The 237th Marine Corps Ball

November 12th, 2012 at 4:09 pm by David Farrar

I was very fortunate to be a guest of the Marine Corps for their birthday ball last weekend. It was held in the Amora Hotel Ballroom, and was a great night. They had a video presentation on the history of the Marine Corps, and various speeches as part of an interesting formal ceremony. Then after that the dinner and the dancing.

In the booklet we were given, they had some quotes from or about the Marine Corps over time. Some of my favourites are:

The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! – Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem. 
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

“Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer!” – MAJ. HOLDREDGE 

“Retreat Hell! We’re just attacking in another direction.” (Attributed to Major General Oliver P. Smith, USMC, Korea, December 1950.)

WARRIORS BY DAY, LOVERS BY NIGHT, PROFESSIONALS BY CHOICE, AND MARINES BY THE GRACE OF GOD.

The girls at my table like the last quote especially :-)

Melissa Lee with Major General Ron Bailey, the commander of the Marines 1st Division. I’ve never seen a Major General dance Gangum Style before. We told Melissa that we expected her to be very proficient at it, as she is Korean :-)

The US and Marine flags.

Cutting the cake!

Jordan and Stephanie having fun.

But not as much fun as these girls – that photo could have gone terribly wrong :-)

Everywhere they are doing Gangnam Style!

Oh yeah, I couldn’t resist a photo with Glee Girl either.

Many thanks to the Marines and the US Embassy for a great night. Lots of fun, and great to support a fine institution. Semper Fi.

All the photos are from the US Embassy Flickr account.

Best dancer of the night was clearly Dr Duane McWaine!

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43 Responses to “The 237th Marine Corps Ball”

  1. jims_whare (403 comments) says:

    You’re not standing on tippy toes in that bottom pic are you DPF?

    Surely not – must be the way the light was shining!

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  2. thedavincimode (6,648 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (1,350) Says:
    November 12th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    As for “white men”, we’re a long way from done yet you racist prick, and if you think we are going to sit on our hands and watch as ignorant half educated well indoctrinated retards and Marxists from other cultures white ant everything we built, and that made the west so attractive to those very white ants in the first place, you need to think again buddy.

    Check some history.

    Its a long way from over yet.

    That’s good. I’m sure that Maj General Ron Bailey and his NCOs would love the opportunity to make a contribution.

    DPF: were any hard nuts from Kiwiblog invited along? You know, the follow me over the top leadership kind.

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  3. thedavincimode (6,648 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (1,352) Says:
    November 12th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    “Also, Arabs, Indians and Asians.”

    Oh yeah, that’s right- all cultures are equal.

    Oops. Sorry Major General Ron Bailey. I guess you aren’t allowed to. But we’ll call you if we need you.

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  4. James Stephenson (2,146 comments) says:

    “All the gear and no idea” – Royal Marines. Isn’t it? Hmmm?

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  5. Kea (12,121 comments) says:

    Oops. Sorry Major General Ron Bailey. I guess you aren’t allowed to. But we’ll call you if we need you.

    thedavincimode. The Major is from a North American culture, (a culture ,we are constantly told, is dominated by white people) you two faced bigot.

    Red was talking about “CULTURE” not race. Get off your soap box, no one is impressed.

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  6. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    General Bailey looks to be a very modern model of a modern major-general….

    The division he commands would dwarf the entire armed forces of New Zealand.

    It’s a small army.

    [DPF: Yes he commands 19,000 Marines, which is around twice the combined NZDF services]

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  7. RRM (9,788 comments) says:

    Get off your soap box, no one is impressed.

    Speak for yourself!

    This crusade you’re on Kea, calling everyone else around here a c**t all the time… how’s it working out for you?

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  8. thedavincimode (6,648 comments) says:

    I missed the irony of the “white ant” Straight thru to the keeper on that one. :)

    Kea: Yessum massah sah. :) You call me when you be wanin’ me massah sah.

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  9. RRM (9,788 comments) says:

    The girls at my table like the last quote especially :-)

    So why were YOU there, DPF? Looking for a bit of fun with a sailor?

    [DPF: Many hot girls there - especially the Embassy staffers :-)]

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  10. Key is our man (873 comments) says:

    Why was Melissa Lee there? More appropriate question will be – why Melissa Lee is still in National party?

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  11. davidp (3,578 comments) says:

    I used to live in Rome and hung out occasionally at the US embassy. The Marine guard sort of “owned” the embassy garage. They’d move the cars out and use the space for barbecues.

