The Institute of World Politics was proud to host the promotion ceremony of one of our US Army Senior Fellows, Colonel Mike Eastman.
The ceremony was well-attended by COL Eastman's family, friends, colleagues, and members of the IWP community. After a brief invocation, COL Eastman's talented daughters, Christy and Katie, opened the ceremony by singing the national anthem. Lieutenant General Gary Speer then took the podium and spoke about Eastman's career and character. Speer traced Eastman's diverse career, including stints in Hawaii, Iraq, Afghanistan, and a long tour as aide-de-camp to the Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Europe. Speer stressed Eastman's ability to adapt to different situations and take on different tasks, growing well beyond his original artillery training of "firing guns." He concluded his remarks by saying that promotions were only partly about recognition of prior accomplishments, and mostly about recognition of future potential.
Colonel Eastman himself then took the stage. He thanked everyone for being at the ceremony, and he thanked the Institute both for hosting the event and for the experience of his fellowship the past few months. Most importantly-so important, in fact, that he had underlined it several times in his notes-he thanked his family. Noting that flowers were the typical gift to present at these ceremonies and determined to defy expectations, he then presented his family with ballet tickets to show his appreciation. His son, "Captain" Jack, received the more appropriate gift of a mobile gaming system. Eastman had special words of thanks for his wife of 20 years, Hai, who he credited with giving him the chance to "play soldier."
Eastman's wife and father then pinned on the silver eagles indicative of a full colonel. General Speer administered the oath of office. The ceremony concluded with a spirited rendition of Army Song. (Beat Navy!)
IWP is one of the few schools chosen by the US Army to host its Senior Fellows, who receive academic experience equivalent to the Army War College. The Institute is privileged to host two of these fellows. The Institute's other senior fellow, Colonel Erik Gunhus, served as master of ceremonies at the event.