What Is the Etiquette for a Marine Corps Ball?


Quick Answer

Proper etiquette at Marine balls includes such topics as appropriate dress, no excessive drinking, respect of tradition and display of proper manners. Being polite is imperative, and when addressing others, one should use "sir" and "ma'am."

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Full Answer

A Marine ball is a formal affair. Female guests should wear a floor-length gown to match the formality of the Marine dress uniform. Male guests should wear a suit and tie or a tuxedo.

There is usually some type of ceremony during a Marine ball. Proper etiquette calls for refraining from talking or texting during the ceremony. It is important to inquire whether photography is allowed before the event begins.

A Marine ball is professional event, and participants must be mindful of this when consuming alcohol. While it is intended to be a fun evening, proper etiquette requires not drinking more than one can handle.

Part of the evening includes a receiving line, where women walk in front of the men in a single-file line. When approaching the announcer, do not shake his or her hand. Attendees are introduced by their last name. Short greetings are exchanged as attendees continue through the line.

A horn will announce dinner, and at this time, attendees take their assigned seats. Several courses will be served during dinner, so it's important to know the proper dining etiquette such as which forks to use first.

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