OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. --
On Saturday, June 27, 2020, during morning roll call for the 102nd Intelligence Wing staff, a unique promotion ceremony took place.
The June Regularly Scheduled Drill (RSD) was held virtually. Some Airmen attended in person, but for the majority, training was administered remotely; a reminder of the COVID-19 pandemic. Briefings were given, important information was passed down through the chain of command and other administrative “business” was conducted with the assistance of webcams, mobile phones and laptop computers.
One of those important housekeeping tasks that occurs during most RSD roll calls, remote or otherwise, is the promotion of Airmen in front of their peers.
This weekend was no exception.
Airman Nolan Kaldenberg of the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office was attending remotely from the comfort of his bedroom at home when he was called out during the roll call.
“The First Sergeant asked me what rank I was wearing,” said Kaldenberg. “I said, ‘Airman’ and was told I was out of uniform. It was then that my dad busted through the door like the Kool-Aid Man!”
Upon the command, “attention to orders!” everyone present, either in person or remotely, stood at attention while attorney, Capt. Noel Lamy, read the promotion order.
When the command for “presentation of the new rank” was given, retired Master Sgt. Casey Kaldenberg applied the stripes to his son’s uniform.
“It was quite a surprise for me,” said Airman Kaldenberg.
The surprise was due in no small part to the coordination between Senior Master Sgt. Sean Sullivan, wing First Sergeant, and Master Sgt. Kaldenberg.
“The idea came from when the command chief and I went around to visit all of our people during the long shutdown. We visited Nolan and met his father, who was proud of his son,” said Sullivan. “When the commander told me his promotion order came through and he wanted to promote him during a virtual RSD, I contacted his father to see if he wanted to participate.”
Master Sgt. Kaldenberg, a veteran Security Forces defender, retired from the regular component in 2007. He made the presentation in uniform, honoring his son with an impromptu promotion ceremony that he will likely never forget.
“We are all very proud of Nolan,” said Master Sergeant Kaldenberg. “The ceremony was small, but to us it was huge – I’m glad I could be a part of it!”