CDR Carl B. Forkner, Ph.D., USN(Ret)
This is to honor the finest Navy in the history of humankind on its 242nd birthday.
I actually had the opportunity to attend a number of Navy Balls in my career. Likewise, I attended a number of Marine Corps balls — our sister service in the Department of the Navy.
The photo to the right was taken at the 2009 Navy Ball at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, where
I was an Assistant Professor. Jo had flown out to visit and attend the ball with me. I suppose you could say that it was our first “formal” date? Well, at least it was formal, that’s for sure!
The Navy Ball is a celebration of the long history of the United States Navy in supporting commerce and freedom across the globe. It is also a time where we remember those who have gone before us–many of whom gave the last full measure of devotion.
Traditionally, the Navy birthday cake is cut with a sword, held by the oldest and youngest Sailors in attendance. We often have the honor of having Navy League or other naval personnel from days past in attendance to be our oldest–as well as a Sailor or two who are the youngest. It is a great evening to reminisce about our years of service, ancestors who served, and what our younger Sailors plan to do with their careers.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of all who Threaten it.
The United States Navy was directed by Congress in 1775. Since then, we have protected commerce, liberty, and Americans across the globe, answered the call of duty in times of conflict, and been among the first to arrive and render assistance in numerous disasters.