Military Intelligence Ball

Wherever you go in the military, a tradition that you experience is the military ball. Often annually, sometimes before or on return from deployment; units, schools and commands take the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment of their mission, their safe return from combat, or continued alliances with coalition partners.

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Tonight, my brigade sponsored the ball for the Intelligence community in South Korea, with guests and participants from both U.S. and ROK forces. With over 700 in attendance it was quite the event. As with most ceremonies and events, as the brigade chaplain I was called upon to pray…twice.  Here are some pictures from the evening (though a combination of the lighting and using my phone/camera mean they’re not that great):

2016 MI Ball Seoul
Walking into the ballroom, the crowd is already mingling.

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Red Dragon ice sculpture
A “Red Dragon” ice sculpture. My brigade is called the “Red Dragons”

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2016 MI Ball Seoul
The tables were all set nicely (I only drank the water)

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2016 MI Ball Seoul Knowlton Awards
A number of Soldiers, from the U.S. and ROK, received the “Knowlton Award,” given by the Military Intelligence Corps Association.

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2016 MI Ball Seoul COL Arnold
The Brigade Commander welcomed the ball guests and introduced the speakers

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2016 MI Ball Seoul
Commander of the ROK Intelligence Command addressed the crowd

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2016 MI Ball Seoul MG Ballard
MG Christopher Ballard, the USFK J2 was the keynote speaker

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2016 MI Ball Seoul
You can’t really see them, but a baritone quartet from the Korean Military Drill Team provided entertainment.

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2016 MI Ball Seoul
The K-Pop group Switch Berry was there to entertain the youngins.

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2016 MI Ball Seoul Chaplain Densford
Here I am praying the closing prayer. There aren’t usually pictures of me…I guess everyone is usually praying!

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2016 MI Ball Seoul MG Ballard Chaplain Densford
Me with MG Ballard, whose father was a chaplain

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COL Arnold Chaplain Densford
Me with my Brigade Commander, COL Arnold

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Chaplain Densford Chaplain Dietz
Me with one of my Battalion Chaplains, Maya Dietz

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Chaplain Densford Chaplain Blake
Me with another of my Battalion Chaplains, Brian Blake

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Chaplain Densford, Dietz, Blake
Me with the two Battalion Chaplains of mine who were at the ball. The other one couldn’t be there because he attended the Aviation Ball the night before with his battalion, and he and his wife were babysitting tonight so Soldiers from his battalion could attend the MI Ball without the expense and difficulty of a babysitter.

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Ceremony prayers aren’t that exciting since people don’t come for the prayers, but here are the two I prayed at the MI Ball tonight:

First, the Invocation:

Dear Gracious Heavenly Father,

I thank you for this day you have given us and for this occasion that we gather together to celebrate the alliance which exists between the United States and the Republic of Korea, particularly tonight- in the Intelligence community.

We realize that it is our ability to work together that preserves the armistice and protects the freedom and independence of our friends.

I thank you for all of those involved in this task before us, from the newest private to the most experienced officer, and pray for each of them that they will be protected as they perform their duties but also that they will be blessed because of the significance of our mission.

I pray now that you will be with us tonight as we celebrate the successful, continued, execution of our mission and the alliance we enjoy with each other. Bless this time with your presence and bless each one here gathered.

In your holy name I pray, Amen.

Then the Benediction or closing prayer:

Dear Father:

Thank you for this time that we’ve had together: The honors, the entertainment, the laughs, and the good food.

Thank you again for all of those here, and all the others who are serving both in uniform and as civilians, in the defense of freedom in the Republic of Korea and around the world.

Thank you also for your presence with us here this evening so far, and as we continue to celebrate. I pray that you will continue to be with us, both those here and those traveling home.

Finally, Lord, I pray that you will provide safety tonight and in the days ahead. And I pray that you will especially bless the Republic of Korea and the United States of America as we live and serve together.

In your name I pray, Amen.

 

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