Photo Information

Spouses practice ball etiquette at the Officers' Club aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Sept. 26, in preparation for the 238th Marine Corps Birthday Ball. The class was a part of Operation Ball Gown, where spouses of where able to receive a free ball gown for the Marine Corps Ball.

Photo by Cpl. Sarah Cherry

Operation Ball Gown

4 Oct 2013 | Cpl. Sarah Cherry

As the birthday of the Marine Corps fast approaches, Marines prepare for the ball by adjusting their uniforms, holding fundraisers, and buying tickets.


   Like anything else in the Marine Corps, the ball involves the families of Marines as well.


   To help spouses get ready for the birthday ball, Marine Corps Family Team Building hosted Operation Ball Gown 2013 at the Officer’s Club aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Sept. 26.


   “It’s about reducing the cost and making them feel special,” said Ashley McCartney, readiness and deployment support trainer for Marine Corps Family Team Building.


   Operation Ball Gown is an annual event that gives spouses of active duty service members the chance to pick out a formal ball gown for free.


   “Sometimes people don’t know all the expenses that go along with the ball,” said McCartney. “Getting dress blues ready, the hair and the makeup and all of that gets really expensive. Unfortunately, some of our families just can’t afford that expense. Having a free ball gown helps a lot.”


   “It’s fun,” said Stephanie Hanks, who attended the event. “You can mingle and meet other people, and try on dresses. It’s a good idea because you can network with other people, and you also get the opportunity to find a free dress to wear to the ball.”


   The event is also a chance to introduce new family members to other families and some of the support services available for them.


   “We have service providers who come [to Operation Ball Gown], and that really gets families in the door with those services and with Marine Corps Family Team Building and the classes that we offer,” said McCartney. “That way they can learn about their chain of command, or what a Family Readiness Officer is, or how to get through a deployment.”


   For more information on how to donate to or benefit from Operation Ball Gown, please contact Ashley McCartney at 228-7311.