242nd Marine Corps Birthday Ball

Lieutenant General Wissler was born at Camp Pendleton, California and raised in a Marine Family, settling in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on 7 June 1978.


His company and field grade command assignments include landing support (shore party) and combat engineer platoons; three Combat Engineer companies; 2d Combat Engineer Battalion; 2d Transportation Support Battalion, and Task Force Pegasus supporting I MEF during OIF I.  General Officer command assignments included 2d FSSG (Fwd) and 2d Marine Logistics Group; 2d MEB; III Marine Expeditionary Force and Commander, Marine Corps Forces, Japan; and Commander, US Marine Corps Forces Command and Commanding General, FMF Atlantic.  While serving as CG, III MEF, Lieutenant General Wissler was twice activated as the Commander, Joint Task Force 505, conducting Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations in the Philippines in 2013 after Super Typhoon and during 2015 for Earthquake relief in Nepal.   Lieutenant general Wissler also served as Deputy CG, MNF-W during OIF 09 and Deputy CG, II MEF.


Staff assignments include Facilities Maintenance Officer MCRD, San Diego; CMC Amphibious Plans Study Group for Operation Desert Storm; Marine Corps Aide to the President (George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton); Director, Strategic Initiatives Group; Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Gordon England); and Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources.


Lieutenant General Wissler graduated from the Amphibious Warfare School; the Air Force Institute of Technology (MS Industrial Engineering); Marine Corps Command and Staff College; Armed Forces Staff College; and Commandant of the Marine Corps and Federal Executive Fellow at The Brookings Institution.


Lieutenant General Wissler is an Honorary Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy and an Honorary Marine in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, and has received the Order of the Rising Sun Gold and Silver Star from the Emperor of Japan; and the  Order of National Security Merit, Gukseon Medal conferred by the President of the Republic of Korea.


Lieutenant General Wissler is very happily married to the former Susan Lynell Gordon of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and they have six adult children and four grandchildren.




The 2017 "Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball"  celebrating the 242nd Birthday of the United States Marine Corps will be held on Saturday, Nov 4th, 2017.




The Cocktail Reception starts at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Ceremony at 7:00 p.m. A multi course dinner will be served during the Dance immediately following the Ceremony.  If you have purchased a VIP Cocktail Hour Ticket, then you may enter the cocktail reception as early as 5:30pm.




The 2017 Birthday Ball will be held at the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards located at 24724 Arnold Drive in Sonoma, California. Visit the Web site at: http://www.jacuzziwines.com/




Ball tickets provide access to the dinner and ceremony, and the 30 minutes prior to the ball for general cocktails and reception.  For access to the VIP Cocktail hour that starts 1 hour prior to the ball ceremony, a VIP pass will need to be purchased in addition to the ball ticket.




The "Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball" is celebrated annually on or about November 10th in Sonoma, California by Marines, friends of the Corps and members of the other U.S. Armed Forces (Active Duty, Reserve, Retired, or Honorably Discharged). The Birthday Ball is open to both Officer and Enlisted men and women along with their guests.   The Ball in 2017 will take place on Nov 4th.




Required attire for men is black tie or "best" military uniform. A coat and tie is required. The wearing of miniature medals is encouraged. The formal evening (mess) dress uniform for both Commissioned Officers and SNCOs is a popular choice. The uniform of the Marine Corps League (the scarlet blazer or evening dress jacket with gold cummerbund) is also appropriate. Ladies' attire should meet similar standards.

LtGen John E. Wissler,

USMC Ret.  Marine Corps Forces Command

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Wine Country Marines

19484 Riverside Drive

Sonoma, California 95476







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