Recently, I had the privilege of photographing a naval commissioning ceremony. This was my first time attending an event like this and as a navy wife myself, I was intrigued as to what it entailed.
Let me tell you it did not disappoint! The setting for the ceremony was in beautiful San Diego harbor on board the USS MIDWAY. It held breath taking views of the san diego skyline as well as the harbor and the coronado bridge in the distance. Not to mention, the Midway itself, steeped in rich military history and tradition.
Chief Hamilton, the man of the hour, was being commissioned to "LDO" or limited duty officer. Not only had he achieved the highly regarded honor of being made a Chief but now he was rising once again to the title of Officer. LDOs however are different than your average officer. This is someone who started out among the enlisted rates, they have literally started from the bottom and gained experience and knowledge that can't be taught in schools.
As an LDO, you are often referred to as a mustang. A mustang is wild and can be broken but will always have it's roots as a wild horse. They explained this more beautifully during the ceremony than I ever could, so I'll just leave that right there.
My favorite part of the ceremony though, was when they spoke of family. They recognize the family and their sacrifice just as much as the sailor. Each speaker made sure to acknowledge and thank the family for all that they do for their loved one's career. As I stood there listening, I couldn't help but agree and get a little emotional thinking about the years of service and sacrifice that brought them to this moment. It was inspiring and humbling.
Here are just a few of the images I delivered from that day:
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I am so thankful to the Hamilton family for allowing me to be apart of it.
Bravo Zulu, Ensign Hamilton!