Marine commandant gives miniature swords as birthday ball gift

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On Saturday night, I attended my first commandant’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball in National Harbor, Md. It was an impressive event with excellent food and music and a guest list that included more than a dozen general officers, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the Corps’ recent Medal of Honor recipient.

As is customary, the Marine Corps gave each of the estimated 3,000 guests a gift. This year’s was a 10-inch miniature Marine officer’s sword letter opener, complete with sheath and intricate detailing.

The swords were made by Weyersberg, Kirschbaum and Cie, of Soligen, Germany. It bills itself as the oldest sword factory in the world.

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About Author

I’m a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

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