244th Marine Corps Birthday Ball


Lieutenant General Nicholson served as the Commanding General of III Marine Expeditionary Force, leading 30,000 Marines and Sailors in the Asia-Pacific region, from 2015 to 2018.


Graduating from The Citadel in 1979, Lieutenant General Nicholson served as an infantry officer in the First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California, where he commanded and deployed to the Western Pacific, leading multiple platoons and rifle companies. From 1990 to 1993, Nicholson was assigned to the staff of US Naval Academy. Following a year at the US Army Command and General Staff College, where he earned a Master’s Degree, he was assigned to the Middle East as a United Nations Observer for UNTSOPalestine. In 1995, he reported to Camp Lejeune, NC, as the Executive Officer of the Wolfpack of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and in 1998, assumed command of the Warlords of 2nd BN 2nd MAR where they deployed as part of 26th MEU to the Balkans.


Upon graduation from the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy in 2002, he was assigned to NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium, where he served as the Ground Forces Planner for the US Military Delegation to NATO. In July 2004, he reported to the 1st Marine Division HQ at Camp Blue Diamond, Ramadi, Iraq, where he served as the Division G-3. In July of 2005, he assumed command of the 5th Marine Regiment and deployed with them to Fallujah, Iraq from January 2006 to February 2007. From January 2009 through June 2010, he served as the Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Task Force Leatherneck, deploying with them for a year to southern Afghanistan.


Upon return from this combat tour, he was assigned as the Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C., from July 2010 to February 2012. In February of 2012, Nicholson returned to Afghanistan for a year serving as the Operations Officer for the ISAF Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan. General Nicholson then assumed the duties as Commanding General, 1st Marine Division in 2013.


Following a successful tour as the Commanding General of the infamous Blue Diamond, LtGen Nicholsen then served as the Commanding General of III Marine Expeditionary Force, leading 30,000 Marines and Sailors in the Asia-Pacific region, from 2015 to 2018.   He and his wife Debbie now reside in Virginia where he continues his legacy of not only leading, but caring for Marines.





The 2019 "Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball"  celebrating the 244th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps will be held on Saturday, Nov 2nd, 2019.




The Cocktail Reception starts at 6:00 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 5:15pm.




The 2019 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 2019 will take place on Nov 2nd.




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 Larry Nicholson, USMC (Ret)

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Wine Country Marines

19484 Riverside Drive

Sonoma, California 95476







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