Barren Mess?

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#81
Much the same thing to those at the bottom, unless you believe they arent all career laughing.
Given that I'm close to the bottom here and I'm talking about my experience as a subaltern in a traditional mess, I think your comments might be a little misdirected.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#82
I can honestly hand on heart say that enforced anything, doesn't work. The only person who will truly think it works is the person who organised it, because of the attendance.

It might seem like everyone's having fun, but guaranteed there will be people asking themselves or each other, "When's the earliest I can **** off?".
Again, this isn't the case with most cavalry officers' messes. It works for us for some reason. I suspect it's because people opt in to the tradition when they join the unit so there's a sense that you've volunteered to join the mess traditions. There's also an element of only having other junior officers in the mess so you don't have to worry about grownups.

Sure, there are nights where I just wanted to eat in my room and not socialise but that's exactly why attendance at dinner is enforced. Provided the mess isn't too much of a bullying environment with senior captains forcing the subbies to stay up for no reason, I think the enforcement works well. It means that almost everyone enjoys the mess more because it becomes a more sociable environment. Many of the best nights we had in the mess started on a random Thursday night because we were all at dinner together then someone called for fancy dress when we were all drinking in the ante room afterwards.

I do remember instances of compulsory attendance major dinners for certain events where the CO and field officers would be in. Those were often unpopular and caused a lot of moaning among the junior officers. That's very different to the compulsory supper every night or the mess ball which was very much 'our' event.

I can definitely understand why the same doesn't work so well with a corps or line infantry mess where joining a traditional mess environment isn't part of the deal but it works for the cav. It's also worth noting that it isn't remotely a case of only the person enforcing it having fun; cavalry messes are self enforcing with fines normally enthusiastically administered by other junior officers.
 
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#84
True, given the current state of recruiting/manning/fit for work, the RN Submarine & RAF Air Wing probably have more manpower to manage than the Infantry CO....
 
#85
I think it’s a leadership question, if you want a lively Mess it has to lead by the CO, obviously with an impact on his/her home life. Not that I’ll ever reach those dizzy heights of leadership but I wouldn’t be putting my family on the back burner for the sake of the Mess. My nearest mess has gone from one of considerable atmosphere to dull with a change of CO.
 
#86
Given that I'm close to the bottom here and I'm talking about my experience as a subaltern in a traditional mess, I think your comments might be a little misdirected.
You enjoy being told to attend?
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#87
You enjoy being told to attend?
I enjoyed being part of a mess that enforced attendance at dinner as it made it better for everyone. Occasionally I found it annoying but I understood the reasons for it and appreciated the benefits.
 
#88
My last Mess had a lot of crusty old Honoury/Life members who flat refused to accept modernisation, despite the fact that you only ever saw them at evening meetings and major fuctions.

New RSM in post, first Mess meeting:
“All those in favour of removing voting rights for non-serving members please raise your hand”

“Carried”

Simple as that. The Mess was a great, lively and more informal place to have a beer after that.

Funnily enough, most of the crusty twats stopped coming after that, so it was a win-win!

MB
 
#89
y don’t care, don’t as is usually the case.

No one should be forced to be an active mess member, however, there should also be an understanding that it is currently part of the territory of being a SNCO/Offr, if they don’t want to pay Mess bills for the upkeep of the mess don’t take the f*cking Promotion.
There are two points to this, A, the upkeep of the Mess is dictated by a civvie company which rips everyone off and B, it's fine to pay in for a couple of functions a year even if you don't attend, it's not so fine when its paying for the RSM whims.
 
#90
I enjoyed being part of a mess that enforced attendance at dinner as it made it better for everyone. Occasionally I found it annoying but I understood the reasons for it and appreciated the benefits.
Do all the pads attend?
 
#91
My last Mess had a lot of crusty old Honoury/Life members who flat refused to accept modernisation, despite the fact that you only ever saw them at evening meetings and major fuctions.

New RSM in post, first Mess meeting:
“All those in favour of removing voting rights for non-serving members please raise your hand”

“Carried”

Simple as that. The Mess was a great, lively and more informal place to have a beer after that.

Funnily enough, most of the crusty teats stopped coming after that, so it was a win-win!

MB
Why the **** did they have voting rights in the first place?
 
#94
There are two points to this, A, the upkeep of the Mess is dictated by a civvie company which rips everyone off and B, it's fine to pay in for a couple of functions a year even if you don't attend, it's not so fine when its paying for the RSM whims.
That because the WOs & Sgts Mess has someone running it that generally does not have the SQEP to run it. No point in dripping about the management vehicle, just drive it better by putting someone that can at least spell in the post that interacts with them the most.
 
#95
#96
I enjoyed being part of a mess that enforced attendance at dinner as it made it better for everyone. Occasionally I found it annoying but I understood the reasons for it and appreciated the benefits.
What era was this?
 
#97
When you're 'out of hours', to everyone that sees you, you are just another civvie (Unless obviously there's something going on that indicates otherwise) so why on earth would you want to drag work with you? It only makes you look like a ****, both to the civvies and to those serving colleagues more mature in their outlook. There is nothing more bell-ended than referring to someone by rank in a civilian pub. If the CO can't handle being called his name when he's out for a social drink, he shouldn't be out.

As I say time and again, beyond the gates, your standing in the military counts for pretty much hee-haw. Some people coming to the end of their time would benefit from grasping that fact. When someone says to a civilian "I'm a Staff Sergeant" or "I'm a Captain", they say it with the weight of all the work, sweat and tears they put into getting that rank; all the events that create the foundation for where they are now and how that one job title encompasses all the victories and maybe the losses. The civilian goes.. "Oh, cool." and thinks no more of it, because to them it means nothing.

As for a job rather than a career.... I served alongside plenty of good soldiers who were there for the job rather than a career. Did four or five years in a highly kinetic period and had their fill and left. I also probably met more officers who were there for the job rather than the career.. "I'll do four and then go to the city in banking." or the classic HCav of.. "I've got to do three to get the old man's money." :mrgreen:

I refer back to a post I made some time back about an ex-RSM who joined the Police shortly after me. Loved himself, 'Used to be RSM', and people were in awe for the first few weeks, before everyone rapidly identified him as a **** and the running joke was 'Here's the RSM', but not in a good or affectionate way. It was 'cos he never shut up.
I think we may be talking at cross-purposes to some extent, as I agree with most of what you've written there.

When you are serving, and in a civilian environment, unless you are fulfilling a military function, your being in the military is irrelevant to the vast majority of the population, and to think otherwise is delusional.

When you are no longer serving, you are not in the military, so you are a like any other civilian (though hopefully there will be some government benefit as a 'veteran').

The situation described, as I read it, was of serving military personnel interacting with each other in a civilian environment. Some are happy with the idea of dropping all reference to rank/position in such a situation; others are not. It depends on the people you're with, and whether they're mature enough to remember that when back inside the gates and in uniform, there are courtesies to be observed, no matter what went on in the pub, etc the night before. And if you don't believe you can trust the people you're out with, don't go out with them.
 
#99
Fair enough, I respect your opinion.

Care to explain why administering a 600 man unit trumps Command of the most lethal single unit in the UK military inventory?
 
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