Fallbrook High cadets host first Marine Corps Ball

The Honor Guard awaits the march on of the traditional Marine Corps birthday cake. E.G.A. Photography LLC. photos

FALLBROOK – The Fallbrook High School USMC JROTC program recently held its first Marine Corps Ball and cake cutting ceremony. The event took place at the Fallbrook Community Center and was attended by 150 student cadets and their guests.

Colonel Trace Deneke, retired USMC and former FHS teacher and football coach, was the guest of honor and speaker. The cake cutting ceremony itself is a unique celebration of the birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

This year was the 242nd birthday for the Corps. As is custom, a piece of cake was shared by the oldest cadet, Catrina Manchor, and the youngest cadet, Daniel Lopez, symbolizing the passing of knowledge and wisdom.

This is the second year that the Marine Corps JROTC leadership program has been at Fallbrook High. The program grew from 115 cadets last year to 170 cadets this school year. The program has had many successes, including its academic team, which placed fifth in the region competing against 110 other schools. The physical fitness team placed first in the region and went on to the national competition, where it placed fifth in the nation.

Fallbrook High’s MCJROTC graduated 18 seniors last school year. Nine entered military service, six went on to college and the remainder are successfully employed.

Marine Instructors for the program are LtCol William Wade, USMC (ret) and MSgt Brian Richardson, USMC (ret).

The Marine Corps Ball was made possible by a group of dedicated volunteers led by Fallbrook High teacher Lisa Masten and generous sponsors including Ace Party Rentals, Angel Society of Fallbrook, Major Market, El Toro Market, Harry’s Sports Pub, and Pacific Marine Credit Union.

Fallbrook High’s agricultural department assisted with stunning floral arrangements. Cadets, teachers, and guests repeatedly commented on what an amazing evening it was. The ceremony performed by the cadets was in keeping with the highest standards of the USMC and was followed by an evening of dinner, comradery and dancing.

“The cadets, guests and FUHS staff had a great time celebrating the 242nd birthday of the United States Marine Corps,” said Wade. “This was the first time that the Fallbrook High Marine Corps JROTC has done a full-scale Marine Corps Ball. The cadets ran the entire show and did an excellent job.”

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