Marine Corps Ball

On November 10, 1775 the Second Continental Congress authorized the formation of two battalions of Marines. In Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Captain Samuel Nicholas began recruiting.

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On July 11, 1789, Congress created the United States Marine Corps. On November 1, 1921, Marine Commandant John A. Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order 47, declaring November 10 a holiday to be celebrated throughout the Corps in honor of the Marines’ birthday.

The first formal Marine ball was celebrated in 1925. In 1952, the procedures for the celebration were standardized.

Last night was the Marine Corps Ball in Asunción, Paraguay celebrating the 238th birthday of the Marines. The evening began with a cocktail reception.

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Then we made our way to the dining room where the evening’s program began.

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There were speeches by the Guest of Honor (the Ambassador) and by the Lieutenant Colonel who is the regional commander for Embassy Marine Security Guards.

Then it was time for the cake cutting ceremony.

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The Detachment Commander cut the cake with a saber. The first piece went to the Ambassador, the Guest of Honor. The second piece of cake was given to the oldest Marine present. She took a bite of the cake and then passed it to the youngest Marine present, symbolizing the transfer of knowledge from the older, more experienced to the younger generation of Marines.

Other traditions include the reading of Marine Corps Order 47 and a message from the current Commandant.

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A more somber tradition is the setting of a table in honor of Marines killed in action. A Purple Heart and blank dog tags were on the table beside the overturned plate.

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To all our Marines, thank you for your service and Happy Birthday!

After dinner, there was dancing until 2:30 in the morning! It was such a fun night. My feet are sore from all that dancing!

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