Major gift for a new Major!
January 10, 2012 6:06 PM   Subscribe

Gift(s) for a wife and husband who are both being promoted to Major in the Army?

My cousin and her husband are being promoted to Major (Army). I'm going to their promotion ceremony (I don't know what you call it, if it's something other than that) and I would like to know a great gift that would be Army-related, or appropriate for this type of promotion.

I know nothing about the military, but my cousin is very accomplished, and I'm so proud of the work she's done, so I thought it would be great to surprise her (and perhaps her husband, though I don't know him as well) with something that she wouldn't know I'd know about.

Any suggestions, especially from those in or related to those in the military, would be welcome!
posted by xingcat to Shopping (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Okay I got my Retired Army Dad on the phone to confirm that the insignia for a Major is called "Oak Leaf". Maybe you could go with the Oak theme for your gift. I don't know how you could incorporate it but maybe nice oak pens, boxes, or maybe a shadowbox for their medals?

My thoughts were something kind of cheesy like camo pillowcases with the insignia and 'His' and 'Hers' embroidered on them. I think it would be fun to do "His & Hers" + Oak Leaves somehow. In the same vein you could do "Major Cutie" and "Major Sweetie" with the insignia instead of "His & Hers".

If you do decide to use the insignia then make sure you use gold. The silver Oak Leaf is for Lieutenants. Your cousin isn't there yet.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:34 PM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Matching first editions of Catch-22? I guess not. Have you heard about these personal barrels of Jack Daniels/other whiskeys, where a claim is staked for delicious future use?
posted by mimi at 7:00 PM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

The silver is for lieutenant colonels. You should probably read this article, OP.

It would help if you could say what they do in the military - are they pilots? Do they drive big tanks? Are they doctors? "Major" is like "Assistant Vice President" - it's more important to know what area they work in.

If you know they attended the US Army Command and General Staff College (home page) you might want to consider getting them keepsakes with crests or other similar symbols from Ft. Leavenworth.

Depending on what they do, you may be able to get them an appropriate flag.

You can probably get this information from whatever source told you where to go to for the ceremony.

If all else fails, buy them something nice that's kind of Army themed. (That was just an example, I do not mean to imply that those things are necessarily nice. You can get Army-themed stuff everywhere. DO NOT BUY THEM THE CAMO SNUGGIE.)
posted by SMPA at 7:00 PM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Give them a copy of Catch-22. It's a war movie, and one of the characters is named Major Major.
posted by spasm at 7:01 PM on January 10, 2012

Whoops. You sure have to be quick around here.
posted by spasm at 7:02 PM on January 10, 2012

As far as military related stuff goes, let their military friends take care of that. If I had just been promoted to Major, from my civilian friends I'd most enjoy getting a decent bottle of champagne or a great bottle of whiskey...and preferably whiskey.

Every time they come home from a field exercise, mission or deployment, they'll have a little slug and remember you as the one who provided it.
posted by snsranch at 7:29 PM on January 10, 2012

I think something whimsical might be nice. Maybe a Major & Major towel set (as opposed to His & Hers)?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:11 PM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Military families move a lot. I know we are not all like this, but I'm not a big fan of collecting knick knacks and items that have to be packed and repacked and then packed again every two years. Instead, try to go for something like food or wine or tickets to a cultural event, etc.
posted by lyra4 at 4:53 AM on January 11, 2012

There are required reading lists for most ranks in the military. Maybe a fancy, limited edition book(s) from this list?
posted by bartonlong at 9:51 AM on January 11, 2012

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