By Molly Forte ’16, School of Nursing
Held every year in Plumley Armory, the Navy-Marine Corps Ball at Norwich University celebrates the respective founding of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps on October 13 and November 10, 1775.
Each year, two students from the Naval Battalion plan this ball under the supervision of Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Perkins. This year, I had the privilege of planning the ball with the help of Midshipman 3rd Class Zachary White. I am myself a Midshipman 2nd Class in my junior year of the nursing program at Norwich University. I have previously held Naval Battalion positions such as Public Affairs Officer and Squad Leader. Last year, I helped plan the Navy-Marine Corps Ball under the leadership of Senior Nursing Major Midshipman 1st Class Amy DeRego.
The ball hosts important delegates from the Norwich University community, as well as officers and enlisted members from all branches of the military. Some 140 guests attended this year’s gala, including the commanding officers of all three Norwich ROTC programs, USA Col. (Ret.) and Norwich University School of Nursing Director Sharon Richie-Melvan, and Norwich University President Richard M. Schneider.
Military ceremonies at this year’s gala included cutting Navy and Marine Corps birthday cakes with sabers, presentation of colors and sharing birthday messages from US Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
USN Rear Adm. Matthew J. Carter, a Virginia Military Institute graduate, served as this year’s guest of honor and speaker. Dinner and dancing followed his talk.