Officer continues family tradition with promotion to O-5.
/ Published April 05, 2008
December 7, 2007 -- Newly promoted Lt. Col. Maggie Stephens was pinned by her father during a promotion ceremony held at her parents' home November 28.
"Since my mother cannot travel right now, my father wanted to do a pinning ceremony at home," Stephens said, explaining her decision to do a private promotion ceremony.
"I enlisted exactly 40 years after Dad enlisted, and now I've made it to the same rank that he did," said the younger Stephens.
Stephens' father, retired Lt. Col Otmar E. Stephens, Jr., pinned her using the silver oak leaf clusters he wore during his service.
"Celebrating my promotion with my family meant a great deal to my father and me," Lt. Col. Stephens said. "I come from a family enriched with military history and we share that pride."
For the Stephens family, military pride is a family tradition. Her grandfather, Otmar Eugene Stephens, Sr., left the military as a 2nd Lt. Her uncle, Gene C. Stephens, a P-38 Lightning pilot, was killed in action just before he would have been promoted to Captain. "The emblem on the front of my father's hat actually belonged to Gene and my father wore this with pride throughout his military career," aid Stephens.
The family celebrated the promotion on the senior Stephens' 80th birthday. "Being a part of Maggie's promotion to Lt. Col. is an honor and made this was a very memorable birthday," he said.
Lt. Col. Maggie Stephens is the 131st Medical Group's training flight commander. She has been a member of the 131st Fighter Wing, Missouri Air National Guard for more than 20 years.