Military Families

Gift for Commissioning Husband?

So my husband's nursing school graduation & commissioning ceremony is coming up next month. He is prior enlisted navy and is commissioning from the STA-21 program. His family and some of mine is traveling for the event and we have a whole weekend's worth of celebrations planned, but people have been asking me about gifts. I made him a little Amazon wishlist for our families to pick and choose off and get ideas, since a lot of the "traditional" gifts for commissioning he already has. Just stuff he's mentioned lately he might like to have. I have no idea what to get him myself though...

I know the parents usually do a gift of a sword, but he was already honored with one from his unit in the spring. I will be having his certificates and such framed for him for Christmas. He has a ton of things already framed though from his previous achievements while enlisted, so its not going to be a big deal to him to get yet another thing to hang on the wall. I want to give him something super special for his graduation and commissioning gift from me.

I am throwing him a party and I am baking him a pie (he says he wants that instead of a cake lol) but other than that I am having the worst time thinking of something special that will surprise him. The last 3 years have been so rough with his nursing school and then I had our daughter and it has been a huge struggle for us both... I want to show him that I appreciate him sticking it out and for doing so well. He really deserves this commission... and a super special extra awesome gift... because he went above and beyond at his unit and made it through nursing school with straight A's, he's graduating in the top tier of his class in Sigma Theta Tau... all with a cray cray wife and a new baby at home! What kind of gift can a person give that says, "Wow you are amazing and I can't believe you're mine?" Everything I think of doesn't seem special enough.

I need some ideas!

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Re: Gift for Commissioning Husband?

  • You are putting a lot of pressure on yourself to provide the perfect thing!  I think he will appreciate you just writing or telling him how amazing he is and how much you appreciate his sacrifices.  If you have to give him something physical, maybe something more heartfelt like a scrapbook or shadow box of mementos and pictures and a really sweet card or a little vacation for the two of you to reconnect and get away would be enough.  Either way, I think he'll just appreciate knowing that you have loved and supported him through all this.  Good luck!
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  • For my DHs commissioning, I had a coin made with the latitude and longitude from our wedding spot engraved on one side and DDs birthplace on the other. He keeps it in his breast pocket close to his heart. I also had a photo album customized that says LT CGORGZ our hero since 2011 with an American flag on it and have filled it with pictures from his commissioning and other big events since. Out of all the gifts, I'm proud to say he really loved both of these. Good luck!!
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  • I agree.  I think you are putting too much pressure on your self and over thinking.  I think the getaway idea is great.  I'm sure he could use a relaxing break and y'all could use the time together.  


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  • My husband was prior-enlisted, too, and commissioned 3 years ago (in the Army, however). His commissioning came in a frame, already, so that wasnt really an option. His ROTC unit ended up gifting each of their commissionees their branch insignia, rank, etc, in a very nice shadow box, so that was out, too However, he's a scotch drinker, so I bought him a 21 year old single malt scotch and an engraved flask hand-made in Scotland. My parents gave him an antique Army-related picture frame (which we used to put pictures of his commissioning in). His mom gave him a lecture on how disappointed she was in him (imagine my eye-roll and eternal hatred). 
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    April Siggy Bunny
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  • image quartermisses:
    My husband was prior-enlisted, too, and commissioned 3 years ago (in the Army, however). His commissioning came in a frame, already, so that wasnt really an option. His ROTC unit ended up gifting each of their commissionees their branch insignia, rank, etc, in a very nice shadow box, so that was out, too However, he's a scotch drinker, so I bought him a 21 year old single malt scotch and an engraved flask hand-made in Scotland. My parents gave him an antique Army-related picture frame (which we used to put pictures of his commissioning in). His mom gave him a lecture on how disappointed she was in him (imagine my eye-roll and eternal hatred). 

    While I am very sorry your husband's mom does not support him and his choice in career, this is hysterical.  OP, I would not stress about finding the perfect present because honestly anything you give him or do for him will mean the world to him. Write him a letter to tell him how proud you are of him and the rest is extra credit. Maybe a couples massage and an awesome dinner out just the two of you? 

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  • As an officer's wife and officer myself, I will say that I just cherish a nice weekend away with my husband. Especially after a lot of time apart, studying, training, etc. DH and I have been separated by 7 deployments between the two of us. We just like time together to chill out, hang with DD and relax. That's what I would want and I just don't think any material thing would top that. For example, when DH gets back from his deployment in Nov, we are renting a house in the mountains near Asheville, NC for several days. Cannot wait!
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  • image KDS1987:

    image quartermisses:
    My husband was prior-enlisted, too, and commissioned 3 years ago (in the Army, however). His commissioning came in a frame, already, so that wasnt really an option. His ROTC unit ended up gifting each of their commissionees their branch insignia, rank, etc, in a very nice shadow box, so that was out, too However, he's a scotch drinker, so I bought him a 21 year old single malt scotch and an engraved flask hand-made in Scotland. My parents gave him an antique Army-related picture frame (which we used to put pictures of his commissioning in). His mom gave him a lecture on how disappointed she was in him (imagine my eye-roll and eternal hatred). 

    While I am very sorry your husband's mom does not support him and his choice in career, this is hysterical.  OP, I would not stress about finding the perfect present because honestly anything you give him or do for him will mean the world to him. Write him a letter to tell him how proud you are of him and the rest is extra credit. Maybe a couples massage and an awesome dinner out just the two of you? 

    Oh, I totally agree that it's hilarious. I mean, obviously she's ridiculous if she thinks that graduating college, receiving a commissioning, and expecting a baby (we were expecting our first at the time) is something of which to be ashamed. It sucked at the time, but I get a lot of ironic kicks out of it, as well Wink

    I do like your idea to do something together and the PP's ideas  about doing a weekend away.  Maybe incorporate them??

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    April Siggy Bunny
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  • All of the PP had amazing ideas! I love the coin! How neat is that! When I graduated Paramedic school my husband got me a brand new beautiful cardiology stethoscope, and he had it engraved with my name and credentials on it, its not necessarily over the top sentimental, but I loved it, and I use it everyday, so it makes me smile. Good Luck though, I hope you find the perfect gift, just don't stress over it, more than likely, to him, graduating nursing school is the best gift he could imagine at this point. haha :)
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  • When my H commissioned I got him a K-Bar with his initials engraved on the blade and a plaque that it hangs on that has his name and commissioning date.  You said you don't want something else for the wall though.  His parents got him a really beautiful wood box engraved with his name and commissioning date for medals and that type of thing.  Your H may already have something like that though since he was prior E, but my H really liked that.  I also LOVE PPs suggestion of the coin, that is awesome.  PP, can you link where you got that coin?  I would be interested in getting my H one too!
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  • I don't think I got any gifts for my commissioning.  

    There are your standard "Things Remembered" type gifts -- flasks, photo frames, scrap books, beer steins, what have you.  I think most of this stuff, while nice, is just "stuff" that you will have to move each time you PCS.  

    A nice bottle of whisky/scotch would be good if he's into that.  Or a nice watch?  The rank boards/insignia for the formal uniform (we call it Mess Dress in the AF) is absurdly expensive, and most people will use it at some point in the first few years, so this makes a nice gift.    

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