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Marines’ balls bigger than ever this year

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QUANTICO, Va. — The annual Marine Corps birthday celebration is approaching, and the Corps says this year its balls are bigger than they have ever been.

“We’ve been working the issue for a while, and nearing the peak of our planning, I can finally say all our units will have huge balls,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald L. Green. “When people hear about our balls, they’re going to want to come right away.”

This year marks the 243rd birthday of the Corps, and despite budget cuts, Marines worldwide are expected to pull it off in style. Though some of the units in the Asia-Pacific region are smaller in size, they still intend to party hard.

“We’re not trying to blow the bugle too soon, but fireworks are going to explode at the end of our event,” said Lt. Gen. Eric M. Smith, commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan.

Given the large number events planned worldwide, banquet space has been difficult to find for some battalions, so the Navy has stepped in and offered to hold their balls. The majority of units declined, however, saying they weren’t interested in having seamen all over the place.

While some at the Pentagon were concerned about the Marines inviting the general public to their private celebrations, Defense Secretary James Mattis was clear about the issue.

“The more people we can touch with our balls, the better.”

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