For nearly four decades military retirees have dusted off their ribbon stacks and pressed their slacks to honor the Marine Corps birthday.

Geottge Memorial Field House aboard Camp Lejeune will have more history between its walls than most museums Nov. 12 for this year’s Regiment of Retired Marines 241st Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

“My favorite part is getting to see all of those that have served, from World War II to the Frozen Chosin to the newer generations together having a great time celebrating the Marine Corps birthday,” event chairman Sgt. Maj. Michael Cline said. “The ball also lets the older retirees know how important they are for the legacy they provided and to those that follow them.”

Much like the active-duty Marine Corps balls, the retiree ball will feature a ceremonial cake cutting by the oldest and the youngest attendee. Active-duty Marines from Camp Lejeune and New River will be handling the ceremony proceedings like the color guard and acting as escorts, Cline said.

“They are always more than happy to come and get to share stories among others that have served,” he said. “We have Navy Cross recipents and Silver Star recipients and people with some major honors. The array of war heroes and Marine heroes is great. These young men and women get to share in the camaraderie of something that is big and great.”

The retiree ball attracts veterans from all across the country, many returning to Camp Lejeune, a site in their service history.

Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations East and Camp Lejeune, is the guest of honor this year.

Although the ball will include the usual ceremonial proceedings, Cline said the aim is to have fun and enjoy celebrating the Marine Corps birthday.

“Everyone that comes, comes because they want to, not because they have to,” he said. “We will do all of the important recognition of the birthday and special attendees, but then we are going to have a good time and dance.”

A no-host social will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner, the ceremony and dancing to follow. 

The Conductors and The Carousels will perform live at the event.

Tickets are $55 and are still available. They can be purchased at the USO-North Carolina Jacksonville Center, 9 Tallman St. in downtown Jacksonville.