Barren Mess?

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#41
Fair enough.

Interestingly our Household Division has a reputation for formality. It has some of the worst manned units in the British Army - and is struggling to retain the few men it has.

Similarly our Lt Cav units are shitting kittens about producing circa two sub-units a year to go to Estonia.

Maybe focusing less on running these units as boys clubs for the Officers and more on units that people want to soldier in would be an idea.
H Div messes aren't run as boys clubs for officers. They have some of the least rule-driven messes in the army. They are formal when it comes to parade ground work and daily business, but the messes aren't especially.

Lt Cav have very formal messes but the units themselves are extremely relaxed, as all cavalry regiments are. I've never encountered another unit that was as free with the use of the word 'boss' or officers using blokes nicknames as the cavalry. Interestingly the part of these units that is formal, ie the mess, is near fully manned across the cavalry. Cav officers tend to sign off after their time at RD.

Many units have recruiting issues, but I don't think blaming formality as a blanket problem is especially accurate.
 
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#42
If you don't want to join a unit that bases it's ethos around tradition and enforced mess brotherhood then there are plenty to choose from that will allow you to socialise with your peer officers as you wish. Personally I prefer the former but I can understand why many would prefer the latter.
Genuine no wah question -are new officers to Cavalry Regts and other formal units expected to live in? What if they wish to live out as a 2nd Lieutenant?
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#43
Genuine no wah question -are new officers to Cavalry Regts and other formal units expected to live in? What if they wish to live out as a 2nd Lieutenant?
They live in. It's not clear yet clear how the new army accomodation model will change this though.
 
#44
... and those living out are much more conscious/concerned about DUI, so rarely frequent the Mess, and even more rarely stay beyond a swift orange juice.
Totally agree and also if dibbed as Orderly Officer for that evening.....
 
#45
They live in. It's not clear yet clear how the new army accomodation model will change this though.
Sneak preview for you here...

 
#46
Totally agree and also if dibbed as Orderly Officer for that evening.....
Worried about DUI? In our mess if you dined alone as orderly officer, you were entitled to the company of a bottle of champagne.

The Dutch Courage came in useful when closing the Jocks’ bar, mind.

Edited to add - if your duties included ejecting the regimental wives’ club you’d need to throw in a second bottle and a baton gun.
 
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#50
A long time ago and in another country the mess rules were lounge suits for dining. A couple of the living out field officers got into the habit of coming into the bar in the evening after squash in casual kit.
The subalterns got a bit fed up and one (squash) night all appeared in black tie. The atmosphere was frosty to say the least but it was the first step towards a more relaxed regime.
 
#51
Worried about DUI? In our mess if you dined alone as orderly officer, you were entitled to the company of a bottle of champagne.

The Dutch Courage came in useful when closing the Jocks’ bar, mind.

Edited to add - if your duties included ejecting the regimental wives’ club you’d need to throw in a second bottle and a baton gun.
Thank god for the modern taser eh?
 
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#52
How about a games night? I've heard mini-flare duelling can be a good bit of fun. Done it myself as a LCpl in fact. But we had the sense to do it in an aircraft hangar with foot-thick blast doors :)

That photo looks vaguely familiar, Sgts Mess PRB perchance?
 
#53
They live in. It's not clear yet clear how the new army accommodation model will change this though.
I'll bet it will result in a **** up of epic proportions.
 
#54
H Div messes aren't run as boys clubs for officers. They have some of the least rule-driven messes in the army. They are formal when it comes to parade ground work and daily business, but the messes aren't especially.
They don't need rules per-se because they're an extension of prep-schools. All the rules are there, just not codified as mess rules.
 
#55

MrBane

LE
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Reviews Editor
#56
Mess tradition needs to be taken out back and put down. It needs a full revamp across the board of it's to remain a feature of army life.

They should be looking around the army at other messes and identifying what works, what doesn't. It wouldn't be hard to compile a very detailed analysis which should clearly outline the grounds for a successful mess.

I suspect there are several impact factors:

1. Mess modernisation - Is it modern? Is it old and tradition filled?

2. Unit - Combat arm / Administrative / Support?

3. Current mess attitude - Old and crusty ******* on PMC or young and vibrant?

4. Nature of mess - Enforced or free roaming?

If you looked at each mess and graded them against those four I'd suggest the winners were modern messes with a decent PMC and an amount of free roaming attendance and events.

For point 2, it's a hard one to guess. You'd think combat units would have more cohesion but from my own experience we were all too shattered at the end of each day to bother with the mess. It's easier to organise going to the mess if you you're sat in an office environment.

Hmmmm.... I wonder if there's money in the pot to put forward a business case for some contractor work on this...
 
#57
Mess tradition needs to be taken out back and put down. It needs a full revamp across the board of it's to remain a feature of army life.

They should be looking around the army at other messes and identifying what works, what doesn't. It wouldn't be hard to compile a very detailed analysis which should clearly outline the grounds for a successful mess.

I suspect there are several impact factors:

1. Mess modernisation - Is it modern? Is it old and tradition filled?

2. Unit - Combat arm / Administrative / Support?

3. Current mess attitude - Old and crusty ******* on PMC or young and vibrant?

4. Nature of mess - Enforced or free roaming?

If you looked at each mess and graded them against those four I'd suggest the winners were modern messes with a decent PMC and an amount of free roaming attendance and events.

For point 2, it's a hard one to guess. You'd think combat units would have more cohesion but from my own experience we were all too shattered at the end of each day to bother with the mess. It's easier to organise going to the mess if you you're sat in an office environment.

Hmmmm.... I wonder if there's money in the pot to put forward a business case for some contractor work on this...
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#58
Worried about DUI? In our mess if you dined alone as orderly officer, you were entitled to the company of a bottle of champagne.

The Dutch Courage came in useful when closing the Jocks’ bar, mind.

Edited to add - if your duties included ejecting the regimental wives’ club you’d need to throw in a second bottle and a baton gun.
Slight thread drift! I well remember my first stint as Canteen Cowboy as an 18 year old Lance jack on a Saturday night in Osnabruck. I learned some very interesting man management lessons that night! Luckily the Orderly Sgt realised that I would need a bit more than moral support and arrived a few minutes after chucking out time! Terrifying for a young lad!

Can I claim PTSD for that?
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#59
Slight thread drift! I well remember my first stint as Canteen Cowboy as an 18 year old Lance jack on a Saturday night in Osnabruck. I learned some very interesting man management lessons that night! Luckily the Orderly Sgt realised that I would need a bit more than moral support and arrived a few minutes after chucking out time! Terrifying for a young lad!

Can I claim PTSD for that?
My first forced attendance at mess as a new and excited LCpl saw me go for a piss and watch as the crusty, alcoholic SCpl stood outside a shitter door and promptly right hooked another LCpl as they walked out of it, sending him head first back into the toilet bowl.

Never went back to the mess again under my own free will and got excusals for every event thereafter, including summer balls.

**** that.
 
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