Opinion: You don't have to go to the Marine Corps Ball this year

The following is an op-ed written by your battalion sergeant major.

Semper Fidelis, Marines! It's Marine Corps birthday time!

Yes, that's right. Back on Nov. 10, 1775, our glorious Marine Corps came alive. And that also means we'll be celebrating our 242nd anniversary with a Birthday Ball at a nice venue off base.

You must be just as excited as I am. I'm tearing up just thinking about Gen. John A. Lejuene's birthday message, the cutting of the cake, and the beautiful ceremony we will once again witness this year.

Now I've heard that some of you Marines don't want to attend the ball this year. Hey, I get it. For some of you junior enlisted warriors, it can be really expensive. Or maybe it's not so much fun if you're not of drinking age.

And that's totally fine.

If you don't want to celebrate the birth of our glorious Corps with your fellow Marine brothers and sisters, that's okay. It's not like all those thousands of Marines who died in defense of this nation are going to attend the ball this year, either.

Perhaps you can just catch the next one. We celebrate Nov. 10 every year anyway, so no need to don your dress blues and dance with a hot date this time, especially when you'll have another opportunity next year.

Unless we get deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, or somewhere else. Then we won't be able to do a regular ball. It won't be nearly as good as this one, anyway. I'm not sure if we'll be deployed; I'm just saying it's possible so you shouldn't take things for granted.

So look, I'm not going to be "that sergeant major" making young Marines attend the ball. I'll just tell you that it's a really fun time and I've loved every single one I've ever attended. Knowing that, I think you should consider getting those dress blues ready so you can join me and the rest of the battalion later this evening inside the venue.

If you don't attend, it's no big deal.

But since it is a Friday night and most of the senior enlisted in the battalion will be busy getting ready for the ball, I'm going to need you outside at 2300 in your Service Alphas for muster and post-ball cleanup before you get your weekend liberty brief.

Alright, that's all. Happy Birthday, Marines.