You’re attending a Military Ball…now what?

Protocol Information

Each year (sometimes twice a year) the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marines hold a Military Ball. This event can be a lot of fun.  The military attendees wear their dress uniform.

Guests wearing civilian attire will dress as follows:

– Women: will wear a formal evening dress or gown, it should be knee to floor length and tasteful. At Larenas, we carry a great selection of Evening Dresses, Ball Gowns and Formal Gowns perfectly suited for this event.

– Men: will wear a dark suit (tuxedo is suggested), no “khaki’s and ties”.


Receiving lines are located at the entrance. Some people tend to avoid the receiving lines, this is a “discourteous action”. The first person in the line will be in charge of announcing the names of the guests (usually the commander of the hosting event). They do not shake hands or carry conversations, their job is just to introduce the arriving guest to the next person in line.


Once everybody has been introduced, they go to their tables to wait for the entrance of the colors. Individuals in uniform should remain at attention and face the colors at all times during the presentation. The colorguard posts the colors once indicated by the commander.


This is a very solemn ceremony conducted to honor those (men and women) who remain missing in action or as prisoners of war. A table is set in the middle for all to see and remember them.


Before dinner, the toasts are done to honor the military personnel, leaders and guests. Also a silent toast is performed to honor the prisoners and missing in action.


No special rules here, only proper dining etiquette.


On each ball a distinguished guest is asked to address the assembly of military personnel, This person usually has some connection with the armed forces.


  • Following the dinner, the colors are retired and the Ball Dance begins. This is when the good times start.  Relax and enjoy the evening!

For more information, see

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