Our two child things (5 and 2) are currently in Hawaii, but we are a military family, and we live where the Army tells us. This blog is designed to keep us in touch with our family and the friends we have made along the way, to offer insight into our turbulent military lifestyle, and to share our experiences as we try out "homing school." So glad you stopped by!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Redeployment Ball-Fun, Fun!

If you'd like to know why being an Army wife stinks, see my collection of blog posts on deployment. But sometimes we get to do fun stuff, too, like the military ball we went to not long ago. If I hadn't married a military man, I probably would not have attended a formal event (other than weddings) since my high school prom. And it's kinda fun! Actually, I'd say I have more fun at military balls than I did at prom. :P

So the military ball has all sorts of formalities and etiquette rules, but I have learned that for the most part, nobody really cares much if you follow the rules or not. Here's the basic format:
1. First there's a social hour, which is just mingling time. I love to "people watch" and take a look at all the gorgeous gowns! A ball is technically a black tie event, so if you follow the rules, you are supposed to wear a full length dress, but every ball I have been to, there have been women who wear "cocktail" style dresses, and they look amazing, too, in my own opinion.
2. Then you go through the receiving line, in which you are introduced to and greet the "hosts" of the event. There are all sorts of rules for the receiving line, like don't carry a drink. I stand in front of Scott as we proceed through the line (the woman always goes first). He introduces me to the first person in line (that person is supposed to already know his name and rank by checking out his uniform), but you don't shake that person's hand. That person introduces you to the next "receiver," whose hand you do shake. Then your names get passed down the line until you have shaken every one's hand in line. All these guidelines, but it usually turns into a disorganized mess as hundreds of people go through the line. :P
3. After the receiving line, you can enter the ballroom and find your table and place card, but you aren't supposed to sit down until instructed to do so.

4. When everyone is in, it's time for the formal portion of the ball. It includes the presentation of the colors, lots of toasts (including the toast to fallen comrades, which is a tear-jerker. I should write more about that one another day.), and the grog bowl ceremony. Oh, the grog bowl. A friend and I laughed at this last ball how at the most formal of the events, these soldiers act the most informal. All of the company commanders pour a bottle or two or three of alcohol into the grog bowl, and they explain to the ball attendees that each bottle symbolizes something his or her company has accomplished. Scott chose orange cognac (because orange is the signal corps color) and everclear, because his soldiers kept the communications EVER CLEAR during the deployment. You should have heard his company hooping and hollering. :) Also included in the formal portion is an awards presentation. My soldier was 1 of 3 people in the battalion who received the Order of Mercury. Way to go, Babe! Now he gets to wear a swanky medal around his neck when he wears his dress uniform.
5. When all the ceremonies are over, it's time for dinner and dancing. When you leave, don't forget to bid your hosts, who generally post themselves near the exit, farewell.

Yes, this ball was MUCH more fun than high school prom. I especially enjoyed this one because Scott was so involved in the program. It was so cool to see his soldiers cheer for him when he received his award and during his part of the grog bowl ceremony. And as always, it's just fun to get dressed up every now and then!


Amber said...

I will concur that the military balls I've been to were more fun than prom! Oh that grog bowl! I will never forget the year that Tom DeLay was our guest speaker and was quite "toasted" from the grog bowl during his speech! lol

Bag Blog said...

You look gorgeous! Do they have a formal cutting of a cake? They do that at the Ia Drang Veteran's reunions.

Steve, Amanda, Kyle & Owen said...

You look stunning Amanda! Hope you all have a great vaccation!

Amanda said...

Thanks, yall. :) At this function there was no cake or cake cutting, but I think that's lots of fun to watch too!