I was talking with a friend recently who is a US Marine, and asked him about his uniforms, and when does he wear his formal attire, the famed "Dress Blues". He quickly remarked, "At the annual ball!" "What annual ball?" I questioned. "Oh! The ball commemorating the founding of the Marine Corps!" When I asked him, when it was founded, he immediately, proudly told me, "November 10, 1775!"
Right then and there, I was compelled to look into another 18th Century historical event!
The founding of the Corp began with the Marines assisting in ship-to-ship fighting, providing shipboard security and enforcing discipline, and assisting with landing forces. Its mission was to help with evolving United States military doctrine and foreign policy around the globe.
As US history shows, the Marines have served in practically every conflict, gaining particular prominence with amphibious warfare during the Pacific Theatre of WWII. Their ability to respond on short notice to expeditionary crises have made the Marines invaluable to our military strategies and campaigns.
But, aside from this, the beauty of the Dress Blues is a thing to behold. And, my friend told me that no matter where you are stationed, there is always the annual ball. Nice to know some traditions like this don't go away, or become unimportant.
By the way, in the British Royal Navy, back in the 18th Century, their Marines wore red coats, and were stationed up in the masts to assist with sniper fire. I don't know if they have a fancy dress ball, but they have some nice appelettes, don't you think!?