• Flanked by each military's senior enlisted advisors, President Barack Obama thanks service members and their families for their dedication to service. From left to right the senior enlisted advisors are: Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Michael P. Barrett, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael D. Stevens, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy and Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt.

    Obama thanks service members, families at CINC Inaugural Ball

    Flanked by each military's senior enlisted advisors, President Barack Obama thanks service members and their families for their dedication to service. From left to right the senior enlisted advisors are: Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III...

  • As service members snap photos, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama take their first dance of his new term as Jennifer Hudson serenades them with "Let's Stay Together."

    Obamas Dancing at Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball

    As service members snap photos, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama take their first dance of his new term as Jennifer Hudson serenades them with "Let's Stay Together."

  • President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama take their first dance of his second term at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball, Sept. 2, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

    Obamas Inaugural Dance

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama take their first dance of his second term at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball, Sept. 2, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

  • Vice President Joe Biden talks with service members stationed in Korea via televideo at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

    Biden Talking

    Vice President Joe Biden talks with service members stationed in Korea via televideo at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

  • Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill take a spin on the stage at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball celebrating the start of the second term of President Barack Obama, Jan. 21, 2013.

    Vice President Dancing

    Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill take a spin on the stage at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball celebrating the start of the second term of President Barack Obama, Jan. 21, 2013.

  • Vice President Joe Biden dances with Army Staff Sgt. Keesha N. Dentino as his wife Jill Biden dances with Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Figueroa at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

    Bidens Dancing with Service Members

    Vice President Joe Biden dances with Army Staff Sgt. Keesha N. Dentino as his wife Jill Biden dances with Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Figueroa at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

  • More than 4,000 service members joined in the festivities at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball celebrating the start of the second term of President Barack Obama, Jan. 21, 2013.

    Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Cake

    More than 4,000 service members joined in the festivities at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball celebrating the start of the second term of President Barack Obama, Jan. 21, 2013.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 22, 2013) -- During the Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball, Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C., some 4,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen gathered to help President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama celebrate the start of his second term.

As Obama walked past the curtain onto the stage and to the lectern shortly before 9 p.m., service members in the ballroom erupted into a deafening ovation. Attendees held their cell phones and cameras high in the air in order to capture the moment.

The president opened with, "Let me begin by just saying you all dress up pretty nice," which got the crowd applauding louder.

The president thanked military families, Gold Star families, wounded warriors, Tuskegee Airmen, and Medal of Honor recipients in attendance by saying "this little party" was just a small way to say thank you.

"Thank you for volunteering. Thank you for stepping up. Thank you for keeping us strong, for always making us proud," he said. "It's because of you that with honor we were able to end the way in Iraq. Because of you that we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. Because of you it's even possible to give Afghans a chance to determine their own destiny."

Obama also spoke to service members in Afghanistan via live video conference, and then introduced his "better half" and dance partner, first lady Michelle Obama. The two walked out onto the stage, amid applause, for the first dance of his second term. Musician Jennifer Hudson sang, "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green.

Afterward, the president danced with Air Force Staff Sgt. Bria Nelson, while the first lady danced with Marine Gunnery Sgt. Timothy D. Easterling.

Later in the evening, Vice President Joe Biden took the stage. Via teleconference, the vice president thanked troops stationed in Korea. He also thanked the service members and their families who attended the ball.

"You are the heart and soul of this nation; the finest warriors the world has ever seen, and that's not an exaggeration," Biden said, his voice booming out across the ballroom.

The vice president recalled how on many of his trips abroad he has met service members who have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We have never, ever asked so much of a generation," he said.

After Biden danced with his wife to "I Can't Stop Loving You," performed by Jamie Foxx, he danced with Staff Sgt. Keesha N. Dentino. Jill Biden, Ph.D., danced with Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Figueroa.

Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Chris Cornell and Marc Anthony also performed.

Page last updated Tue January 22nd, 2013 at 00:00