Since arriving in the Washington DC area over a month ago, Clay and I have been repeating a phrase to each other at least once a day – this feels right. And last night, we attended our first military ball in our nation’s capitol city. We’ve attended many military balls over the years at various duty stations, but last night was definitely the swankiest.
The obligatory photograph on our front steps.
I’m a sucker for my husband in his dress blues and before long, I’ll get to start seeing him in his mess dress. So handsome! The military is rife with tradition and military balls are an excellent representation of the history within the institution. The receiving line, the horn signalizing the commencement of dinner, the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, the multi-course meal, the speeches, the dancing, and the pomp and circumstance all emblematize the established practices of the armed services since the American Revolution. They’re also a great time to socialize and cut loose (but not too loose…ahem).
Last night marked the first time I’ve been able to meet some of Clay’s co-workers so it was nice to put faces with names. Toasts were made. Wine was consumed. And dinner was really good – not your typical hotel banquet fare – my asiago crusted chicken rivaled any upscale restaurant in town. After dinner, the United States Army Chorus performed for about a half-hour, singing a melody of traditional cadences and patriotic hymns. It was my first time hearing the chorus in person and ohmygoodness, can those men sing!
Once the formal portion of the evening was over (the singing of The Army Song), the dance floor opened. The live band was excellent and played a great mix of swing, oldies, and traditional slow dances. I’m a sucker for a live horn section so it was fun to be able to dance to Mustang Sally with Clay and not worry about watching some people embarrassing themselves to a DJ playing 36 Mafia (memories of a ball we went to during our Ft. Drum days…). Overall, it was a classy affair. I only spotted one prom-like dress (complete with a tiara) and thankfully, nothing like the ‘infamous military ball dress’ was worn. If you are not familiar with said dress, consider yourself lucky!
Despite a rooftop deck not being available to take-in views of the city (boo..), we had a fun time at the ball and enjoyed our date night. I thoroughly love this aspect of military life and look forward to our next on-the-town event!