First Naval Promotion of the New Year

Written by on January 3, 2019

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Lieutenant Junior Grade Zappa, assigned to the USS San Antonio (LPD), takes the Oath administered by the San Antonio’s Commanding Officer, Captain Edgardo Moreno during a promotion ceremony aboard the USS Wisconsin (BB 64). (Photo by Max Lonzanida).

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Lieutenant Junior Grade Zappa is pinned by his wife to Lieutenant during a promotion ceremony aboard the USS Wisconsin (BB 64). Lieutenant Zappa is assigned to the USS San Antonio (LPD 17). (Photo by Max Lonzanida).

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On a brisk and chilly Wednesday morning, Naval Officers assigned to the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) walked across the gangway to board the USS Wisconsin (BB 64). Before boarding, they stopped smartly and rendered honors to the National Ensign flying from the iconic Iowa-Class Battleship’s fantail. Afterward, they set foot aboard the ageless teak wood decks and proceeded forward of turret #1 to convene a promotion ceremony for one of their own. In the span of 20 minutes, Lt.j.g. Zappa would be promoted to Lieutenant in front of members of his command and his family; and more importantly, this was the first military ceremony aboard the Wisconsin in 2019.

According to Thomas Dandes, Special Events Coordinator at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum; 287 re-enlistments were hosted by the museum in 2018, followed by 517 total military ceremonies. The decks of the Wisconsin are a popular venue for promotions and retirements; while the iconic turret #1 often serves as a back drop for promotion ceremonies during the week. In the warmer months, the summer sun can make the decks of the Wisconsin feel like a frying pan; and during the winter months, the chilling temperatures have the opposite effect of making the deck feel like a freezer. The extremes in temperature do little to deter those currently serving in the US Navy from venturing aboard the battleship, and this was the case this morning.

The ceremony started promptly at 11 am on the ageless battleship. With the huge 16-inch gun barrels as a backdrop, CAPT Edgardo Moreno, Commanding Officer of the San Antonio, provided some cursory opening remarks. After that, with right hands raised, he administered the Oath to Lt.j.g. Zappa in front of members of his command and family. Warm smiles lightened the mood as his wife pinned on a new set of glistening Lieutenant bars on his uniform. After that, applause resonated from the small crowd and some on-lookers as the Wisconsin and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum hosted and concluded its first military ceremony of 2019.

The USS San Antonio (LPD 17) is the first in her class of twelve Amphibious Transport Docks. She bears the namesake of the City of San Antonio, Texas, and is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk. She was commissioned in 2006. The USS Wisconsin (BB 64) is one of four Iowa-Class Battleships, and was originally commissioned in 1944. She was decommissioned for a final time in 1991, and is moored permanently next to the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and Nauticus in Downtown Norfolk, Virginia as a museum ship.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Captain Edgardo Moreno, Commanding Officer of the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) provides some opening remarks during a promotion ceremony aboard the USS Wisconsin (BB 64). (Photo by Max Lonzanida).

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Newly promoted Lieutenant Zappa, assigned to the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) stands with his parents in-front of turret #1 aboard the USS Wisconsin (BB 64). The promotion ceremony was held aboard the battleship, and was hosted by the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. (Photo by Max Lonzanida).

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Newly promoted Lieutenant Zappa (third from left), assigned to the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) stands with his members of his command in front of turret #1 aboard the USS Wisconsin (BB 64). CAPT Edgardo Moreno, Commanding Officer of the San Antonio (fourth from left) officiated the promotion. The promotion ceremony was held aboard the battleship, and was hosted by the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. (Photo by Max Lonzanida).

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