Traditionally, the Marine Corps Birthday Ball is celebrated every year on 10th of November. The official “first birthday” began on the 10th of November in 1775. The Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is considered the “birth place” of the Marine Corps. It is here that the first marines enlisted under Commandant Samuel Nicholas. The year of 1783 marked the end of the Revolutionary War and with it was the disestablishment of the Continental Navy as well as the Continental Marines. It wasn’t until 1798 that the marines were reestablished. The first official ball was held in 1925 and has been celebrated every year since. This is a very formal event and one of pristine honor to attend.
Guests attending the ball are required to dress in formal attire. Marines should be in their dress blues but their dates also need to understand that they are representing the marines as well. Gowns below the knee and tuxedos are required. Marine Corps jewelry might be a nice touch to add to your outfit for this particular evening. It is a significant form of respect how one is represented not only by how they dress but also by how they act during the ceremony.
The ceremony is held in a very traditional fashion. You must be careful to mind your manners and never to speak during the ceremony itself. Once the ceremony is over it is of course time to celebrate, but everything has a time and place. The ball itself is a place to honor the Marine Corps and all of its accomplishments over the years. If you have the honor of attending please dress appropriately, act accordingly, and enjoy the years of tradition and history before you.