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I was delighted to attend this year’s US Embassy in Canberra, Australia celebration for the 248th Marine Corps Birthday. The ball was held at the QT Hotel in the nation’s capital, Canberra, on Saturday night, November 18, 2023. It was a great gathering attended by around 600 people with Guest of Honor, US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, and guest speaker Lieutenant General Sklenka, USMC (Dep Cdr US Indo-Pacific Cmd.

If you’re not familiar with the Marine Corp’s birthday ceremony, this annual event honors those who have served and are currently serving. It is a time for Marines to remember fallen comrades while focusing on many good memories of the time we have spent enjoying the company of fellow Marines in every clime and place throughout the world, while reinforcing the bonds that hold us all together.

The evening kicked off with welcome drinks and once seated we enjoyed the traditional ceremonies and commemorations. A traditional Marine Corps Ball ceremony is a formal dress event. That means service members wear his or her dressiest uniform. Female military spouses and dates should wear formal dress. The ceremony involves a cake cutting ceremony, a guest speaker, guest of honor, the reading of Gen John A. Lejune’s first birthday message and the reading of the current Commandant’s birthday message. It is our pleasure, as Marines, to share our pride and traditions, throughout the evening, with our guests.

It was great to see so many people enjoying the evening and dancing until stumps.

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