News: Father flies to field exercise, witnesses Stryker son’s promotion
Story by Spc. Kimberly Lessmeister
YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER, Wash. – In the eyes of Army chaplain and Maj. Mark Moss, every promotion is special; it is a landmark in the career of any soldier.
So when the opportunity came for him to make a 36-hour trek from his home station in Germany to the training area here to see his son’s promotion ceremony, he took it.
Moss watched 2nd Lt. Jonathan Moss of Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, be promoted to first lieutenant in a ceremony here, Oct. 8.
Also in attendance was Jonathan’s wife, Jennifer, who drove to Yakima from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., area.
Jonathan’s brigade, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, is completing a month-long rotation on training grounds here in an exercise called “Raider Fusion.”
Most of the soldiers in the brigade will not be able to see their families for the duration of the training, but because of the rare circumstance of Mark being in the United States, an exception was made.
For father and son, reunions in a military setting have been scarce.
Since his son joined the Army in October 2009, Mark was able only to attend Jonathan’s graduation from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga.
With upcoming stateside training and a holiday weekend on his side, the elder Moss headed to the Pacific Northwest to show his support and see what life is like for his son, an armor officer.
“You never know when you’re going to be able to come to a promotion and that’s the reason I’m here,” said Mark.
Meanwhile, the chance to have both a parent and a spouse come to a training exercise was “exhilarating” for Jonathan.
“My father’s instilled the morals and values in me that they essentially look for in leaders, and (I) followed his example,” said Jonathan, the platoon leader for the Mobile Gun System platoon. “Without my wife’s support I wouldn’t be in the Army - period … She’s been my encouragement along the way.”
In front of a company formation, Mark watched as Jennifer ripped the old rank off Jonathan’s uniform and replaced with a rank the chaplain himself had once held.
“I don’t know if I’ll make it when he makes captain,” said Mark. “If he stays in long enough, I don’t know if I’ll be there for (when he gets promoted to) major because I don’t know where I’ll be at in the world, so (this promotion is) important to him.”
Regardless of what the future holds, they have the memories of being together now during this significant day in Jonathan’s career.