By Jim Hand
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has been promoted to the rank of colonel in the National Guard.
The Wrentham resident was "pinned" by U.S. Senator John McCain Wednesday, in a ceremony that involved the Arizona Republican and Vietnam War veteran pinning the colonel insignia on Brown.
Brown said McCain is a national hero and has been one of his mentors in the Senate.
With his family by his side in Washington, D.C., Brown assumed the higher rank after serving most recently as a lieutenant colonel.
"It's an honor to have the opportunity to serve," Brown, R-Mass., said.
The freshman senator has been in the National Guard for 32 years, joining as a teenager after being impressed with the Guard's response to the Blizzard of 1978.
Brown is a lawyer and has served in the Guard's Judge Advocate General Corp.
More recently he has been assigned to the Pentagon where he said he just finished up helping to draft the Guard's anti-sexual harassment regulations.
Serving in the Guard while being a U.S. senator helps him better understand the needs of the military and how Congress can help it, he said.