Mess Promotion Drinks.... Another Thing Down The Pan

Discussion in 'Seniors' started by regular_imbiber, Feb 2, 2012.

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  1. Now,I've been in since the late 80's and one of the things I used to look at in awe,wonder and jealousy when I was a junior/sprog was Promotion Drinks in the WO's and Sgts' Mess. The day was looked forward to mischievously by those involved and the following day we were all regaled by what did or didnt happen in the Mess and the ensuing carnage afterwards. I always thought to myself "Thats what its all about, I fancy a bit of that."

    When I eventually made it into the Mess the whole thing had been enormously diluted and today just proved it for once and for all. I'm not suggesting that things from the past go unchanged but promotion to the Mess and then further promotion within it is surely worth celebrating?

    Today,my Mess was open from 1200 to 1500 and no amount of cajoling from the lowest Sgt to any numbers of RSMs present was going to change that. Things were going well, no bother and a jovial time had by all but 1500 was ENDEX and that was it. This certainly wasnt the case 10-15 years ago and to me is further proof of the civilianisation and misunderstanding of our dearest traditions by on camp "agencies" etc.

    What do you reckon?
  2. Yep. Agreed but also begs the question how strong your mess? How how strong is the badge? If it is a contractual issue with mess bar staff then that's where again your PMC/RSM gets amongst them. Or is the commissiong results out soon?? cynical answer I know - but all based on experience. I actually abhore our mess owing to the comeraderie is normally with machete going in your back.... Shame really. Anybody who I have time for at work I would rather go out down the pub. No politics, no bollocks and no smiling assasins... I call it the backstabbers arms.....
  3. Was it Abingdon mess? Be greatful you only had to spend 3 hours in it.
  4. I couldn't possibly say ;-P
  5. Nothing to do with the RSM or the other members. Whoever negotiated the contract simply stated the hours the bar was required to be open, and on which days, and paid accordingly - keeping the bar open outside of these times means the contractor has to stand the cost.

    Been in some messes where a whip round normally allows the bar to be kept open -this is an increasing rare occurence though.

    Bottom line is that right across Defence the life and fun is being sucked out of the Army - it displays an utter ignorance of what brings cohesion to a unit but I'm afraid it's probably irreversible for the foreseeable future.
  6. Outsourcing of some things should never happen. This is one of them.
  7. I suspect this is down to the heirachy on the camp, rather than the Contractor (although I totally agree that the introduction of contracted messes was the start of a very slippery slope).
    The OP mentions "RSMs", which suggests an HQ or Garrison type Mess. Maybe the powers that be didn't want a normal working day turning into a piss up, irrespective of the occasion. Too many killjoys around I'm afraid. Long gone are the days of extended lunches, which finished with you being poured into a taxi or worse; your missus pacing up and down outside the mess waiting for you to finish that "last one for the road" at 2 in the morning! Agree with Counter bluffer.
  8. Don't have that problem in our mess. Yes it is civi contract but we still have a military mess manager. Job done.
  9. TheresaMay

    TheresaMay LE Moderator DirtyBAT

    I think what has to be factored into this equation for the OP is the way the Forces have changed since the late 80s. Back in the BAOR days of 'yet another bone exercise' for a war that will never happen, there was very little in terms of mission-focussed tasking to worry about; allowing more meat on the bone for functions and other unofficial jollies.

    Iraq, the Balkans, Iraq (again), Afghan, and Libya have all taken their turn as our 'main effort' and drawn our resources accordingly. So it is only logical to assume that with an ever-shrinking Army it is increasingly harder to justify allowing the few people we have remaining in 'rear party' the time away from task in order to have these functions.

    That being said - we somehow make it work and this year was no exception. We had our Mess meeting on the same night, allowing the bar to be open all day and with a bit of foresight and planning, we were able to ensure that business was largely unaffected. Last year I was at a different unit, but I seem to recall the bar was open at 1030hrs, and waking up the following day in the duty bunk (apparently my own room was up far too many stairs).

    People frequently talk about the fun being taken out of the Army - but I can't help thinking it's more of a 'trough', and after 2014 things might begin to improve again once Afghan is largely vacated by our troops.

    Or B, we'll all be in the Falklands, whingeing about the size of our Bunk on HMS NotManyShipsLeft.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. A war that will never happen? You obviously weren't there in '68 or '69 (I forget exactly which year) when the Russian army was hurling itself against the iron curtain again and again and turning off at the last moment, having invaded Czland.

    I digress. The slide into mediocrity of the British army Warrant Officers and Sergeants mess has been a long one.

    Back in '94 I was a det staffy based in Gibraltar barracks and had a reasonably good time at the NYE ball that year. However come the morning when I rolled up at the bar and asked for a bottle of champagne to go with breakfast, I got a blank look from the civvy barman and the response: "This isn't the officers mess".
    • Like Like x 1
  11. TheresaMay

    TheresaMay LE Moderator DirtyBAT

    Sorry Matt - not playing the Cold War down at all - I was simply talking about the period in question that the OP referred to (late 80s).
  12. B_AND_T

    B_AND_T LE Book Reviewer

    Or like my mess, as the parent unit did not have anyone off the board they didn't bother at all. Although there were people attached who got promoted. Nice to belong to a family isn't it.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. No need to apologise, but ... you weren't there, man :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  14. That was before Tropper showed them how to drink the antifreeze!

    To my mind the power and kudos of the messes died with the Glasnost defence review. In the flurry of brown envelopes officers suddenly felt the need to justify their existence. They also used the LE Commision as a weapon against the messes, this carrot was dangled to ensure compliance with the wishes of the officers. I'm glad that I'm out of it!
  15. It's just another example of how all fringe benefits and 'fun' has, and continues, to be sucked out of the Army.
    2 years left and counting......