WASHINGTON— In a private ceremony presided over by Senator John McCain in the US Capitol on Wednesday, Senator Scott P. Brown formally became a colonel in the Army National Guard, according to Brown’s office.

Brown’s promotion from lieutenant colonel was approved by his Senate colleagues late last week as part of series of 800 promotions adopted with unanimous consent.

The promotion ceremony featured McCain, a Vietnam War hero, GOP presidential nominee in 2008, and Brown’s colleague on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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McCain pinned on the rank insignia as well as administered the oath of office to Brown, said Marcie Kinzel, a Brown spokeswoman.

Also attending the event in the stately Mansfield Room were Brown’s family, other Senate colleagues, as well as the fellow National Guardsmen he now serves with outside Washington. Brown is a lawyer for the Guard.

“As a soldier, I’m privileged to serve alongside the very best men and women our nation has to offer,” Brown said in a statement. “Their devotion, service and sacrifice on behalf of our country is unmatched.”

Brown enlisted in the Massachusetts National Guard in 1979 as an infantry soldier before joining the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Tufts University. He joined the Judge Advocate General’s Corps after graduating from Boston College Law School.

Earlier this year, he sought and obtained a transfer from the Massachusetts unit to Maryland National Guard.