Officers mess bill whilst on leave of absence from the TA

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by chalky2494, Oct 15, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Because of work commitments I asked the Adj for a bit of a time out. Initially I was going to leave as I didn’t want to be one of those turn up once or twice a year buffoons, but was persuaded to have a two year sabbatical instead. The deal was that I would have complete freedom from the battalion for two years, in which time I could concentrate on my civilian career, after which I would either hang up my boots or carry on where I left off.

    I was told that I would have no commitments to the battalion during this time so that it would be a proper break. However I received a mess bill about a year in to the time off which said I needed to make payment for the last twelve months. I phoned Bn HQ and was put through to the chief clerk. After I had explained the situation to him he told me that he would look into it for me and let me know if there were any problems. He didn’t call so I thought it had been rectified until today when I received another mess bill and a snotty letter stating that it is my duty as a commissioned officer to fulfil my commitments and pay the said mess bill.

    This has really gotten my back up as I have always paid my mess bills on time and been loyal to the battalion. I was planning on going back at the end of the two years but this whole fiasco is making me very resentful as I only want the time out to put my civilian career first for this two year period. Does anyone know where I stand?


  2. I belive that suspension of your mess bill has to be discussed at a mess meeting, similar to when you deploy. Obviously, this hasn't happened. Try writing a nice letter to the PMC for it to be brought up as an agenda item at the next meeting, with it being made retrospective to your commencing the leave of absence.

  3. I think the first point to make is that, whilst you may have had no commitments to your Bn, you remained a member of the mess and entitled to continue taking the privileges associated with that including voting at meetings, attending functions and receiving the benefits of grants etc for functions.

    Second point to make is that you are required to pay a mess bill whether you agree with it or not. If you do have a query this should be taken up with the Mess Treasurer/PMC after you have paid it.

    Third point is that this is nothing to do with the Chief Clerk and you should have spoken to your OC or the PMC.

    Fourth point, stop whinging, if this is making you consider your position in going back i suspect you probably didn't want to go back anyway.
  4. Thanks for the replies. Blockhead I would like to address your points.

    1. Regarding mess privileges. When I spoke to the Adj he made it quite clear that I would not have any mess privileges whilst on my two-year break and would not be required to pay mess bills. At the time there was no PMC.
    2. Regarding paying mess bills. I agree with you here but I did have a query on the bill and was told by the coy 2 ic to speak to the chief clerk (as OC had moved on). This was done as I was instructed and as I said the chief clerk said he would contact me if the bill needed paying. He didn’t contact me…
    3. Regarding going back. Believe me I am missing it and do want to go back, however for once I want to put my civilian career first and to have my integrity questioned after fourteen years loyal service is very insulting.
  5. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    So pay the bill then. If you have not attended any mess funtions during your period of time adding no value to the unit you serve so loyally, your bill should be minimal.
  6. I think one major point is being missed here. The Adj suggested that I have the time out not the other way round. I do not feel that I am being selfish in any way by putting my civilian career first for just two years. Likewise the main reason the Adj suggested I take the time out was that I couldn’t attend a reasonable amount of training weekends as my work takes me overseas (often going into weekends) which is also why I couldn’t make mess functions.
  7. Looks to me like an admin cluster...

    If the original agreement was for no Mess bills then this should have been honoured. Any correspondance regarding payments should have been acknowledged. Of course you can query a mess bill, just as you can query any bill, however the problem should be resolved, not passed around.

    Always better to get stuff like this down on paper from the start.

    Bad drill all round...

    (including moaning about it on this means...)
  8. HE117 have to agree with you there. In hind site I should have asked for something in writing. I did not mean to moan about the situation on this forum I am simply trying to ascertain where I stand. Thanks for the post though…
  9. Presumably the bill is nothing more than the basic subscriptions isn't it? The point made above is true. Even if you aren't actively involved you will remain a mess member unless you can persuade the PMC otherwise. I'm afraid the Adj has no say in the matter.

    Best thing you can do is speak to the PMC and see if you can persuade him to see it from your perspective.
  10. Hi John_Jorrocks

    Thanks for the advice I will try and contact him ASAP.
  11. On 1, as has been said it is not up to the Adjt. All Officers are required to be a member of a mess and to pay subscriptions at the rate the mess sees fit. Unless you had formally gone on the unposted list for the period you would still be required to pay your mess subscriptions. On occasions when i have been mobilised i have still paid my mess bill, because it is part of being for the whole mess not just for me, you do not stop paying your subs to the golf club because you are working away and then expect to just rejoin.
    2. I still say it had nothing to do with the Chief Clerk. That is a bit like querying a bill with the Electric Company with Tescos. It is absolutley nothing to do with the CC. You could though have spoken to the RAO, the Regt'l 2IC, or another member of the mess committee.
    3. After 14 years of service you should have known better and i would have expected you to know what the score was. A commissioned officer cannot expect everyone else to sort out their problems and take the blame.
    4. Stop whinging, pay the bill and start soldiering again.
  12. Blockhead I have only been commissioned a short time as I came up through the ranks so I’am still new to mess functions as I was commissioned form the rank of Cpl in 2003. This is the reason why I sought advice thought the 2ic in the OC’s absence. I can see your golf course metaphor so you win there. But I stand by the fact that I was told to speak to the CC instead of the PMC by my coy 2ic as I was not sure to whom I should speak.
  13. You were mislead I'm afraid but (as they say), "Turn to the right. Gain Height. Carry on."
  14. Just correcting a point, yes you are allowed to query a bill but it still requires to be paid by the 15th day of the month even if the query is not resolved.

    Chalky, as JJ says, you were mislead by the Coy 2IC and he should have known better, but if you want to continue your loyal service as you say. JJs advice is absolutely spot on.
  15. Your points are gratefully taken on board. Am trying to get hold of the PMCs number now so that I can discuss it with him. Think it was the accompanying letter that got to me as I thought it had been resolved and had not been trying to dodge payment.