    They weren’t in their dress uniforms tho.

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  12. Kea (12,121 comments) says:

    This crusade you’re on Kea, calling everyone else around here a c**t all the time… how’s it working out for you?

    Well actually I don’t.

    Unlike yourself RRM, I have some integrity and are not simply playing to the popular sentiment. The truth does not always go down well and this site is infested with fakes who pretend offence because they want people to believe they are not racist.

    People are naturally racist, in that they tend to prefer their own cultural/racial group. They do so for sound evolutionary reasons. To label it “wrong” is to distance yourself from humanity. This is the real world, not some fantasy PC one. HOWEVER, done of this condones mistreatment of other races.

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  13. Yoza (1,788 comments) says:

    While we’re ticking off US Marine quotes, how about this from US Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, “I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent.
    Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.”

    A century on and not a lot has changed.

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  14. RightNow (6,976 comments) says:

    Yoza: “A century on and not a lot has changed.”

    Obama: “… we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”

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  15. David Garrett (7,022 comments) says:

    How dreadfully sad it must be to be over 40 and still believe in the sort of horseshit we all used to believe when we were 17..

    Did you ever go to an eastern bloc country when they still existed Yoza? A trip to East Germany and beyond sure cured me of believing in the doctrine taught at the New Plymouth branch of the SUP!!

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  16. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    The US marines were much missed during their years absent from the Wellington embassy. Nice to know that a positive side-effect from the war on terror was getting them back here with their ceremonial spit and polish. Very picturesque.

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  17. Redbaiter (8,382 comments) says:

    I suppose remarks about how much weight Mel has put on would be completely out of order.

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  18. eszett (2,396 comments) says:

    Not for you, red, that is just your natural self.

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  19. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    “He’s a misogynist and he’s ok / He works all night and he sleeps all day…”

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  20. Redbaiter (8,382 comments) says:

    Really sad you limp wristed morons had to make this thread part of your Redbaiter obsession.

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  21. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    The best Marines quote is from boot camp:

    “your soul may belong to Jesus, but your ass belongs to the marines!”

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  22. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Oh, and I also really liked the marine band that performed here during RWC. Spectacular and tuneful. I’m sure that their music has improved since gays have been allowed to serve openly. Semper fidelis.

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  23. Harriet (4,800 comments) says:

    Yoza#

    “….The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent, the flag follows, then the marines,….”

    “….If goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will…..” – I can’t recall who said it, but it is a very valid fact.

    And besides – ‘To buy – one must sell’.

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  24. Nostalgia-NZ (5,101 comments) says:

    Did you see that guy trying to lever the lid off a big whopper cream cake?
    If he wasn’t so smart he might have just plunged his face into it.
    Melissa Lee…so

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  25. Johnboy (15,903 comments) says:

    Not that I would want to rain on anyone’s parade of course! :)

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  26. pq (728 comments) says:

    Excellent Farrar, I have said it before and I say it again. you are a fun person on your travels through life.
    So much better than politic.

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  27. Christopher Thomson (376 comments) says:

    Johnboy, your problem with that is … ?

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  28. Johnboy (15,903 comments) says:

    There wasn’t enough rainfall Chrissie! :) :)

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  29. Johnboy (15,903 comments) says:

    Nothing worse than having legs that are too short for your trousers.

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  30. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Melissa Lee’s still in politics? Who knew! Looks like she’s making a really significant contribution. (semi) Celeb politics has not served NZ well.

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  31. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    The States are toxic and Anzus died along with the Soviet Union, So? Why is my generation of over 40’s chasing bad debt as potential trade? What? Do you want us to be the 53rd state? If you love them so much then leave our country and go live there and stop spewing their war on terrorism crap, Have we had any suicide bombers take a run at the Beehive? Honestly! We’re two islands at the bottom of the world and these two islands has always been on their own and will always be on their own. By chasing the States this insecure Party has pointed the gun right at us, They set it up where we lost soldiers, Kiwi lives because of their bend over fawning to the States, What trade off is it worth to be a buffer state? We’re not part of the West, We’re a third world country and we always have been. The West meme only exists within your minds because it gives you comfort and security from the fact that we don’t count on the global stage as the big guns do and your false sense of belonging to a European empire that died and are now grasping at The States as a fill in from the UK.

