Husband and wife promoted to colonel, lieutenant colonel in shared ceremony
Fort Bliss (U.S. Army) — Two married officers stationed at Fort Bliss had the rare honor of being jointly promoted by the post commanding general during a ceremony held at the Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums, Feb. 13.
Lt. Col. Jay M. Ferreira, chief of the Air Defense Artillery Test Division, and his wife Maj. Stacey Ferreira, a family nurse practitioner assigned to William Beaumont Army Medical Center, were promoted to the ranks of colonel and lieutenant colonel by Maj. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss commanding general.
“I’ve done a lot of promotions, but this is the first time I’ve done a married couple getting promoted at the same time. That’s kind of special and I’m very honored to be a part of it,” said MacFarland at the ceremony. “Please join me in thanking the Ferreiras for their service to our nation. And now the Army is going to thank them by promoting them.”
Family members, Soldiers, friends and co-workers looked on as the Ferreiras raised their hands and gave the oath of office, an oath given to individuals before undertaking the duties of an officer. MacFarland then pinned them with the assistance of their mothers, Martha Line and Margaret Ferreira, starting with Stacey Ferreira so the couple could momentarily hold the same rank of lieutenant colonel.
“Mom, I want to thank you for all the support throughout the years and happy birthday,” Stacey Ferreira said. “One of my greatest mentors is my husband. He has mentored me in leadership throughout my career. He has taken the time that doesn’t go on your (officer evaluation report) for all those below him and I think that’s the greatest gift that Jay has given.”
After singing the Army song, attendees lined up to shake hands and congratulate the newly promoted leaders. In keeping with military tradition, the Ferreiras finished the ceremony by cutting a cake with a saber, celebrating their accomplishment.
“Today is a great day to be a Soldier. A great day to be in the Army,” said Jay Ferreira. “If you had asked me 23 years ago if I’d be standing here, married to a fellow officer with four kids at 46 years old with a distinguished division commander promoting us, I would have said you were crazy. But here we are. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but we made it together.”