Almighty God, creator of all, as we gather to celebrate the promotion of John Doe to the rank of colonel, our hearts are filled with happiness for him and for his whole family.
You have prepared John for this day and blessed him with this special trust. You endowed him with abilities of mind, body and spirit more than equal to the task. You gave him leaders, mentors and peers to help him along the way. You sustained him and protected him in days of difficulty and peril.
Remembering that to whom much is given, much is required, I ask you to direct his steps and give him the strength to carry out his new responsibilities. Endow him with the spirit of wisdom and justice.
We know all too well our weak and fallible human nature, and we recognize that the work which lies before us is demanding and complex. Yet, O God, I thank you for calling us to this difficult and rewarding work.
Lead John, and all of us, O Lord, in the way of peace. Unite us in the spirit of service. Nourish and sustain us in our vocation. For the sake of your holy name. Amen.
(Some of the phrasing, I am sure, has been shaped by prayers I have heard and read along the way.)