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Military Ball Etiquette

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  • Military Ball Etiquette

    I will be attending my first Military Officer's Ball on Saturday and wondered if anyone had any suggestions, advice or stories regarding proper etiquette during the event.

    I have been receiving alot of 'advice' regarding the receiving line, never having an empty glass (for toasting) and other protocol nuggets that seem specific only to military functions.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Military Ball Etiquette

    I just attending our dining-in recently and our Commander sent us an email with guidance on etiquette.

    This pdf should provide the information that you seek.

    http://img.slate.com/media/53/milita...20handbook.pdf

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Military Ball Etiquette

      Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
      I just attending our dining-in recently and our Commander sent us and email with guidance on etiquette.

      This pdf should provide some information that you seek.

      http://img.slate.com/media/53/milita...20handbook.pdf
      Unfortunately, the correspondence I have received is simply the hotel information and a flyer with the logistics of where, when, etc..

      Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Military Ball Etiquette

        Originally posted by Chris36 View Post
        I will be attending my first Military Officer's Ball on Saturday and wondered if anyone had any suggestions, advice or stories regarding proper etiquette during the event.

        I have been receiving alot of 'advice' regarding the receiving line, never having an empty glass (for toasting) and other protocol nuggets that seem specific only to military functions.

        Any help would be greatly appreciated.
        Your table will be told to "charge" your glasses prior to toasting and the junior member fills the wine glasses.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Military Ball Etiquette

          Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
          Your table will be told to "charge" your glasses prior to toasting and the junior member fills the wine glasses.
          Aaahh.....see, that's what I am referring to regarding what will occur. Most formal etiquette I am familiar with, but formal with a military twist, not so much.

          I don't want to be 'that guest'...LOL

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Military Ball Etiquette

            Originally posted by Chris36 View Post
            Unfortunately, the correspondence I have received is simply the hotel information and a flyer with the logistics of where, when, etc..

            Thanks!
            I found the email and omitted the names to protect the innocent.

            Reception Line Protocol


            Like all military functions, formal occasions like our Spring Ball have specific guidelines for the proper conduct of the event. Mistakes in protocol often occur at the opening of a formal event in the reception line.

            a. The reception line will begin at 1800 hrs. COL..... and are our hosts. The guest of honor for the evening is LTG .......Commander.

            b. Women may keep their purses with them as they proceed through the reception line. All additional garments or accessories (coats, hats, umbrellas, etc.) should be checked into the coat check provided in the cocktail area. Etiquette allows for evening gloves to be worn.

            c. Drinking and smoking are not allowed in the reception line. All glasses will be placed on a table or left in the cocktail area before individuals proceed through the line.

            d. As couples join the reception line, they line up by couples with the gentleman standing on the side near to the receiving line. Once a couple approaches the receiving line, gentlemen allow for the ladies to proceed first through the receiving line in single file order.

            e. The "announcer" is the first person in the receiving line. DO NOT SHAKE his or her hand. Introduce yourself and your guest/spouse using last names only. For example, "Mrs. Smith, Sergeant Smith" or "Miss Nelson, Lieutenant Jones."

            f. Ladies always proceed first through the receiving line, even if the lady is the service member.

            g. When shaking hands, a short but polite greeting is necessary. For example, "Good evening, it is a pleasure to meet you."

            h. Everyone is required to go through the receiving line. Color Guard is the only exception.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Military Ball Etiquette

              They closed the receiving line before I went through because I was fumbling with my bow-tie since I initially forgot it. I showed up with a regular tie but good thing another officer brought an extra-one. There were others will regular ties but I felt out of place not having the one that everyone mostly had.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Military Ball Etiquette

                I already picked up another bow tie for my BF (he'd lost his since the last time he went to one of these events).

                Dress for civilians is semi-formal, but dress blues or dress mess for military.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Military Ball Etiquette

                  Screw balls! Grogs for the win!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Military Ball Etiquette

                    Do what I did during my first Military Ball.

                    Actually, don't...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Military Ball Etiquette

                      Originally posted by Teuvil View Post
                      Do what I did during my first Military Ball.

                      Actually, don't...
                      Well c'mon then?!?

                      I'm looking for good stories too! LOL

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Military Ball Etiquette

                        Originally posted by Chris36 View Post
                        Well c'mon then?!?

                        I'm looking for good stories too! LOL
                        DO NOT Get stuck drinking from the Grog Bowl. OMG that was a horrible experience I never want to relive lol.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Military Ball Etiquette

                          Originally posted by EOrsini View Post
                          DO NOT Get stuck drinking from the Grog Bowl. OMG that was a horrible experience I never want to relive lol.
                          What's a Grog Bowl?? (though I'm not sure if I really want to know....LOL)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Military Ball Etiquette

                            Originally posted by EOrsini View Post
                            DO NOT Get stuck drinking from the Grog Bowl. OMG that was a horrible experience I never want to relive lol.
                            Holy **** +65,000!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Military Ball Etiquette

                              Originally posted by Chris36 View Post
                              What's a Grog Bowl?? (though I'm not sure if I really want to know....LOL)
                              It's a tradition... though I'd like to say it's probably the worst tradition ever in the history of the Army if you have to drink from it.. If you're only watching other drink from it it's great. It's hard to explain in good detail enough to not make it sound crazy, but I'm sure they will have one...

                              Comment

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