That’s “Lieutenant Son” To You

Hooah! Opportunity

On 26 May 2007,  after a full week of pomp accompanied by an equivalent amount of circumstance,1 John, son of Duke of Derm (seen pinning Lieutenant’s bars on his progeny in the above photo) and Princess of Peds, graduated from West Point as a Second Lieutenant with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Military Arts and Science, an altogether impressive accomplishment for a youngster who, in my perception, cannot be older than 14.2

While publishing the story of John’s especially arduous and convoluted path to West Point and the successes he achieved there is tempting and would, I suppose, be gratifying to his proud parents, I suspect John himself might be less taken with seeing them in print. And, given that (1) he and I will be living in the same house next week and (2) I no longer have the capacity to distract him when he’s unhappy by holding him upside down by his ankles, the better part of valor would seem to be deferring this part of the saga.3

Lt At 14 and DrHGuy

I am proud to note my own contribution to John’s success: in the many opportunities I had for interaction with John over more than two decades, I refrained from providing any advice of substance on any topic beyond the observations that many folks who admonish the host to make their cocktail “a light one” will be disappointed if that request is fulfilled as prescribed and that “our product doesn’t stink” does not constitute a compelling marketing strategy.

And in honor of his graduation, I now officially forgive John for his unconscionable behavior during a summer vacation a few years ago when he blithely performed pinch tests on his arm at the dinner table to determine his body fat percentage, which appeared to range from 3 to 5%, in the presence of his somewhat more doughy elders.

The nation can rest secure in the knowledge that no group of warriors, anywhere, surpasses West Point in graduation-hat-hurling.

Hooah! indeed, John.


Credit Due Department: Photos courtesy of Duke of Derm and Princess of Peds.

Note: Originally posted June 5, 2007 at, a predecessor of

  1. The song title, “Pomp and Circumstance,” is from Act III of Shakespeare’s Othello:

    Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
    The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
    The royal banner, and all quality,
    Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!

    In addition to its use at graduation ceremonies, it has also served as theme music for professional wrestlers, Gorgeous George and “Macho Man” Randy Savage []

  2. Whence derives his blogonym, Lt At 14 []
  3. On the other hand, surely it’s acceptable to include just his Superintendent’s Award and the Award for Best Drill Company in the 4th Regiment in a footnote []

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