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Dining Out Procedures C/CaptEduardo Mertins
Overview • Rules of the Mess • Rules of the Grog • Semi-Formal Attire • Formal Toasts
Rules of the Mess • Thou shalt not be late. • Thou shalt make every effort to meet all guests. • Thou shalt not bring drinks into the mess. • Though shalt not leave the mess whilst convened. (military protocol overrides all calls of nature) • Thou shalt participate in all toasts unless thyself or thy group is being honored with a toast. • Thou shalt ensure that thy glass is always charged whilst toasting.
Rules of the Mess • 7. Thou shalt keep toast and comments within the limits of good taste and mutual respect. • 8. Thou shalt not murder the Queen’s English. • 9. Thou shalt not open the hangar doors (talk shop). • 10. Thou shalt not laugh at ridiculously funny comments unless the President first shows approval by laughing. • Thou shalt not question the decisions of the President. • Thou shalt not begin eating a course of the meal before the members of the head table begin.
Rules of the Mess • 13. Thou shalt not at any time signify pleasure (or any other emotion) by striking the terminal part of the forelimbs together (clapping). Rather, individuals who wish to convey their appreciation will do so by rapidly striking the table with an eating utensil. • 14. Thou shalt not quibble (raise trivial and frivolous objections) with Mister President, Mister Vice, or Madam Vice. • 15. When the mess adjourns, thou shalt rise and wait for the members of the head table to take their place or depart. • 16. Thou shalt enjoy thyself to the fullest.
Rules of the Grog • The use of the grog bowl is rooted in British custom, dating back to when Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757) diluted the British sailor’s daily ration of rum with water. Because Admiral Vernon was of the habit of wearing a grogram cloak, his crew nicknamed him “Old Grog,” and his ration of rum became known as grog. • Any member of the mess who has been observed committing a serious breach of protocol or violating the rules of the mess shall be sent to the grog bowl. The bowl consists of a mixture of ingredients selected by the flights of the detachment. Madam or Mister Vice will make all decisions concerning trips to the grog bowl, however, the President has the final word.
Rules of the Grog • When the president directs a violator to the grog bowl, the individual proceeds to the bowl promptly, squaring all corners in a military fashion and stopping one pace away and centered on the Grog. Upon arriving at the bowl, the violator will:
Rules of the Grog 1. Face the Grog, salute, and fill the cup at least 1/3 full with grog. 2. Perform an about face and toast, “To the Mess.” 3. Drain the grog from the cup without removing it from the lips. 4. Tip the cup upside-down over his/her head. 5. Replace the cup, again salute the Grog, and march back to his/her seat. *Violators who fail to perform the correct procedures will be required to repeat the procedure. *Members of the head table, the Cadre and our guests will not be sent to the grog.
Semi-Formal Attire (Men) • The semi-formal dress uniform coat is the service dress uniform coat without a name tag. All ribbons will be worn as well as any ropes. • The white long-sleeve shirt will be plain, knit or woven, • commercial type with a short or medium point collar, with button • or French cuffs. Military creases are not authorized. • Either a blue polyester or silk, herringbone twill tie will be worn with the semi-formal dress uniform. • A tie tack or clasp is optionalhowever, if worn, the tie tack or clasp will be the wing and star design or Air Force symbol. The tie tack or clasp will be centered between the bottom edge of the knot and bottom tip of the tie. • No headgear will be worn and saluting is not required.
Semi-Formal Attire (Women) • The semi-formal dress uniform coat is the service dress uniform coat without a name tag. All ribbons will be worn as well as any ropes. • The semi-form fitting white blouse will be polyester or cotton, princess line, button front, with small-pointed collar. Military creases are not authorized • The blue satin inverted-V tie tab with self-fastening tails is mandatory. • Black pumps will be low cut and rounded with a raised heel no higher than 2-1/2 inches The tip of the heel cannot be less than ½ inch in diameter or larger than the body of the shoe. They will be plain, clean and serviceable, and without ornamentation such as buckles, bows or straps. They will be high-gloss or patent finish.
Semi-Formal Attire (Women) • The semi-formal dress uniform skirt is the same as the service dress uniform skirt. Slacks are not authorized. • Hosiery semi-formal dress and will be plain commercial, sheer, nylon in neutral, dark brown, black or off-black, or dark blue shades that complement the uniform and the Cadet’s skin tone. • No headgear will be worn and saluting is not required.
Semi-Formal Attire Reference AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel
Formal Toasts • To the Colors! • All respond: “To the Colors!” • To the President of the United States! • All respond: “To the President!” • To the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force! • All respond: “To the Chief of Staff!” • POW/MIA Toast (with water only) • All respond: -silence- • All Other Toasts • All respond: “Hear, Hear!”
Summary • Rules of the Mess • Rules of the Grog • Semi-Formal Attire • Formal Toasts