It Amazes me

I have been an SNCO a longtime now, some will say too long and they are probably right :) but the one thing I have always disliked is the fact that I am made to be a member of the Sgt's Mess yes MADE!!!

I think it is a rip off and personally feel as if I have money STOLEN off me every month I have to pay a mess bill. I have always felt like this, I have never felt that I have received any value for what I have had to pay...

The Sgt's mess is a drinking club for RD <REME word> type bullies, who like to sit about and think they are something specially ... sadly...  
But to have to be told to join or there is no need to have your third stripe is somewhat pathetic and insulting in the modern army of today.

And for those who say it is not a rip off ... how many have been to extrordinary mess meetings to vote in things the RSM wants, so all his cronies are there to vote... you have to agree pathetic!  A sad little little place that is there to satisfy the ego's of the few and annoy and rip off the many.

For you that enjoy your mess life and think that being in the mess is wonderful, I do appologise if I appear insulting that is not the idea, the idea is to say that I personally, and many others I know find the place an antiquted waste of space and money that I beleive they have no right too!

cheers :)


I dont want to visit your Mess where is it so i can stay away.......?

Your wrong it is a reward to get into the mess and I feel that after 10 years I deserve it,

What a mean is dinner nights a place to have a drink and relax.

Yes you pay mess bills and the extra wage you get on promotion barly makes up for the extra cost and the 500 pound drinking suite you have to buy.

But if you dont want to be in the mess then give your strip to someone who does. or get posted becouse your mess must be ****.

Perhaps a stint on the commity and you could make some changes for the better............. ;)
<<<Your wrong it is a reward to get into the mess and I feel that after 10 years I deserve it,>>>

You are entitled to your opinion of course... I feel it has been a punishment being MADE to belong to the Mess!

As I stated in my previous post, the hand back a stripe is the usual foolish argument given to anyone not liking the mess. My point is that the mess should be voluntary, not compulsory.

I have spent many stints on committee's as well, which change nothing in the totalitarian system that is the called the Sgt's Mess. Vote my way or I will keep asking for votes at awkward times till it happens the way I want, it springs to mind!!

I have certainly earned my tapes for my work in the Army but to have to belong to this antiquated little club is both annoying and out dated..

And as to your colourful adjective describing the Mess, I have to belong to, I agree but that would apply to every Mess I have belonged to and visited :D
In some ways I agree with what the initial poster has said. I do feel that membership of the mess is a thing to look forward to BUT why the helll should you be forced to belong?  Handing back the stripe is not even a statement that I would consider worthy of arguing with, it merely demonstrates the attitude of rank conscious fools.

Would you like to be stuck in a unit whose mess bears absolutely no resemblance in form or rule to your own? I am, and I resent having to pay a single penny towards what is without a doubt the most top heavy, sycophantic organisation I have ever seen.

I am in the RAF Regt and for those who start with the "crab" insults just stop and think, how would you feel if you got caught up in one of our messes where the bills are relatively low, the commitees work, and there is NO senior WO's junta? You would love it.

So in summary my point is this, I belong to this army mess because I HAVE to, however the messing system is generally a good idea but should be optional.

I await your abuse gents and ladies  :)


Gents are a public convenience.  The correct term is Gentlemen.  And for abuse of Rocks see almost all of my previous posts.  

I have lived in RAF Regt Messes (Officers' not SNCOs') and I agree that the bills are relatively low.  But you get what you pay for.  As for the commitees working, I disagree.  And there is definitely a Senr Offrs junta. Love it?  You must be pissed.  Run by pads for pads.  Most golf clubs have more style.  And that's before you deal with the individuals.  

I have always believed that mess membership should be compulsory but I am currently trying to leave my mess on account of who the next PMC is (my current line manager - see previous postings).  I doubt I will be allowed to but here goes!


I can feel sympathy for the people who are in crap messes, however they are generally crap for 2 reasons:
1. The presiding member is just that - a member!
2. The Mess members lack the moral courage to do anything to upset the status quo.
If things are crap, tell the bloke who can do something about it.
The only way to change things is to stand up to the to55ers who make it that way.
I am quite lucky at the moment - we actually had a proposition that was not carried at the last mess meeting - and no one took it personally.  
I guess we have a grown up in the seat.


As I understand it, correct me if I'm wrong and I'm sure you will but you only have to be a member of a mess, the choice of mess is up to you, I can point you in the direction of a mess that has very small bills and doesn't demand your presence.
I can understand what you are saying about RD/RS w4nkers using it as a subsidised drinking club, assuming you are REME where is your ASM, has he no stomach for a fight? Or is he driven away by the pointless dress regulations too!
I well run mess can be a perk of the rank but a poor one can be enough to cause you ulcers, particulaly if you HAVE to LIVE in it!


Some well constructed arguements there gents....

