Can anyone tell me do I have to box up my room and move out of the mess when I go on tour? Does anyone know the specific QRs that say this? It doesn't seem fair as I will have no-where to go when I am on mid-tour leave!
I was meant to box my room in the mess up prior to TELIC, and leave the boxes in the room. Since the mess had no intention of using my room, I just told everyone that I had done it, and locked the door. There were three reasons floating around, claiming to be the reason why officers/SNCOs/soldiers were meant to box their kit:
1. The room in the mess/Junior ranks' block was required for use by someone else during our tour.
2. We might die, and it would save the rear party time boxing our kit, and prevent theft.
3. You're not paying accommodation charges during the tour, hence shouldn't have your room.
Reasons 2 and 3 struck me as utterly bone - 2) There was little chance of dying; and if I did, I wouldn't begrudge the rear party a few bits of my kit from beyond the grave, and 3) You're not using your room - it makes little difference if your kit is in there, still.
The final argument, that even if (1) wasn't true of the SNCOs/officers, they should do it to show willing with the lads struck me as pointless beyond belief. Even if the lads' rooms were required during the tour, mine wasn't, and the prospect of packing up my life into MFO, LEAVING IT IN THE ROOM, and then unpacking it all when I got back, struck me as ridiculous.
My advice: unless the mess genuinely requires your room during the tour, leave your room intact, hand in a few token boxes with heavy weights in, and sack it off.
Most of the time it's because "we've always done it" and I say so.
The main two reasons I can see are there's always a unit reshuffle post tour and the grim realisation you might not see your kit again.
What boxing your kit does do is leave it insecure. At least locked in your locker Johhny rear party would have to break the lock off. Now all he needs to do is pull off some brown packing tape (Or not at all if you used black and nasty as it just falls off ) hey presto he now de-kits using your 1157 and sells his own on e-bay.
I wonder what the view of insurers is on this. At one Mess I lived in there was no key for my door; when I asked I was told that doors don't need to be locked in the Officers' Mess. I did not doubt that if anything went missing it would not be either fellow Mess members or staff who would be responsible, but anyone could enter the building and there had been some petty thefts. I asked the Mess Manager to sign a letter accepting responsibility for any loss due to an insurance claim being turned down because of the room being insecure - and a new lock was fitted as if by magic...
They tried tell us on Telic V to do this, and the QM got a big oke it from every one. The new CO also was astonished and got it stopped.
One of the reasons was that refurbishment might get carried out. We asked if any was planned, and when teh answer was no, we pointed out that the last refurb took 2 years to arrive, and we thought it was unlikely to be organised and paid for in 6 months!!!
It seems standard practice and the reason most often trotted out is the issue of workmen entering your room whilst away for either a refurb or general maintainance. The theory being that your kit is more secure in a large box than left scattered around in easy to steal hand sized lumps. Good in theory but most of us will return to find our boxes rummaged.
I left my room un-boxed before the desert and had all my porn stolen. Some people have no heart.