overland traverse of Antarctica led by Sir Vivian Fuchs and Sir Edmund Hilary. More about that journey here.

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