I have not 'lived' in a mess per se being married when I was a Cpl but I have been a member in a few.  I can sympathise with Bat in his original post because there have been 1 or 2 where I really could not be bothered to go for a number of reasons...usually when the Presiding Member is, quote "A Member".  If the top man is bad it can cause a few problems but I found that it is better to make the best go of it that you can.  Remember, the mess is actualy a democracy, you have your vote, if a proposition is crap then vote against it, if it is genuinely crap then the majority should be with you.  If they are not then it may purely be your perception or you have a mess full of yes men with no mind of their own.

As to the cost of membership, I feel that it is justified if the quality of service and such like is good enough.  I had the unfortunate pleasure of belonging to our Corps mess for a while a number of years ago.  The food was aweful, permanent staff had priority over visitors and members present on courses (no matter what your rank).  Even as a living out member, it only took 1 compulsory dinner night to take the monthly mess bill to in excess of £120.

However, in another mess with only about 30 members, the mess bills were steep but the quality of food and service was superb and the functions were the best that I and my wife have ever attended.

In the right mess, you can be treated to food and service at a cost that you could not get anywhere outside....stick with it.  I hope you find a good one.

I have read with interest this debate about the value of the mess and whether SNCO's should automatically be members. I come from a similar background, service wise to my bat colleague who started this debate, and while I sympathise and in some ways understand his complaints I have to say that he, and anyone else who is in his position and feel disenfranchised from their own mess sholud take ownership of it immediately.

No matter what attitude some of the more senior mess members take with you, you are a member too, with the same rights as they have, You have just got to be more forceful. Take ownership of the problem, and the solution. If you go to a meeting and dont agree with a proposal then vote against it. If it seems to have been arranged already, and the majority of members do not really know the facts then ask for clarification on it. It is your mess, remember that. If someone is making oyu feel unwelcome then challenge him about it, he has no more right to be there than you, no matter what his ego tells him. Now that I am a few years out of the Army the mess is one of the few things I miss, it is not without its faults, but is a great institution. Perhaps I was lucky, I was promoted in a small garrison abroad, and was in a mess containing every capbadge imaginable, with none in overall control. I found the senior members friendly and supportive of the sprogs like me, and despite many of our members being very senior decorated members of some of the most illustrious regiments in the world, I as a very junior Sergeant never felt out of place, or unwelcome. Make it your mission to transform your mess into that sort of place.
And you're a civvy now, so your opinion doesn't really matter anymore.  
Only by other 'has beens' and that's fine by me, for they are worth sh*t.  

Your mum still stinks of fish.


Oh good, more well constructed and presented views.

NAAFI Bar is 3rd building on your left as you leave ;D

Seriously though, the older folk have been where we are now, so of course their input is valid.  Don't forget us youngsters didn't invent the army - someone somewhere has done it all before.


Just started to get involved with this message writing sh*t, so I'm going to have my penny's worth.

I had my name taken in the mess for wearing uniform after 20:00 hrs, I explained that since I was flying to Kuwait in the next 48 hours (in time for the start of the war) all my kit was packed or in storage and I didn't have collar and tie availible. Still took my name and reported me to RSM.

On return from the same war I was told on no account could I wear uniform in the bar after 20:00 hrs, even though I only had uniform with me. I had lived in a hole for three months on rations (not fresh) with no air con (unlike the RLC) with little ammo, practically no medical cover and no armour plate, all I wanted was to sit in a scorpion and spider free, cool environment and have a drink (after three months - two pints and I was on the floor).

And while I'm at it, I was also stopped by the RMP and again had my name, rank and number taken for not wearing a seat belt, I wouldn't have minded too much but it was in Umm Qasr in the middle of the Fcuking war.

I will not now drink in the mess, I leave it to the fat useless fcuks who use it as another opportunity to inflate their already gigantic ego's.


I used to belong to some good messes, and was sometimes stuck into mediocre ones. On two occasions they were downright awful, and I only visited when under compulsion. They were only like that because the people who made up their ruling junta were charmless pillocks, who I'm convinced were acting out some sort of 1950's Elstree film portrayal of the shaven-necked ammo-booted Sarn't Major. The best were welcoming places where the BS level was v. low; usually in NI.
:twisted: having been a SNCO for only 12 months, i find the mess ajoy as well as a pain in the arrse. with a massive pay rise of a £1.20, i was better off the the Jnco's mess. but you pay for what you get.

My regiment has the policy that the JNCO mess should mirror the WO's and Sgt's mess which works well i might add, most of the things voted in or for are discussed at naffi break or tea and toast to the old blokes, and are presented by either the the RSM, PMC or PEC, before it goes to vote in a mess meeting, that way there is enough time for every one to look at diaries, consider if it's a good idea or not.

the mess is what you make it, be it JNCO or WO & Sgt's
I spent an awfull long time reading this section, (slow reader!!) but overall I was very disheartened, in my opinion this is what all the re-structuring, almalgamating of regiments/battalions has done. Created a world of whiners, oh where has all the pride gone ? remember the days when it was (and still should be) a privilige and a source of pride to say "I am a member of the xxxxxxxxx WO's and SGTS mess " there are not many of us, pretty dam exclusive actually...........................
If this is the modern army , well I am glad to be an old fart


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