HomeNewsArticle Display

Military traditions provide unique opportunities for father, son

Maj. Gen. John Dolan poses with his son, 2nd Lt. Joe Dolan, after a promotion ceremony May 17, 2014, in Blacksburg, Va. John is the assistant deputy commander for U.S. Air Forces Central Command and assistant vice commander for the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Katherine Holt)

Maj. Gen. John Dolan poses with his son, 2nd Lt. Joe Dolan, after a promotion ceremony May 17, 2014, in Blacksburg, Va. John is the assistant deputy commander for U.S. Air Forces Central Command and assistant vice commander for the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Katherine Holt)

Maj. Gen. John Dolan gives the Oath of Commissioned Officers to his son, 2nd Lt. Joe Dolan, during a commissioning ceremony May 16, 2014, at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va. Joe was named distinguished graduate and will attend training to become a remotely-piloted aircraft pilot. John is the assistant deputy commander for U.S. Air Forces Central Command and assistant vice commander for the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Katherine Holt)

Maj. Gen. John Dolan gives the Oath of Commissioned Officers to his son, 2nd Lt. Joe Dolan, during a commissioning ceremony May 16, 2014, at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va. Joe was named distinguished graduate and will attend training to become a remotely-piloted aircraft pilot. John is the assistant deputy commander for U.S. Air Forces Central Command and assistant vice commander for the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Katherine Holt)

Maj. Gen. John Dolan embraces his son, 2nd Lt. Joe Dolan, during a commissioning ceremony May 16, 2014, at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va. Joe was named distinguished graduate and will attend training to become a remotely-piloted aircraft pilot. John is the assistant deputy commander for U.S. Air Forces Central Command and assistant vice commander for the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Katherine Holt)

Maj. Gen. John Dolan embraces his son, 2nd Lt. Joe Dolan, during a commissioning ceremony May 16, 2014, at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va. Joe was named distinguished graduate and will attend training to become a remotely-piloted aircraft pilot. John is the assistant deputy commander for U.S. Air Forces Central Command and assistant vice commander for the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Katherine Holt)

BLACKSBURG, Va.(AFNS) -- While surrounded by family and friends, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Joe Dolan faced his father Brig. Gen. John Dolan, raised his right hand and took the Oath of Commissioned Officers May 16 at Virginia Tech University.

The event marked the first milestone in the newly commissioned second lieutenant's career -- one able to share with his father.

"It was pretty unique to be able to have my dad commission me," Joe said. "It is definitely great for both of us and for our family. They have been coming to his promotions and events for 25 years and today they were able to experience an Air Force event that included both of us."

For John, the assistant deputy commander for U.S. Air Forces Central Command and assistant vice commander for the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force, the opportunity to commission his son was very rewarding.

"As a parent, it was humbling to have a son follow in your professional footsteps," he said. "As an active duty member, I was cautious because I wanted to make sure it was something he wanted to do for himself. It has been very exciting watching him for the last four years."

Though being a part of the Air Force wasn't something the younger Dolan wanted to do since he was a child, he said it was always a part of him.

"I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself," he said. "The ROTC program provided me with not only the opportunity to continue my education without my parents having to pay for it, but the opportunity to do something more with my engineering degree."

Joe served as a cadet wing commander and was also named the Air Force ROTC distinguished graduate.

"We were very excited," John said. "It was cool, and we are obviously proud of what he accomplished."

Joe was selected to the remotely-piloted aircraft pilot career field.

"I am excited to go to RPA School," he said. "I hope to pave a new way and see a different side of my engineering degree."

The military ceremonies did not end there. After being a commissioned officer for a mere 24 hours, the new lieutenant proctored his father's promotion to major general May 17.

"We knew from the time he went into ROTC that I would do his commission, but my promotion just happened to be circumstantial," the general said. "The new job required the promotion and when trying to combine the two, the dates just happened to work out."

The ceremony included family and close friends. John's son Chris narrated the ceremony, while a close family friend gave the invocation. The casing and unfurling of flags was conducted by two Marine second lieutenants who are close friends of Joe.

"It isn't every day that a second lieutenant gets to promote his father to major general," Joe said. "But it is an opportunity I accept with honor."

Though during most promotion ceremonies the proctor speaks on the accomplishments of the promotee's career, Joe talked about John's accomplishments as a father.

"If there is one thing he instilled in us, it was that nothing is accomplished without the support of the loved ones around you," he said. "We saw it as young children when our grandparents and other family members stepped up to help out when needed throughout his career. It was something I held with me and reflected on through my time in ROTC. All of my success is attributed to the support I had from all of you."

Once again surrounded by family and friends, the father and son duo faced each other with their right hands raised. This time, it was John who repeated the words of a familiar voice as he accepted the responsibilities that would come with his promotion to major general.

In a special nod to his wife, John said, "And to the matriarch of my family, I couldn't have done it without you."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@AirNatlGuard intel #Airmen provide aerial imagery support to agencies battling #wildfires in #California. @9thRWhttps://t.co/RT5Ix5MfTI
#ICYMI: #Airmen prove they have what it takes during #AlphaWarrior Final Battle. https://t.co/5shBi98C97 https://t.co/jIx3lj3hl5
#ICYMI: @388FW employed the GBU-49 for the first time in #F35 combat training @TeamEglin https://t.co/igLxJF5YcZ https://t.co/VpV9etmXEa
#Airmen from the 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron pay the rent every Thursday as a tribute to falle… https://t.co/ckxBbnacSD
Service members build tent systems for Yutu survivors. #AirForce #Airmen @PACAF @fema @AndersenAFBGuamhttps://t.co/mbQRdbyKWM
Can I get a ride? A member of the 341st #SecurityForces Group prepares to load a helicopter assigned to the 40th H… https://t.co/4JB91PTIo5
Check out this new edition of #AirForce Week in Photos. https://t.co/3ZKPuQAXgd https://t.co/igZe5MzGl7
#ICYMI: @SecAFOfficial toured @Team_Tinker and announced the expansion to the base's mission. https://t.co/2PtZCOdJr3
RT @388fw: Pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing and @419fw prepare for takeoff as part of a combat power exercise today at @HAFB to prove the…
#ICYMI: @GenDaveGoldfein visits #Colombia, stresses importance of maintaining close ties to key Latin America ally.… https://t.co/wzu0R6AYHF
Help us jump into a new week by captioning this #USAFPhoto! https://t.co/ClULiNzllT
.@DMAFB's Propulsion back shop pushes forward to reach a goal not seen in years. https://t.co/xJXi3rw0FY https://t.co/tEHSGV84JS
Check out this view of a #USAF #F35 from @HAFB after being refueled by a #KC10 Extender from @jointbasemdl, over Te… https://t.co/ovZwFG9Iju
#AirForce Master Sgt. Patrick McKenna loves being able to work with his hands. Learn about this crew chief's story… https://t.co/DNoiYcC2tH
Four hearts, one soul: Family builds bond through love for horse. #Airmen #AirForce @USAF_ACC @JBLEnewshttps://t.co/UCbD4tfIbE
How do you get supplies and aid to remote islands? With an air-bridge of course! @AndersenAFBGuam #Airmen work w/… https://t.co/zEUfMyE4P6
An #F16 receives fuel from a #KC135 assigned to the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron in support of Oper… https://t.co/CYG4ee8bo1
#ICYMI: #AirForce Vice Chief of Staff delivers remarks during an AFA seminar. https://t.co/gYT3UMPmtr https://t.co/0tr3D1RjfQ