News>'Making rank' has special significance for Global Strike general
Retired Col. Chuck Finan (left), husband of Brig. Gen. Sandra Finan, and Delmar Chase, the general's father, pin handmade brigadier general's stars on the general at her promotion ceremony June 15, 2010, at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. General Finan is the Air Force Global Strike Command Inspector General. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Corey Clements)
Delmar Chase crafts brigadier general's stars June 15, 2010, at his home in Calimesa, Calif. Mr. Chase is the father of Brig. Gen. Sandra Finan. A retired dental technician, Mr. Chase has hand made an insignia for each rank for the general since she was a major. General Finan is the Air Force Global Strike Command Inspector General. (Photo courtesy of the Chase family)
by Carla Pampe
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
6/18/2010 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) -- When Brig. Gen. Sandra E. Finan held her promotion ceremony here June 15, it gave new meaning to the expression "making rank."
General Finan's rank was made by her father, who crafted her metal general's stars at his home worktable. In fact, he's made one of every rank insignia for her since she made major.
"Knowing that Dad made the rank, it's always very special, very distinctive to have personalized rank as opposed to going to the store and buying them," said the general, who is the inspector general at Air Force Global Strike command headquarters here. "It's like taking a little piece of my parents with me everywhere."
General Finan's parents, Delmar and Margaret Chase, and her husband, Chuck Finan, pinned on that first set of general's stars, in the traditional promotion "pin-on" ceremony.
Mr. Chase said he wasn't sure he'd be making his daughter's rank for this promotion ceremony, because he had retired, and his equipment was "just stored all over the place."
"But then Chuck, her husband, talked to us and said, 'Sandy was wondering if you're going to make the stars,' and that did it right there, ... so I dug out everything and began the process," he said.
Mr. Chase is a retired dental technician who "makes teeth, dentures and things like that," and whose skills allowed him to fashion the rank insignia by hand, the general said.
"When I was promoted to major, my dad and mom thought it would be a nice thing to do for me to make my rank," General Finan said. "Dad knew how to do the castings, ... and so the two of them thought it would be special, and it is, to make my rank for me."
Her dad made her major's-insignia gold oak leaves out of 18-karat gold, she said. The new general's rank is made out of pure silver and plated with rhodium to keep the stars from tarnishing.
The general said her parents have been to every one of her promotion ceremonies, and the handmade rank makes the ceremonies all the better.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Chase said they couldn't be more proud of their daughter, and that being able to take part in her promotion ceremony "is very special."
6/24/2010 10:45:53 PM ET I got word of this today. Sandy and I were classmates in high school the last time I saw her was at our 20 year reunion in 1995. I believe she is the first Flag officer from our hometown. Way to go Sandy.
Kerry Zane, San Bernardino CA
6/21/2010 7:26:06 PM ET My husband called this to my attention since he is a civilian Executive Housekeeper at BAFB. Very touching story.
Lola McGourty, Shreveport LA
6/21/2010 1:01:43 PM ET Interesting story but is that in regs?
6/21/2010 9:17:37 AM ET Very cool Congratulations
6/18/2010 8:41:33 PM ET How awesome is that. Congratulations Brigadier General Finan