The only regulation from The Marine Officer’s Guide in respect to the Birthday Ball states “[The] one ironclad rule for the Birthday Ball: make it a good one.” Indeed, the Boston NROTC midshipmen were able to uphold this instruction with honor, courage, commitment, and a little bit of dancing.
This year’s Birthday Ball was held at the Hyatt Regency of Cambridge, overlooking the Charles River. The night started off with a small cocktail hour to introduce dates and listen to the sound of jazz ring through the receiving hall. With shiny shoes and dates on their arms, the members of the Naval Service filed into the grand ball room after a quick introduction and handshake with Captain Benke.
Once everyone had taken their seats, the sword detail lined up and MIDN Frayne, the adjutant, marched down the ballroom in preparation for the annual reading of the birthday scroll. The sword detail, led by MIDN Ross, then followed in step to the cadence of “Semper Fidelis” and took its place after saluting the guests of honor and colors. Called by MIDN Zins, the cake detail slowly made its way out and preformed the cherished ceremony of the cutting of the cake with a sword, to represent that we recognize our tasks behind and ahead of us, and the passing down of the first slice of cake from the oldest to the youngest Marine and Sailor, to represent the passing of knowledge and pride from the experienced to the new.
After the ceremony finished, dinner was served as laughter and talk rang throughout the ballroom. Friends were made while butter was being passed around and we all discovered the friends we are fortunate enough to work alongside with. MIDN Byrne then stepped up to the podium in praise of the battalion’s work this semester and the promise that the future officers surely hold. Two speeches by the guests of honor, Senate nominee Gabriel Gomez and Brigadier General Ronald Baczkowski, and a slice of cake later, D.J. Sketch (MIDN Sacher) started playing as midshipmen and their dates took off their jackets and began dancing. The Marine options formed their own group outside to bond with their fellow midshipmen and cadre with a cigar in their hands as a symbol of togetherness.
Truly, the 2013 Boston NROTC Navy/Marine Corps Birthday Ball was a success for all who helped out and attended, for we walked out knowing that “for years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation: we make Marines and we win battles” (Gen Charles C. Krulak). But along with the making of fine sailors, we also make fine friends.
Written By: Midn 4/c Kristen Noviello