Mess seating plan by seniority substantive date or appointment?

#1
Quick debate and if anyone can quote official doctrine supporting your view please do so.

Question:

For formal mess dinners, how should the seating plan be arranged i.e. who should be seated higher up the table when both people are of same rank. The more substantive senior SSgt (more time served as a staffy) or the higher appointment SSgt (but less time served as a staffy)?

I have seen different seating plans over the years and it amuses me that it seems to be down to the PEC's discretion and all the arguments that follow!
 
#2
Put a Flight Sgt above a WO2 and watch the sparks fly. Alternatively, put the Flight Sgt with 1 year service below a SSgt with 2 years service and stand back.
 

Flyingrockdj

War Hero
Moderator
#3
seniority of appointments in rank first, ASM, RQMS, TQMS, CSM, Cheif clerk, Other WO2. SQMS, ORQMS, other SSGTS and so on

Or only have a seating plan for the top table and let people sit where they like!
 
#4
Seating should be by staff appointments in rank higher than no staff appointment. CSM is not an appointment despite many people thinking it is.
 
#5
Seniority by substantive date in rank. By appointment? Hadaway! The only exception is that it's customary to put the RSM at the middle of the top table, even though he's probably a sprog.
 
#6
You would like to think an ASM sits higher than an RQMS....
 
#7
I've never heard of Corps seniority ever being a factor. Am sure that if that were the case I would have seen it in action in at least one of the Gunner Messes that Ive served in
 
#8
interested to hear where they sat you then? obviously the gunners are more senior to most cap badges so unless you're cavalry or armored corps you should have been lower than your in-house cohort?
 
#9
SSM's and CSM's.... i always thought they waiter-ed on us?
 
#10
It's all in QR - being at home and not being a nerd with a copy I can't quote directly, but I researched this for a Sgts Mess function at a Tri-Service unit.

Presiding Member, PMC and Mr Vice have their seats allocated first.

Then it's by Rank according to Service, within service it is SUBSTANTIVE Rank by earliest date, then ACTING by date, then LOCAL by date:
RN WO > RM WO1 > Army WO1 > RAF WO (OR9)
RN WO2 > RM WO2 > Army WO2 (OR8 )
RN CPO>RM CSgt>Army SSgt/CSgt whatever>RAF FS OR RAF CT (OR7) - watch out for the crabs here, they will insist that FS is a higher rank than CT but they're full of shit so take a copy of QRs, point out that being a higher pay band does not equate to a higher rank regardless of what they think, then enjoy your free drinks from some grumpy old RN WO Stoker who thinks it's the funniest thing ever to watch the pencil neck junior service bleat
RN PO>RM Sgt>Army Sgt>RAF Sgt

You obviously may have some guys of the same rank/service/seniority date still to sort out. In that case it is by REGIMENTAL/CORPS seniority for the Army, if they are the same cap badge or service then it is ALPHABETICALLY as Sgt Adams was on the Promotion List before Sgt Young etc.

Remember at all times, get a copy of QRs, do the table list, explain to the Presiding Member and PMC how you have done the list, give him a copy and when they (as they inevitably will) moan, tell them to **** off and speak to the Presiding Member about it.

Also, if you have anyone from the HAC, remember they are last in precedence and do not sit with the RA or RHA.

Hope this helps.
 
#13
It's all in QR - being at home and not being a nerd with a copy I can't quote directly, but I researched this for a Sgts Mess function at a Tri-Service unit.

Presiding Member, PMC and Mr Vice have their seats allocated first.

Then it's by Rank according to Service, within service it is SUBSTANTIVE Rank by earliest date, then ACTING by date, then LOCAL by date:
RN WO > RM WO1 > Army WO1 > RAF WO (OR9)
RM WO2>Army WO2 (OR8 )
RN CPO>RM CSgt>Army SSgt/CSgt whatever>RAF FS OR RAF CT (OR7) - watch out for the crabs here, they will insist that FS is a higher rank than CT but they're full of shit so take a copy of QRs, point out that being a higher pay band does not equate to a higher rank regardless of what they think, then enjoy your free drinks from some grumpy old RN WO Stoker who thinks it's the funniest thing ever to watch the pencil neck junior service bleat
RN PO>RM Sgt>Army Sgt>RAF Sgt

You obviously may have some guys of the same rank/service/seniority date still to sort out. In that case it is by REGIMENTAL/CORPS seniority for the Army, if they are the same cap badge or service then it is ALPHABETICALLY as Sgt Adams was on the Promotion List before Sgt Young etc.

