Officer Mess Styles

#1
Hello all,

I have recently been doing some visits to different regiments before I take my main board. I've been to the RA and am awaiting a date to visit QRL, I was wondering whether anyone could shed some light on which messes have which sort of style?

I've heard the Line Infantry Regiments are much more family orientated than the Guards, and the cavalry can be very steeped in tradition and have quite strict messes. I am aiming RAC, Inf or RA, but was curious about the styles of different messes.

Maybe you could share some of your experiences?

Thanks,
 
#2
I think you will find that each mess has its own individual character - there is for example no such thing as a box issue RAC or RA mess. 1 RHA will have a very different mess and "style" to 29 Cdo; the RTR have a different way of messing to the QRL. all ingfantry regiments are particular and specific in their messing, whether they are the Bill Browns or the Mercians.

Essentially it is what suits you - or perhaps what you can live with/in - and a bit like good tailoring, you do have to go and see how it fits.

You should now expect a lot of nonsense from everybody else about "cash-bars" and faggibng for field officers...disregard it, it is possibly meant with kindness at base but shouldn't get into your decision criteria!
 
#3
Thanks Cuddles! I would be looking for a very sociable mess with lots of characters within it. I did like the Tidworth RA mess, I'll have to see what QRL are like.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#4
Exwing,

The character of a Mess differs by unit, and also over time. The personality of the PMC and Adjt have an impact, as do the natures of the livers-in. What was a great, lively, fun mess 5 years ago could be going through a downturn now due to over-keen fun policing, and vice versa.

The only opinion to fully base it on is yours, at the time of your visit. Other peoples opinions are valid, but must be put in the context of their personality compared to yours, and how long ago their opinion was formed.
 
#5
Remember if you find yourself in a mess with a fruit machine in the bar* and a tannoy blaring out messages like "courtesy call, pizza for Darren in reception" you're just about to join the RAF ;)




*yes, I know having a bar at all rather than service in the ante room by the much loved 20-year mess LCpl is an aberration, but that's the way of the world now.
 
#6
@exwing

it's a little off topic (actually completly) but how have you been organising your trips to regiments? Are you just contacting through their details on the MOD site or is there a site devoted to booking fam visits etc?
 
#7
I have previously just told my ACA that I was interested in visiting certain Regiments and they have got in contact with me from there. The Gunners Officer Recruiting guy phoned me a day after my ACA made contact. With the Cavalry, I said I wanted to see a Formation Recce regiment, so my ACA told 9/12 Lancers and QRL, and QRL sent me a letter through the post arranging a preliminary interview.

p.s. I assure you there is nothing cooler than receiving a letter with a skull and "Death or Glory" written next to "On Her Majesty's Service" and your name having 'Esquire' at the end. Best envelope I've ever seen.
 
#8
Exwing said:
I have previously just told my ACA that I was interested in visiting certain Regiments and they have got in contact with me from there. The Gunners Officer Recruiting guy phoned me a day after my ACA made contact. With the Cavalry, I said I wanted to see a Formation Recce regiment, so my ACA told 9/12 Lancers and QRL, and QRL sent me a letter through the post arranging a preliminary interview.

p.s. I assure you there is nothing cooler than receiving a letter with a skull and "Death or Glory" written next to "On Her Majesty's Service" and your name having 'Esquire' at the end. Best envelope I've ever seen.
The RHF got me for a bottle of their Whisky at RMAS, so don't get on your back for an envelope, "standards man", nice envelope though it might be!
 
#12
Find a bunch of guys you like, can get on with and then work with them.

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you must have exactly the same background as them. That is the surest way to finding the people who are just like you and thus whom you mutually hate.
 
#13
It was 19 RA, we saw elements of lots of different RA regs, but mostly it was STA. I really like the artillery because all the different roles you can do and the mess was amazing. I visited the Woolwich Barracks in 2005 just before it closed and that was an eye-opener. Tidworth isn't as good, but it's still impressive. The polar bear skins that stretch the length of a stair case are crazy.
 
#14
Exwing said:
I have previously just told my ACA that I was interested in visiting certain Regiments and they have got in contact with me from there. The Gunners Officer Recruiting guy phoned me a day after my ACA made contact. With the Cavalry, I said I wanted to see a Formation Recce regiment, so my ACA told 9/12 Lancers and QRL, and QRL sent me a letter through the post arranging a preliminary interview.

p.s. I assure you there is nothing cooler than receiving a letter with a skull and "Death or Glory" written next to "On Her Majesty's Service" and your name having 'Esquire' at the end. Best envelope I've ever seen.
How did you rate the 9/12th Lancers? I was less then impressed after a 4 hour train ride just so they could speak to me for 10 minuets. That said I'm sure they were less then impressed with me.
 
#16
SebaSmith said:
How did you rate the 9/12th Lancers? I was less then impressed after a 4 hour train ride just so they could speak to me for 10 minuets. That said I'm sure they were less then impressed with me.
And if you are lucky enough, someone from the 9/12 will be reading this site:"remember that potential officer we saw for ten minutes? He's slating us on ARRSE..."

Mistakes happen, even with PO visits. If they are getting ready for something else then chances are PO visits start to slip down the radar.
Whatever you thought of them, probably best not to start slating them off on a military forum (especially if you are not in yet). If you feel you did not get a fair crack at the whip then write to the Regimental Secretary.
 
#17
I haven't had any communication with 9/12L, QRL must have got to me first.

I had a 2hr train ride to London for my QRL meeting (2hrs back as well), and we chatted for around 45mins about Skiing & Cricket, so I think it went quite well. He apologised for bringing me all the way to London for a brief chat, I didn't mind at all, I love walking around in London in my suit thinking I own the place.

I'm looking forward to the PO Visit, the RA were brilliant and other regiments will have to do a lot to match them.

Just got my Main Board date; 1st of December. Happy days!
 
#18
I'm not slating them, just stated what happened. They were polite and real gentlemen, yet it was a 10 minutes chat, rather informal for which I had to travel 4 hours down, and 4 hours back. Like I said I doubt they were impressed at all by me, at least that is how I felt as soon as the interview started. I didn't feel like I would fit in there, and so I won't be wasting any more of their time by visiting them.
Like my ACA said, different regiments like to meet potential officers in different manners. Anyway as I said both the CO's I meet were polite and friendly, yet it didn't feel right to me. I'm sure other people will have an instant rapport with them.
 
#19
Oh dear, Vulgar Fractions. Have you also considered the RAF, RLC etc ;)
 
#20
9/12 are the cav of course their chat was casual! In my opinion the RAC guys are generally top blokes and generally have great messes.

The main thing is to find guys and girls you think you would be mates with anyway and then it will take care I'd itself. I genuinly enjoy living in my mess, I get to live and work with mates and what could be better than that?
 
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