Army Promotes Father, Daughter on Same Day

Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, presents a promotion certificate to Sgt. Kaitlin Reyes during a promotion ceremony March 30, 2018 in the foyer of the ASC Headquarters, Building 390, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. Reyes was promoted the same day as her father as she transitions to a new position at the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Group Support Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (U.S. Army photo/Kevin Fleming)
Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, presents a promotion certificate to Sgt. Kaitlin Reyes during a promotion ceremony March 30, 2018 in the foyer of the ASC Headquarters, Building 390, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. Reyes was promoted the same day as her father as she transitions to a new position at the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Group Support Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (U.S. Army photo/Kevin Fleming)

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- A scheduling coincidence and delayed paperwork led to the rare occasion of father-daughter simultaneous promotions March 30 at the U.S. Army Sustainment Command Headquarters, Building 390.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeff Lein was promoted to chief warrant officer five (CW5) and his daughter, Spc. Kaitlin Reyes, was promoted to sergeant.

"It's overwhelming -- I'm very proud to have two members of our family promoted on the same day," said Lein, senior food advisor, Installation Logistics Directorate, ASC.

Lein said being promoted together was particularly meaningful because it was the first time he had the opportunity to experience a military recognition ceremony with his daughter. Lein had missed her graduation from Advanced Individual Training and Airborne School because of mission-related activities.

"It means a lot, almost like a passing of the torch," said Lein, who has been in the Army for 26 years. "I'll be getting out in a couple of years, and she's just starting her military career."

A three-year veteran, Reyes re-enlisted for another three years during the ceremony.

"I was supposed to be promoted last month, but my paperwork was delayed," said Reyes, who had already planned to attend her dad's promotion. "I'm blessed to be able to do this."

Reyes was headed to a new logistics position at the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Group Support Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

In his speech, Lein reminisced and said he was proud of his daughter.

"Seems like just yesterday you were donning a parachute rig to help me train up for jumpmaster school, and now you're planning to attend [my last promotion ceremony]," he said. "I wish you the best of luck in your career, and perhaps in 20 years I'll be up here helping pin on your final rank."

Both Lein and Reyes said they originally joined the Army for the civilian higher education benefits, but stayed for the Army community and to serve their country.

As a food technician, Lein said he deployed and moved a lot during his career, placing a heavy burden on his family. Lein deployed multiple times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

"When I was a junior officer at the height of the (OEF/OIF) wars, the Army deployed warrant officers to oversee the massive feeding missions for Soldiers," said Lein. "They sent the food technicians -- some more than others."

Lein's wife, Deanna, said she was grateful for his career and proud of her family.

"It makes you proud to know they are serving their country, something a lot of people won't step up to do," she said. "They do some crazy stuff I wouldn't want to do -- like jumping out of airplanes. I'm proud of them."

Lein thanked Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, commanding general, ASC, for hosting the ceremony. Gamble said it is important for ASC to support personnel and their families.

Lein also thanked Gamble's protocol team for making special accommodations to include his daughter in the ceremony.

"My daughter was planning to fly up here for my promotion, and two days after scheduling the flight she called me and said 'I made rank the same day as you,'" he said, continuing that he then asked Gamble if Reyes could be added to his ceremony.

Lein also thanked his colleagues, mentors and his two other younger children for supporting him through his career, and he thanked them for attending this special event.

"It's rare for active-duty family to be promoted on the same day," said Lein. "I don't know the stats on that, but it's got to be an extremely low probability for something like this to occur during the span of a military career."

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