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Marine Corps Ball canceled due to ‘unforeseen operational commitments’

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Paul J. Rock Jr., commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, and Maj. Gen. Chris A. McPhillips. (U.S. Air Force photo by Gunnery Sgt. Alisa Helin)
November 01, 2023

United States Marine Corps Major Gen. Chris A. McPhillips reportedly announced Tuesday that the 248th Marine Corps Ball has been canceled by U.S. Central Command as a result of “unforeseen operational commitments.”

Announcing the cancelation of this year’s Marine Corps Ball, McPhillips wrote, “Regretfully and with a strong sense of duty, I write to inform you of a decision that I had to make regarding the Marine Corps 248th Ball, scheduled for 16 November 2023. Due to unforeseen operational commitments and the nature of our current mission, it is with great regret that we must cancel this year’s event.”

McPhillips explained that Central Command’s decision to cancel the 248th Marine Corps Ball stems from the “primary responsibility” the Marine Corps has to guarantee the defense and security of the United States. “It is this commitment to duty that has necessitated the cancellation of what would undoubtedly have been an exceptional evening of camaraderie and tradition,” he said.

According to U.S. Central Command’s website, CENTCOM’s area of responsibility includes over 4 million square miles with multiple opportunities for “tension and rivalry.”

“The central region is among the least secure and stable places of the world. Adversarial relationships among neighboring states, widespread ethnic and sectarian struggles, malign influence and destabilizing activities, cyber-based threats, and growing arsenals of sophisticated conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction all combine to imperil enduring U.S. vital national interests, as well as those of our trusted partners and allies,” CENTCOM’s website states.

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The announcement of the Marine Corps Ball comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East, including the war between Israel and Hamas that started after Hamas terrorists brutally attacked Israel last month. Additionally, the Department of Defense has recorded 27 total attacks against U.S. forces in the Middle East since Oct. 17. On the same day as the cancelation announcement, the Pentagon announced the deployment of 300 additional U.S. troops to the Middle East.

In his announcement, McPhillips expressed his gratitude for the “immense effort” of those who spent significant time and effort to plan and prepare for the 248th Marine Corps Ball. The general noted that the cancelation of the Marine Corps Ball is a “reminder of the sacrifices” that U.S. service members, particularly the Marines, make on behalf of the nation.

McPhillips added, “Please know that this decision was not made lightly, and the chief consideration was the need to uphold the highest standards of readiness and the completion of our operational responsibilities.”

This article originally had a typo in the third paragraph. The article has been corrected. American Military News regrets this error.