Drinking games

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by big_giant_head, Mar 2, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I'm writing an anthropology paper on drinking. Just wondering if anyone can enlighten me about the real meaning of Army drinking. Is it just boys having fun? Is it useful in training? And what about drinking games? What's the point of that. Gory stories would be most appreciated!
  2. Get a fcuking life man its the oldest army tradition of them all!
  3. Anthropology paper or journo wanting to know why some pissed up squaddies did X in Catterick?

    There is a long tradition in the Army of being able to both work and play hard. Drink is usually pretty cheap - the bars in the junior ranks clubs, sergeants and officers messes are only allowed to make a small profit. I think boys having fun (sounds slightly gay) is probably closer to the mark than usefulness in training. As with civilian life drink is also good for raising morale, stimulating conversation and winding down after a hard day at the coal face.

    That's about it really.
  4. so there goes your article - sorry, paper - big head.
  5. Sorry... not a 'Heat' or Sun journo... real anthropology PhD student actually, from Imperial College. And I've been out on the piss with squaddies all over the world in the name of research so I know what goes on. What I'm looking for is some intelligent thoughts on why drinking and soldiering are so intertwined. Something a bit deeper than the 'work hard play hard' explanation. I was hoping that both current serving soldiers and veterans might add something to my thesis. I know it's 'the oldest Army tradition' of all, I'm trying to figure out why.
  6. Because we bloody well enjoy it! A pint and punch up,what more do you want!
  7. Big Head,

    Point 1: if you are a decent anthropological student studying for a PhD then I would have expected you to have selected a less inflammatory screen name. Pointing out to us intellectual challenged Army types how much brighter you are than us is unlikely to win you lots of support and inclination to help you with your thesis.
    Deduction: your human study skills are not good enough to get you a job hence your still a student or you are a reptile journalist.

    Point 2: Chris if that’s you I don’t constitute getting pissed in Washington and Shrivenham 'out on the urine with squaddies all over the world in the name of research'

    Point 3: (Possible helpful one) Every unit should gets a mandatory lecture on alcohol misuse each years. Go and speak to the presentation teams. I can’t vouch for the RAF team, but the guys who currently do the Army ones are really good and the guy who did the Navy one in 2002 could write your PhD for you.

    p.s have you any research money to buy me some beer and get me pissed and I will tell you everything?
  8. If your a good student, you'll do your researc. Read the subtitles under each of the forums and see what each of them contains. I can guarantee that at least 2 have copious drinkig tales to amuse you.
  9. I think the choice of name comes from "3rd Rock from the Sun" TV show and not the writers view of his own intelligence.
  10. Thanks Man_of_Bronze! It was meant to be self-mocking! .. And to Bluebells, thanks for the tip. I've seen both the annual ITDs and the touring drug and alcohol lectures and the latter are pretty good. And no, I'm not Chris, but he sounds fun. I'm actually female and 40-ish and in full-time employment despite my 'very poor human study skills.' But seriously, this issue really fascinates me. Alcohol misuse costs the Army £111 million pounds a year at last reckoning, yet efforts to 'control' it are weak at best (Although, as Bluebells pointed out, the education is getting better)--certainly in contrast to the costly efforts to 'control' drug misuse [CDT]. Why? I had a very useful private message from a writer who linked alcohol to bonding and creation of a family attachment to one's unit. (many thanks to the sender) Commanding Officers have repeatedly told me that unit cohesion is the foundation of military effectiveness, so without alcohol, where would unit cohesion be? Could the Army achieve closely knit units of 'bonded' men without the celebratory drinking? Also, masculinity is closely associated with fighting capability and drinking is (I have observed) used as a 'proof' or test of masculinity. Are recruits actively 'taught' how to bond, or does the Army exploit alchol's natural ability to loosen and relax people and use it as a bonding 'agent'? Any further thoughts?
  11. This forum might tell you something about current attitutdes -but is it systematic and what evidence might it constitute?

    I suspect you might get as much from a study of published workson army customs unless you have some specific hypotheses to test. Or areyou asking us to tell you what should be in your dissertation? If you are looking for data - why not analyse the contents of the naafi forum or even best of arrse?? Plenty of items of data to analyse - postive and negative atttitudes to drink possibly event statistically significant sample sizes.

    The truth I suspect is rather simple.

    Sedative drugs and soldiers are commonly associated. It something to do with stress. Armies which don't drink might use canabis instead - like the cartheginean oarsmen. Armies whcih forswear any drug are likely to use religion.

    Alcohol is commonly beleived to play a role in bonding. Historically we have Tacitus' comments on German tribes only making a decisionj after the matter has been debated sober and drunk. We know in vino veritas. There is a common view that its a good idea to really get to know the people in your team who you trust with your life.

    Drinking rituals play a big part in army life, from mess dinners through to platoon smokers. But I didn't think "drinking games" were as significiant - except assome part of an initiation ceremony. By this I mean dining in new mess members as well as something on the front page of the NOW.

    You might also like to look at how the army fought in the worldwars. Richard Holmes mentions it in passing. The difference between "wet" and "Dry" formations gets a passing comment. In battle there seems to have been little opportunity for any kind of drinking games. The RAF were probably heavier drinkers in combat. Check the memoirs from Battle of Britian pilots.
  12. ...and Pteranodon wrote that after Happy Hour in the mess.
    May I suggest that you post this, together with your thoughts on 'bonding' in the NAAFI? I think you'll enjoy your reception :).
  13. Have you tried linking your research with the drinking that goes on in University/College campuses?

    Or perhaps other male bastions such as football/rugby clubs?
  14. Drink? Chance would be a fine thing! Too much work! Plus everyone gets the hell out on weekends. That only really leaves thursday night, or millionaires night first of the month. Germany and NI are probably in a different situation, since they're unlikely to fly home every weekend.
  15. I seem to remember a story about a "brick". Two soldiers on the eve of Waterloo (I think) were caught drinking in a barn by an NCO. The NCO picked up a brick, and after saying "You've got until this brick hits the floor to get out of here and into the battle" threw the brick in the air. The brick got caught in a rafter, and the lads were left to their drinking!

    I'm fairly certain a guards regiment still keeps the same brick in their mess. Anyone help me out here?