2017 Birthday Ball


Tracy Likens. Ruger LCP
Dave Tictchell Ruger LC9S
Bobby Edley. Remington 870
Richard Baylor. Henry Golden Boy
Chris Lujaw, 1911 45
Heather Vanhorn. Glock 43
Jeff Wisley. Savage 308
Keith Griffen. TC .50 cal
Dave Sutlip. M&P 223
Nick Duryea. Henry Military Edition

Congratulations, and thank you for your support!!

About:  The observance of the Marine Corps Birthday, on or around the 10th of November each year, is a time honored tradition among Marines. Whether Marines are in the thick of battle or at peace and stateside, they always take a moment to observe the birth of their illustrious Corps.

At a minimum Marines generally practice the tradition of cutting and sharing a birthday cake, as well as reading the Commandants’ birthday messages.  When possible, Marines prefer to celebrate the birth of their distinguished military organization with a military ball, including all the pageantry, ceremony, and tradition of the elegant military balls of eras long past.

Marines around the globe can be found enjoying an evening of celebration – from the Commandant’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Washington D.C., which is attended by distinguished guests from around the county and globe, to the Marine Security Guard Birthday Balls at embassies around the world, which are attended by ambassadors and dignitaries, to the Marine Unit Birthday Balls held on or near Marines bases.

The Marine Corps League, Earl Anderson Detachment 342 is proud to be once again be bringing this special event to the Morgantown community.  We open our Ball to the community in order to to share this unique event of history, tradition, and ceremony that few get to experience. Please join us in celebrating the Marine Corps’  242nd birthday.

Funds raised from the Marine Corps League, Earl Anderson Detachment 342 Marine Corps Birthday Ball support Marines, FMF Corpsmen, and their families right here in the NCWV Community, as well as other veteran causes/initiatives and programs that promote the ideals of the Marine Corps League.

Guest of Honor/Keynote Speaker: Rick Nealis has served as the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) race director since 1993.  Under his leadership, MCM has established itself as one of the best-organized marathons in the world.

Nealis was born on December 15, 1953 in Philadelphia, PA.  After graduation from Villanova University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps through the Platoon Leaders Course Program in May of 1975.

After completion of The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia, Nealis entered his military occupational training at the Supply Schools in camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  During his military career, Nealis served with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and the 31st Marine amphibious Unite while aboard the USS Tarawa, USS Okinawa, and the USS Tripoli when he was a part of the amphibious ready group during the Iranian Hostage rescue attempt.  Additionally, he served with the 1st Marine Brigade in Kaneohe, Hawaii and with the 3rd Force Service Support Group in Okinawa, Japan.

While in the Marine Corps, Nealis succeeded in furthering his education earning a Master of Business Administration in Management from Golden State University and a Master of Science in Human Organizational Services from Villanova University.  He also attended the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.  Later, he served as an instructor at the Marine Corps Service Support Schools and at Naval Reserve Office Training Course at Villanova University.

On August 1, 1995, Nealis retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years of dedicated service.  His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.

In 1996, Nealis served as the Olympic Torch Deputy Caravan Coordinator for the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. During this time, he had the distinct privilege to carry the Olympic Torch on its longest leg of the relay in Young Harris, Georgia on July 16.  Five years later, Nealis returned to the Olympic Torch Relay, this time as a member of the security team for the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.  On December 19, 2001 he again had the honor to carry the Olympic Torch in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

For the 30th Anniversary of the MCM in 2005, the Military Officers Association of America presented an Ovation in their Today’s Officer magazine to Nealis for his accomplishments in promoting the organizational skills of the United States Marines.

In 2006, Nealis received honors from the Southeast Neumann Veterans Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as their Man of the Year.

Inducted into the Hall of Champions for Running USA in 2009, Nealis leadership, innovation and outstanding contributions to the sport of running was recognized.

A year later in 2010, Nealis was awarded the Road Race Management Race Director of the Year for his innovative and safety enhancements to the Marine Corps Marathon.

During his time as race director, Nealis has developed the Marine Corps Marathon from a 26.2 mile race to a weekend long event, packed with activities for runners and fitness enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.  The MCM boasts an economic impact of nearly $40 million, directly benefiting the Washington DC Metro area, and serves as a platform for charity partners to raise an excess of $10 million for both local and national causes.  Currently the seventh largest marathon in the United States the MCM has welcomed over 500,000 finishers across the legendary Marine Corps War Memorial finish line and continues a combined tradition of dedication, sportsmanship and patriotism.

Nealis is married to the former Ms. Jo Ann Webb. He has four children, Kelly, Colleen, Inge, and Markarius and four grandchildren. A runner himself, Nealis boasts a marathon Personal Record of 3:09:50 from the 1983 Marine Corps Marathon.


  • 1800 Social Hour/Cocktails (Cash bar)
  • 1845 Ceremony
  • – Sound Attention
    – Sound Adjutants Call
    – Guest of Honor Escorted by the Commandant of the Marine Corps League
    – Color Guard Enters Ballroom
    – Honors to the Colors
    – Reading of Traditional Commandant’s Marine Corps Birthday Message
    – Cake Escorts Enter Ballroom
    – Cake Cutting Ceremony Oldest and Youngest Marines
    – Color Guard Retires
    – Introduction of Guest of Honor and Remarks – USMC Major Richard Nealis, Ret. Marine Corps Marathon Race Director
  • 1930 Dinner
  • 2015 Live Music/Dancing



Assorted Cut Cheeses & Pepperoni Bar
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Spring Mix Tossed Salad
With your choice of Vinaigrette, Ranch or Zesty Italian Dressing
Homemade Sweet Rolls with Butter

7 oz Prime Rib Au Jus (prepared Medium) with Horseradish Sauce on your table
Savory Chicken Cordon Bleu
Vegetarian Roasted Pepper Penne Pasta in Olive Oil with Romano Cheese

All are served with
Garlic Red Skinned Mashed Potato & Fresh Garden Green Beans

Assorted Cakes and Pies

Unsweetened Iced Tea
Iced Water
Coffee Bar
Cash Bar (Beer, Wine, Spirits)
1 Free Drink Ticket included with your entry (Beer or Wine Only)

Attire:  The Marine Corps Ball is a formal event.  Civilian male guests should attend in formal, suit/sports coat and tie attire.  Civilian female guests should attend in formal, dress or gown attire. Military members should wear their branch’s appropriate dress uniform.  Marine Corps League members or members of other veteran organizations may wear the appropriate dress uniform for their organizations.

Prizes/Raffle: Marine Corps League, Earl Anderson Detachment 342 will be providing door prizes throughout the evening, and we are currently also selling raffle tickets for 10 weapons that will be raffled that night at the ball – tickets are only $10 each, and only 2500 tickets were printed. Contact us if you’d like to purchase tickets at 304-692-0334