    We are third world by the fact that the Government could not step in and help the second cable to go ahead, we lag so far behind technologically that it screams third world and yet a minister was allowed to lose 200 something million dollars and not be brought to task over it. the Days of traditional government is numbered and the rise of Open source is on the horizon. Do you want to know why i think this way? it’s because Charter schools were once scoffed at too.

    The Party has constantly demonstrated that it is seriously out of step with the average new zealanders reality.

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  32. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    No man, or country, is an island. When Helen Clark rather infamously remarked that New Zealand existed in a ‘benign security environment’ she was, of course, quite wrong. The world is a dangerous place. We need some credible armed forces as a quid pro quo to contribute to a stronger alliance in desperate times.
    Snuggling up to Australia, the US and UK is simple common sense, for now. Should the global military dominance of the US be seriously challenged, then NZ might have to choose. Our policy simply has to be friendship to all, trade with all, and an alliance with the dominant power of the day.
    We don’t need much of a military, but what we have needs to be credible. a Marine-corps style of organisation based around three frigates, a couple of support ships, a squadron of F-16s, transport and maritime surveillance aircraft, and a battalion size infantry unit with a few specialist small units would be a sensible balanced force.

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  33. Manolo (13,522 comments) says:

    But, but, but….comrade Clark was never wrong!

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  34. Martin Gibson (241 comments) says:

    Was Tariana Turia there to celebrate her father coming to New Zealand to create her? She seemed to miss and remain silent on the last big celebration; it’s almost like her white American father is the whakapapa that dare not speak it’s name.

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  35. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    How is that relevant? Did the embassy invite all NZ-resident children of Marines? All MPs?

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  36. niggly (817 comments) says:

    Well said Milkenmild @ 6.15 (and good point re 7.10 post – perhaps the embassy should have invited all pollies, assuming they didn’t). NZ is no longer “isolated” thanks to global trade and communications, we rely on trading (exports for cash and imports of products vital to the economy eg oil, machinery, “humans” even eg I’m thinking of the knowledge brought in by academics or business/NGO folk etc), to make our imperfect country tick, without all this we would truly be third world in the sense of poverty.

    Whilst the US isn’t perfect, show me another great power that is. At least it is better to be sitting at the table and talking and working in with the US wherever practical, rather than bury ones head in the sand dreaming of an idealist world, like Azeraph and his ilk!

    Our trade routes to Asia are vital for our economy and way of life, how fortunate for NZ (and Asian countries) that we have the US to enforce the peace…

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  37. niggly (817 comments) says:

    And whilst I share a small degree of Azeraph’s cynicism re NZ being technologically behind, I sense part of this is due to the actions of Labour in the 80’s in closing the door to the US (re ANZUS and the flow on effects). Lange never wanted to pull out of ANZUS (until he backed himself into the corner), it would be interesting to ponder “what if” that hadn’t have happened, especially with the economic reforms (whether one agrees or not or what to extent etc), NZ could have piggybacked on Australian efforts to improve technological access as they have. Sorry Azeraph, one can’t have it both ways re posture towards US!

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  38. Rufus (653 comments) says:

    Semper fi.

    The average marine might not have a whole lot upstairs, but they have a high code on honour, and are good people.

    Johnboy- how the hay did you squeeze that Vid in here? First time I’ve ever seen it done on KB. Bravo!

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  39. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    I like national, I just don’t like the easily led inexperienced people they have put in place to deal with foreign governments whose machines are better oiled than ours, Anyone can tell when another has been dazzled, it’s always in the eye’s as it is with Melissa’s.
    So, What comes with this free trade deal? A relaxing of our non nuclear ban? A resupply base for a carrier group? What would a base here serve? as it is nowhere near any action whatsoever? What could possibly be that important to put a base here? What’s down here?

    I hope this blog isn’t populated with people in their sixties who still hasn’t gotten over the cold war and regardless of what they say about their world experience are still led by their habit sense from when they were in their 40’s, this group didn’t see the wall coming down in any scenario. A biased person can only see with tunnel vision.

    John made a fatal mistake when he fobbed the opportunity to get us up to spec technologically, that’s what put me off him, all it would have taken was a 100 million injection to help the cable. The public would’ve grumbled but it would of quietened down once the benefits started to roll, instead, we are ten years behind. Business could’ve been rolling. If your leaders can’t gauge the people then they don’t have much sense for them. The country is severally dissatisfied with the current situation, they want it and will pay for it but now they will probably have to pay double it would’ve cost when we had the chance.

