Marine Bucks Tradition, Refuses to Ask Celebrity To Birthday Ball Jack Mandaville November 1, 2012 Marine Corps 18 Comments Follow Duffel Blog: QUANTICO, VA - Marine Corps Ball season is fast approaching, and as America’s force in readiness approaches its 237th year of existence, Marines from all over the country are gearing up their best cameras in order to shoot their annual “Ask a Celebrity to the Ball” videos. Rumors are buzzing around Quantico over who the Commandant will be asking this year. Will it be J. Lo, Judy Dench, or Betty White? For younger Marines, they will—as usual—be relying on the washed-up actress and former child star pool. “I heard Mackenzie Phillips puts out… to anybody,” says Lance Corporal Dan Sorenson of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. “I’ll probably ask her. If that falls through I’m going to send an invite to the white girl from Different Strokes. I wonder what she’s up to these days?” But not all Marines are so apt to ask a celebrity to the ball. Sergeant Pat Skinner, of 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, recently brewed up a Tunn Tavern-sized commotion when he refused to join in on the sacred tradition of asking celebrities to the ball—opting to take his wife instead. “I’ve always been a little rebellious,” says the twenty-five year old sergeant of Marines. “I did my research and found that the rules about taking a non-celeb to the ball are pretty gray. There’s nothing in the UCMJ that specifically refers to this, so I decided to treat the Mrs. to a fun night out. I ran it through my chain-of-command and they approved it.” “I’m grateful that my CO has been really supportive about this,” he added. Skinner’s pronouncement has created a much talked about controversy in the Corps. “First they allow in the queers and now this?,” asked Gunnery Sergeant Randy Secondine of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines. “This sergeant is tainting the legacy of all the Marines who came before him by choosing to take someone so clearly beneath him to our sacred ball.” The tradition of asking celebrities to the ball dates back to 1917 when Corporal Ernest O’Toole asked famed vaudevillian actress Ethel Barrymore to his unit’s ball by utilizing early silent film technology. The ten second short consisted of O’Toole—dressed in his doughboy uniform—humping air, pointing at the camera, and mouthing the words, “You, me, November Tenth, Atlantic City.” Officials from 1st Marine Division also issued a statement regarding the controversy. “We’ve looked into the matter extensively and haven’t found any regulations to prohibit Sgt. Skinner from bringing his wife,” said division spokesman, 1st Lieutenant Alex Lim. “I’m afraid he has slipped through the cracks on this one. However, we’ve been exploring other options to convince him to rethink his decision. Tonya Harding, who will be attending the Ball with Major General Bailey, has been kind enough to offer her services.” Skinner continues to defend his position, regardless of mounting pressure to make a YouTube ball request. “Look, I love the Corps and its traditions,” he said, “but sometimes it takes the courage of an individual to change the mentality of an establishment. I don’t see why normal people and celebrities both can’t enjoy this experience.” When asked about Skinner’s intentions, one of his junior Marines, Lance Corporal R.J. Lyon of Mansfield, MA, said, “While I don’t agree with Sergeant Skinner’s choice in ball date, I still think he’s a really good Marine and I’ll do my best to respect his decision. I still plan on asking Raven-Symoné from That’s So Raven. I just hope someone of her stature and bootyliciousness can get along with Sergeant Skinner’s non-famous wife.” Walt Miller says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM Good one. Nathan Trotter says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM Was wondering when youd do a story on this, nice! Mike Eldredge says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM How is this any different than our old tradition of taking escorts and bar girls when they forced us to attend formal functions? Joseph Jr Vanchieri says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM Not a Marine but respect tradition. Tradition is a funny thing though. It has to start somewhere. Maybe the Sgt. is starting his own. I am a bit disgusted with some of the comments. o man left behind? As long as he is what you expect him to be? Not sure the Marines of long ago would buy into the disgrace of fighting for rights you don’t allow in your “traditions “. Hoorah! Tom Stephens says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM Sheesh, we never had these problems in the old corps. Tracey Pearson says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM The whie girl from Diffrent Strokes is dead and she was a porn star too! Lisa Wood Van Etten says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM The “white girl” from different strokes died of a drug overdose years ago. Her name was Dana Plato. Brent Woolard says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM This is a well written piece. The Submarine Ball is in April .. Cheryl Canada says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM Very UNPROFESSIONAL of these men to classify this young Marine’s wife as someone “BENEATH him” HELLO she is more of a woman than ANY of these celebrities that will be there dancing the night away. She is the one that stands by her man while he is away fighting for his country keeping their family together and praying for his safe return while these celebrities stars could care less what is happening to these men while they are overseas and the struggles they are going through daily trying to pay the bills. Hats off to Sergent Skinner in the choice of his Ball Date I hope that other Married Marines will stand beside him and do the same and stand with their Brother in Arms. VG Price says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM LMAO..”doughboy uniform… air hump..” Man, that was priceless! Margaret Sieger says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM LMAO! Yeah, go ahead and invite a ‘celebrity’ because they are beneath you?! I Devil DOG DARE you!!! I’m rolling! To think that there are people that actually think “wow, I didn’t know about that”, honey, you are crap, I’ll get Mila Kunis to go to the ball with me. Uh yeah, there will be some rather large bonfires that night!!!TEEHEEHEE!!!! Michael Reyes says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM Oh man why do people comment here like this is real… this whole website is about Satire- use your google machine if you don’t know what the word means. Tiko Tsinnijinnie says: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 AM I lulz’d all over the place leftoftheboom says: November 2, 2012 at 9:44 PM Can you get a Depopotumus into a ball gown without depleating the raw material stock of the dress maker? Kevin Winters says: November 2, 2012 at 6:38 AM The only thing that could improve the story would be if it was Sergeant Richard Skinner. Maybe Tonya Harding can convince him to change his name while she is working him over. . . Army Wife (P) says: November 2, 2012 at 4:25 AM I am going with Lance Corporal Donaldson and the men of 3rd PLT. I’ll see ya’ll there! Prepare_Your_Anus says: November 6, 2012 at 1:03 AM bitchin’ rap nigga Jason says: November 2, 2012 at 12:07 AM I laughed until my side hurt, I think there is a Sergeant Skinner in everyone’s unit somewhere….. Great story!