Mess Culture

#1
Looking around the forums I am saddened to see so many comments regarding attendance. Gaining promotion to the Sgt’s Mess used to be something we all aspired to and when I was promoted to Sgt my RSM told me ‘you only get out of the Mess what you put in to the Mess’. Too many of the posts on the forum tell of being ‘forced to attend this…’ and ‘can I be made to attend that…’. It seems to me that too many people fail to engage in the whole Mess culture and as a result have a very jaundiced view of what can and can not be gained from membership. My question is this: Is the segregation of ranks by Mess still relevant in today’s military or should it be replaced by something else?
 
#2
I don’t think that the Mess needs new direction, I believe that we need to work hard on improving the current Mess system and the Status that goes with being a member.

The rot has started with abandonment of the Cpl’s Mess. This used to be the area were young JNCO’s had their first taste of the privileges that come with rank. (A note for all the political correct Muppets, Privileges need to be earned and are not a bad thing, they give society order) The RSM and the CO had the opportunity to educate the aspiring lads and could influence the selection of the next crop of SNCOs.

This gives a natural stepping stone. The private soldier is not disillusioned by the time he gets too the Cpl’s Mess, therefore as a Cpl he sees the opportunity to get to the next stage and be a member of the Sgt’s Mess. With Mess status should come clear principles, the Mess is not about a place to eat and sleep. It’s a gathering of peers a place were Cpl’s or Sgt’s or the Officer can talk, learn and work together.

Even if you have no building, Cpl’s should still be able to get together 3 or 4 times a year to have a function. They should also have the opportunity to meet and be involved in Regimental activities ie Sgt’s v Cpl’s Football or Cricket, this improves Corp values.

Not wanting to be a member of the Mess shows a lack of commitment to your friends, I am sure (in fact I know) that when a unit returns from operations its at its closest and most effective and that is show by how the SNCOs act together.

If you don’t want to be in the Mess, then I suggest that you do some soul searching. I want to go on ops with a Man that I can drink, chat and laugh with. Someone who will look after me in the mess or down town is someone who will watch my back when in combat.

If you want a job without those things, work in a bank!
 
#3
I could not agree with you more, my own experience in the mess from Sgt to WO1(RSM) was on the whole very positive. We did have the dissenters who failed to engage in Mess life but I always felt that this was more of an issue for them as individuals than the rest of the Mess. I had one WO2 in particular who was a problem as he tended to extol his views to anyone who would listen. (He was of course an over promoted techie with no friends who found his career coming to a grinding halt. I do wish his earlier RSMs had not given up on his Mess ‘education’ when he was a Sgt/SSgt)

Unit cohesion is extremely important, especially on operations and a strong Mess certainly contributes to achieving it.
 
#4
nite_of_the_realm said:
I could not agree with you more, my own experience in the mess from Sgt to WO1(RSM) was on the whole very positive. We did have the dissenters who failed to engage in Mess life but I always felt that this was more of an issue for them as individuals than the rest of the Mess. I had one WO2 in particular who was a problem as he tended to extol his views to anyone who would listen. (He was of course an over promoted techie with no friends who found his career coming to a grinding halt. :brilsmurf: I do wish his earlier RSMs had not given up on his Mess ‘education’ when he was a Sgt/SSgt)

Unit cohesion is extremely important, especially on operations and a strong Mess certainly contributes to achieving it.
Remember one such person myself. Guess who copped for every duty when there was a mess function.TB
 
#5
WitchfinderGeneral said:
If you don’t want to be in the Mess, then I suggest that you do some soul searching. I want to go on ops with a Man that I can drink, chat and laugh with. Someone who will look after me in the mess or down town is someone who will watch my back when in combat.
!

Me thinks you need female company.....
 
#7
Mess kit on, drinking arm at the ready. And Exercise BEGIN
 
#9
newlynpirate said:
Ps....you dont have to be a mess rat to be good at your job, get out more and live in the real world....POP gos your mess bubble....
very much aggreed pirate :thumright:
 
#11
newlynpirate said:
many thanks B&T, notice no replys because they are counting there jew jars so they can cram another 10 pints into the weekend..
Ten pints from my beer fridge
 
#13
PAYD (or Save As You Starve) is going to test the stepping stone that is Mess Life. I support the Messes I have been in. As an attached arm I do have to change/amend my loyalties and views slightly, however it comes with the Cap-Badge.

Removing these Islands from the Forces way of life will have a detrimental effect on our ability to command as SNCOs. Having had experiences with Former Warsaw Pact countries and seeing how their command structures worked (Officers - then everyone else) I understand the value of a SNCO and their overview-yet-coal face ability to control a body of troops.

The same goes for the Cpls Mess, I believe it should be encouraged, rather than become a victim of NAAFI cost saving exercises. The values and standards that an individual possesses, which gives form for promotion, should be nurtured and given a place for discussion and education.

I hear a lot of people who bump on about the Messes; some who will never get into one (nuff said) and those who are happy to reap the profits of the Rank without understanding what that Rank means and the responsibilities that come with it. Not that you say 'I have to go', but 'it is my duty to.'
 
#14
Sennior Rank- Its a JOB for a short time of your life in the big picture of things

Mess Life - For un married (ugly) people

Mess Culture - ............Its 2006 not 1906...The empire has gone,there is less time for family life,people want to go to work,come home and play with the kids not listen to some twwat go on about mess funds/functions/people required for stuff etc etc...Yes have a SNCO bar...Optional functions if you want to attend....Then leave it at that..Make it a CLUB if you want to join,join...
 
#15
Mess rats.......................There is a real world out there...........go on, you can do it,open the door,go on,go on,well done welcome to the PLANET EARTH.
 
#16
The mess is a complete waste of time.I my view i think that they should get rid of it the same way they have with most of the Cpl's mess.

Apart from being made to attend mess meetings i try my hardest never to set a foot inside the mess.Now some people say it affects your career what a lot of bollocks.

If i am on ops then i will go to the relevant mess etc as nothing else to do, but if i am doing my normal 9-5 job in the UK which is more often the norm then i stay away.
 
#18
stedian said:
The mess is a complete waste of time.I my view i think that they should get rid of it the same way they have with most of the Cpl's mess.

Apart from being made to attend mess meetings i try my hardest never to set a foot inside the mess.Now some people say it affects your career what a lot of balls.

If i am on ops then i will go to the relevant mess etc as nothing else to do, but if i am doing my normal 9-5 job in the UK which is more often the norm then i stay away.
In the RAF then are you.
 
#19
stedian said:
If i am on ops then i will go to the relevant mess etc as nothing else to do, but if i am doing my normal 9-5 job in the UK which is more often the norm then i stay away.
I'd love to be on the ops you go on then! Retiring to the mess after a hectic day! Are you actually in the real world and more to the point are you sure you're actually a SNCO - in the real army I mean?
 

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#20
Treat the Mess as though you, as a lonlely individual, have total say over it? What is the army coming to. With this attitude there is a great danger of the army turning into a 9-5 Monday to Friday limited company, just like the RAF.

It is a pity that CRs do not include a section on "Is this soldier for the army or just in for a pension"

If you don't like the idea (or even ideal) of Mess life then get out and become a civvy or join ther Septics - I believe they have similar views.
 
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