The Marine Corps ball is once again right around the corner. Marines and sailors of all ages will gather together at various locations to celebrate the Corps’ most important day of the year — the Marine Corps birthday.
In 1925, the first “formal” ball took place in Philadelphia where the Marine Corps originated.
The ball is a perfect time
to get your drink on bond with the higher ups that have demanded so much from you over the past year.
In between the pregame drinks, the dinner, and the dancing — there are many traditions that are upheld at the exclusive event.
1. “Colors. Post!”
No formal military ceremony is complete without the Guard posting colors along with playing the National Anthem to start the night off right. In local VFW and Legions, those who’ve served the Corps’ proudly, often don in their beloved dress blues to continue at that ritual.
2. Escorting out birthday cake
Typically, the cake is escorted out to the center stage for all to see while the Marines’ hymn proudly played. The Marines of present and past commonly stand at attention during this prized and traditional moment.
These Marine march forward as they present the well-decorated cake for public viewing.
3. The reading from the scroll
A Marine will stand front and center, open a scroll containing a brief history of how the Marine Corps was created — reading aloud for all to hear.
4. Cutting the cake with a sword
It is customary at Marine Corps birthday celebrations worldwide to cut a traditional cake in celebration of the birth of our illustrious Corps.
There’s even a formatted script to maintain uniformity.
5. The first three pieces go to:
After the cake cutting ceremony, the first three pieces are presented to the guest of honor, the oldest living Marine present, and the youngest Marine present — a perfect way to display brotherhood and connection.
This tradition is also part of the Marine Corp birthday celebration on the battlefield if possible.