The Spencer/Tarter Wetdown, Jan. 1999

USMC EOD keeps the tradition alive :-)

This awesome cake was made for the occasion, by Cathy and Mike Kelley!

The Custom of a "Wetting Down" or "Wetdown"

While planning this shindig, I did some research into what this tradition was all about :-) I found similar, though different info, depending on whether the "wetdown" was for an officer or enlisted person.

My theory on this difference is that metal rank insignia are a comparatively new circumstance for the enlisted ranks. While it is easy and reasonable to drop a metal rank insignia to the bottom of a glass, it would be quite awkward to stuff a fabric rank insignia in there... and you'd get fabric-fuzzies in your beer!!! As the person who signed for the building, though, I'm glad we were promoting officers... I wouldn't want to have to clean the floor after the enlisted version :-)

On another note, this page from China Lake references another possible origin, which I've never heard elsewhere!

The Promotion: 15 December 1998

Paul and Marc were both promoted on Dec. 15th, 1998. Paul's promotion to CWO4 took place in the Crow's Nest, HQ "White House" Building, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. He was promoted by Col. Dunn; his kids (John and Ashley) got to pin on the new rank, and as his wife, I had the honor and privilege of "punching it in"! :-)

Promotion photos also by multi-talented Mike Kelley!

The Party: Food, Friends & Family

Left: Marc & Paul working hard to BBQ the food for the masses! They also had lots of help, though this photo doesn't show that.
Right: Thanks to the work of several people, there was a ton of good food to be enjoyed.
We had quite a crowd there, for most of the party, including Mr. and Mrs. George Vorhauer! We were very happy to see this retired EOD Marine, out and about after his recent cancer surgery :-)
There's a pool table at the Slipway Club, where the party was held; it kept the kids occupied for hours.

The Cake Cutting Ceremony

Before the kids left the party at 6 pm, the guys cut their cake, so everyone could have a piece. Boy, was that cake good! It was polished off, by the end of the night, too!

Time to Get "Wetdown"!!!

Paul had a BLAST!

I'm going to try to get some photos from a video that was taken, showing the toasting portion of the evening...


© 1999

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