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  40. niggly (817 comments) says:

    Inexperienced people: Are you referring to Ministers (McCully, Cole etc)? If so, unfortunately that’s just politics and will vary depending which Govt is in power and who their particular Ministers are. Eg Labour had Burton as DefMin – not sure what his wordly experience was (although I thought I read once he was a former high flier in one of the peace groups, which to me would seem on a par with a gang member entering parliament and becoming the Police Minister).

    On the other hand, the mandarins at MFAT (etc) have a range of experienced people that have been around for a number of years, and provide advice to Minister’s of different hues. So I’m not clear how much of an issue this really is, unless you wish to elaborate?

    Free Trade: The Aussies had no nuclear ban and regular visits by carrier groups for decades until their recent free trade agreement, so not sure why you threw this in as being relevant to NZ and frankly carriers would have trouble entering NZ’s shallow ports so probably wouldn’t come anyway (also we’ve not had a USN carrier visit since the 60’s, in the heyday of ANZUS). As for a resupply base, what a good idea, think of the benefits to the local economy and infrastructure development, trouble is the US can get this all from Australia, now with infrastructure in place, so can’t see that happening for NZ.

    Blog population: Can’t speak for others, but I’m my 40s. Anyway you imply older people couldn’t see the wall coming down, well neither did the US or the Europeans. But if you think that is an issue, what I see is a bigger issue is Helen Clark, Wilson, Anderton & Co also not knowing the wall was going to come down but gambled on NZ’s security and economic interests by forcing NZ out of ANZUS in the height of the Cold War, that’s treasonous and criminal in my mind.

    Cable: Not sure what the reasons are for NZG not supporting, but why blame it on John Key? You sound like The Standard where everything is supposedly John Key’s fault. Why not try attacking the Treasury mandarins, who control the purse strings, and like the MFAT officials have been around for years, driving their agenda to advise the Govt what to fund/not to fund!

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  41. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    New Zealand defence force urgently needs a proper reorganisation accompanied by proper equipment upgrades to restore a minimal level of credible military capability. We are too small to sustain the crippling inter-service rivalries that have so often led to disastrous decision – the LAV purchases for example. the military needs to be focused on its core purpose – a range of ways to kill the Queen’s enemies. Would it surprise anyone to know that the fastest growing areas of activity for the New Zealand military over the past fifteen years have been supporting commemorative activities and sending very expensive defence ‘diplomats’ to more and more countries of marginal relevance to our interests.
    Politcians of all stripes make stupid decisions. The1980s saw the pointless rupture of ANZUS, but at least we bought the frigates. The 1990s saw a decide of extreme miserliness, so decisons were simply deferred. That opened the door to the farcical select committee which pretended to write a White Paper. Their nonsense provide scope for the next government to axe air and naval capabilities in favour of their beloved peacekeeping army, which now has a rifle and an armoured vehicle for every soldier. True, there were a few shillings left over for a huge multi-role ship of doubtful military utility and a bunch of patrol craft mainly useful for helping out other government departments.
    Since 2011 the main focus has been a renewed effort to cut costs by being mean to service personnel.

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  42. niggly (817 comments) says:

    More good points MM. Treasury (& National) are screwing over Defence, making them do more with less, in a time when Defence has been its busiest since the 60’s (eg Vietnam War and in 1968 expenditure was 2.2% of GDP), all on the same budget that National in the 90’s/Labour in the early 2000’s screwed down to ~1% of GDP (when defence was at its quietest), which is what is being spent today when NZDF have deployed around the region in recent years (Timor, Solomons, Tonga, Afghanistan, let alone the routine committments to Australia, Singapore and Malaysia etc).

    And no doubt with the hand-break being applied to delay capital reinvestment eg naval support ship replacements, air transport and patrol & training aircraft, army support vehicles (granted, all whilst the current budget is being invested into the increased operational costs of the hi-tech equipment that Labour bought in the 2000’s), a near future Labour Govt will simply undo what has yet to be put into place. A bit like a re-run of the 90’s.

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  43. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    When the shit really hits the fan NZ governments of any stripe have got in boots and all. The Liberals and Reform had NZ as prepared as a country ever could be for the First World War. Retrenchment in the 1920s and 30 reduced the Army to a farcical remnant, while we paid our share of the Singapore base and paid off the debt for the already-scrapped HMS New Zealand. The air force was being developed fairly rapidly in the late thirties, but NZ families paid a terrible price for the decision to raise a full division in early 1940. The Vietnam era saw significant capital investment; not matched since.

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