Remember at all times, get a copy of QRs, do the table list, explain to the Presiding Member and PMC how you have done the list, give him a copy and when they (as they inevitably will) moan, tell them to **** off and speak to the Presiding Member about it.

Also, if you have anyone from the HAC, remember they are last in precedence and do not sit with the RA or RHA.

Hope this helps.
HAC are not quite last, (in regular company) they come before the GS Corps, TA Regts that don't have a regular element (eg Yeomanry and LONDONS) and colonial types such as the Gibraltar Regiment.
 
#14
That's interesting DG. Crab tech trades get promoted to Flt Sgt from Chf Tech though, no?
It's all OR7 though so it isn't a promotion in RANK, it's a movement across paybands, for example if (and I am clutching at straws here to find an example, but it might have happened at some point) a REME SSgt Artisan passed an Artificer course he would move lower to higher pay band but didn't move RANKS, or a R.SIGS bod in trade did his Yeomans course etc etc

UKDS 2011 - Chapter 2 - Personnel refers
 
#15
Or alternatively join a unit where enjoying a formal function takes precedence over some ludicrously arcane rules and regulations.
 
#16
It's all in QR -

<snip>

Hope this helps.
The only comment I can add to that is where you've got a Regular/TA mix, regardless of substantive date, regular Sgts and SSgts have seniority over their TA peers. For WOs, there's no distinction between regular and TA.
 
#17
So clearly appointment doesn't matter? Other than the RSM
RSM will usually be the Presiding Member, but as you say, Appointment does not matter.

Had the Corps ASM at a REME ran Corps dinner he sat one side of the Wksp ASM was Presiding Member, and the RSM who was a guest sat the other side. There were no other WO1s so I can't gauge that - which is presuming whoever did the table plan followed QRs to the letter.

It's a bit of a textbook question though, it has to be a fcuking massive dinner with all Ranks, Arms and Services present before you have to get down to the nth degree, and at some point the Presiding Member will just say "Look you ******* clowns, just sit down, act like grown ups and eat your sorbet" in any decent Mess. (Those will be the ones without RAF, it's easy to spot them).
 
#18
Or alternatively join a unit where enjoying a formal function takes precedence over some ludicrously arcane rules and regulations.
It's only the poor sod who gets dicked with the seating plan who has to worry.

Before AND after the meal.
 
#20
QR9.169. Warrant Officers.
Rank Group Appointment
Warrant Officer - class 1 (i) Conductor, RLC
Royal Artillery Sergeant Major
Academy sergeant major, RMAS
Garrison sergeant major London District
(ii) Master gunner, RA.
(iii) Garrison sergeant major (except London District).
(iv) Regimental corporal major
Regimental sergeant major
Bandmaster
Staff sergeant major. RLC or AGC(SPS)
Sergeant major
Any other appointment on the establishment of a unit or corps carrying
the rank of warrant officer, class 1, e.g. artificer sergeant major,
superintending draughtsman.
Warrant officer - class 2 (i) Garrison quartermaster sergeant
Regimental quartermaster corporal
Regimental quartermaster sergeant
Regimental quartermaster corporal (technical)
Regimental quartermaster sergeant (technical)
Staff quartermaster sergeant
Quartermaster sergeant instructor
Quartermaster sergeant.
(ii) Farrier quartermaster corporal or quartermaster sergeant
Squadron corporal major; squadron, battery or company sergeant major
Bugle, drum, pipe or trumpet major
Any other appointment on the establishment of a unit or corps carrying
the rank of warrant officer, class 2, e.g. warrant officer instructor, class 2
(physical training).
 
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