The Marine Corps Birthday Ball
is an annual event celebrating the creation of the Corps. The traditional birthday of the Corps is November 10th
and the Ball is usually held the weekend prior. The evening includes a cake cutting ceremony*, cocktail
s, dinner, dancing, and a guest speaker. The Ball is an opportunity for Marines
to cut loose, and alcohol flows in abundance (one Ball I attended even had champagne
fountains). The birthday of the Corps is celebrated without fail, regardless of the circumstances. There are countless stories of Marines in combat zones dividing MRE pound cake
s and sharing beverage powder on the 10th of November. All in all, the Ball is one of the enduring traditions that separate the Corps from the other branches of service.
*The cake is walked down an aisle of Marines in order of rank (Officer
, Warrant Officer
). The cake is then cut and the first two pieces are presented to the oldest and youngest Marines present.