On the 19th of January 2018 over 3,400 visitors from more than 23 nations gave the 92th Officers’ Ball in the festively decorated Hofburg Palace in Vienna the honour. Different uniforms, colourful balloons and magnificent flower decorations made the ballrooms shine in the year of Empress Maria Theresia’s 300th birthday. Among these international guests, the JCBRN Defence COE was highly represented by a delegation of ten visitors, with the Deputy Director COL (GS) Volker R. QUANTE on top.

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The wonderful performance of the traditional music band of the guard regiment of the Austrian Armed Forces at the opening with a music in motion performance in the form of a military tattoo, an almost acrobatic solo of a percussion group, followed by the song: “Klänge der Heimat”, sung by Miss Anna Rayn, took all visitors in a wonderful ball mood. The guard music in the ceremonial hall and all the other bands in the 23 ballrooms were successful to keep this wonderful mood throughout the whole night and invited the visitors including us, to dance in the wonderful Hofburg Palace until early in the morning. It was a wonderful experience and marvellous Ball night in Vienna

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The Ball’s Tradition
The Officers’ Ball has a very long tradition. People of all ages from various social and professional backgrounds enjoy getting together at this splendid event. Uniforms from all over the world show how well the Austrian Armed Forces and their officers are embedded in the international defence community. Every year this ball is organized by the Alt-Neustadt Society, i.e. by graduates from the Theresian Military Academy which was founded in 1751 and started its classes in 1752. The original motto – “comrades who never let you down, who are prepared to go above and beyond their line of duty, who keep their humour even in times when one could forget how to laugh” – still applies. Maybe it took exactly these kind of comrades who, 92 years ago, despite the dreadful life circumstances, were ready to establish this society. It was a network for exchanging experiences and ideas, finding help when in need, and in doing so, seeking better ways to cope with the challenges of a very uncertain future. It was certainly also something like a refuge where you could withdraw and recall the good old times with service comrades. But, is it different nowadays? No. Still today, the Officers’ Ball marks the annual closure and restart of this never-ending exchange between Young and Old.

For more pictures please visit the official site of the Officers’ Ball. http://www.ballderoffiziere.at/en/galerie-2018/

Text: MAJ Roman LAIMER, (AUT A)

Photo: FAYER (1st)/ QUANTE (2nd & 3rd)

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