Mil Ball: Like Prom, but Cooler!
By Cadet Sarah Shewell
Mil Ball. That one day each February when we get all dressed up, have a nice meal, and make awkward conversation for a few hours.
Sounds a lot like prom right? You meet up beforehand to take photos of yourself looking good. You dust off your best manners to impress your date. You take part in all the traditions. All your friends are cooler than everyone else there, and you spend half the night telling everyone so. And at some point you get a lecture from an adult telling you how to run your life.
However, the military ball is so much better than any prom I ever went to. You get to dress up in a military uniform that you can feel good in. You have earned an exclusive right to wear it. You get to represent the Air Force to both our sister branch, the Army, and the public. Everyone who sees you in that uniform, knows that you stand for so much more now than you did as a high school student.
At mil ball, you get to see traditions that matter. It’s not the traditions of skipping class or going to the basketball game or meeting friends hours before to do hair. You get to see the posting and retiring of the colors, the receiving line, the saber arch, and the POW/MIA table. Each of these traditions has meaning and history important to the Air Force culture you are now a part of. And that inevitable speech leaves you feeling better about yourself and how you can continue to get better.
By the end of the night, Mil Ball 2013 may not have left you with the crazy memories of prom night. Everyone jokes, myself included, that mil ball is a snooze fest filled with talking about the weather and uncomfortable clothing. However, I always leave mil ball feeling better than I ever left prom. I leave loving the Air Force, Detachment 207, and all the people I’ve decided to work with.
For me, it’s moments like when we belted out the Airman’s Creed after it was nearly skipped (Thank you, Col. Dyke), that make mil balls mean so much more to me than prom. That was cool. That was a memory. I’m so happy to have left my prom days behind and to have more nights like last Friday to look forward to.
Plus, there’s no more having to dance to “Don’t Stop Believin’”!
- Learn more about SLU’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 207