NEWS | May 22, 2012

Deployed officer gets promoted with family, friends

By Senior Airman Anthony J. Hyatt Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

One deployed service member got to share a special moment with her family and friends back home thanks to the Joint Base Charleston Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Major Monica Lovasz, a staff psychiatrist with the 628th Medical Group who is currently deployed with the 387th Air Expeditionary Group in Southwest Asia, shared her promotion to lieutenant colonel with friends, family and co-workers via video chat May 21 at the A&FRC.

Along with her deployed colleagues from the 325th Combat Support Hospital, Troop Medical Clinic, her husband, Army Reserve Capt. Daniel Lovasz from the 7224th U.S. Army Hospital, her two children Daniel and Catalina, Aunt Marianna, Col. Judith Hughes, 628th Medical Group commander, Lt. Col. Maureen Robinson, the 325th Combat Support Hospital commander, men and women from the 628th MDG and the 387th AEG and many others were able to be there for her promotion.

Colonel Catherine Hallett, 914th Aeromedical Staging Squadron commander out of Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base, N.Y. and command consultant for social work, Air Force Reserve Command, was the presiding officer for the ceremony.

"I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Major Lovasz for the past couple years," said Hallett. "In that time, I have known her to be an extremely talented psychiatrist and dedicated medical officer - one that exudes the Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all she does. I know first that Monica Lovasz has what it takes to be an outstanding lieutenant colonel."

Despite the physical distance between Lovasz and her family, the ceremony resembled traditional promotion ceremonies - with the pinning on of the new rank. While son, Daniel, pinned on lieutenant colonel oak leaves to a photo of Lovasz here at Charleston, the 387th AEG commander and the 325th Combat Support Hospital commander pinned her at her deployed location."

Hallett then proceeded to administer the oath of office to Lovasz as she accepted her new rank and position in the U.S. Air Force.

"To me, a promotion ceremony is for the family just as much as it is for the member," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Gilbert, 628th MDG non-commissioned officer in charge of the mental health clinic. "As Skype is used already to connect members to their families everyday while deployed, it was really great to see us think 'outside the box' and capitalize on the program to connect Lt. Col Lovasz with her family and friends for the ceremony. What it turned out to be was a dual-location promotion ceremony with audiences on both sides of the camera. It meant a great deal for Lt. Col. Lovasz to celebrate this occasion with her close friends, family, and extended military family both here in the 628th Medical Group and deployed."

"This is a rewarding, great achievement. She's still young; if she stays in, she may one day make the rank of general," her husband said jokingly.

Lovasz is scheduled to return from her deployment later this year.