|03-03-2006, 05:53 AM||#1 (permalink)|
MSgt USMC Ret
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Diego
H & S Marines Address the Mess
Marine Corps News | John J. Parry | February 25, 2006
Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. - In 1776, the United States declared its independence from the British government. However, the United States Marine Corps finds itself 230 years later, modifying the traditions of the British Royal Marine Corps and using those traditions as a foundation to create some of their own.
H & S Company NCOs of the “Oldest Post” carried on the tradition of formal military dining, or the Marine Corps Mess Night, Wednesday, Feb. 22.
First Sergeant Walter C. Baldwin, company first sergeant, H & S Company, said the purpose of the Mess Night, although formal, is to provide a change of settings from the normal workplace, creating an environment that allows Marines to share experiences with each other.
“Some people, put them in a different setting, and you’ll get a different result,” said
The history of the Marine Corps Mess Night is a mostly undocumented, word-of-mouth tradition passed down from generation to generation and is used by leadership to build esprit de corps between Marines.
“It’s beneficial for Marines to have these outings to build strong relationships with each other,” said Sergeant Clayburn Perry, food service inspector.
According to the Naval Historical Center, the history of military dining dates back to the Roman Legion holding victory feasts in celebration over its conquests of rival factions. Centuries passed and the tradition of these feasts continued with the Vikings and even King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
In sixth century England, the traditions of formal feasting spread into non-military society through religious clergy. The traditions of formal mess were taught to educators by the clergy through the years, and these educators began to teach British officers the mess
The Marine Corps bases their Mess Night on the traditions passed down from the British. The first Mess Nights were held in Washington, D.C. by the Marines from the “Oldest Post”
Over the course of American history, the British and American militaries continued to interact with each other using the formal dining tradition. In 1867, the British and American militaries held a formal dinner in Hong Kong, which involved “The Presidents Own,” the Marine Corps Band who calls 8th & I home.
Through the course of the 1930’s and 1940’s, the British and Americans had a series of mess nights that eventually led to the first literary mention of mess traditions in the Marine Corps. By order of General Lemuel C. Shepherd, 20th Commandant of the Marine Corps, the book “The Marine Officer’s Guide” was the first written documentation of mess etiquette.
At a Marine Corps Mess Night, British tradition can still be observed when the president of the mess tells the vice president of the mess that “It’s time to shed a tear for Lord Admiral Nelson.” The vice president, or “Mr. Vice,” dismisses the Marines when instructed by the president, or “Mr. President,” to quickly use the restroom.
The NCOs of the “Oldest Post” carried on the traditions of a mess night in full dress blues from the beginning of cocktail hour, which begins at 6:00 p.m. in the bar, to the fining of Marines for “disloyalty” and “disrespect” toward the mess just before 8:00 p.m.
The purpose of the fining is to have a laugh among Marines about the outrageous stunts pulled by the Marines to lighten the mood of the dinner, said Sergeant Marcus G. Chatman, president of the mess.
Sergeant Clint V. Reynolds, battalion and ceremonial drill Education non-commissioned officer, accused another Marine of bringing his ketchup into the mess “because he loves it so much”.
“Say it ain’t so!” said Corporal Robert M. Speir, grounds worker for the “Oldest Post.” The mess went into an uproar, resulting in Chatman levying the maximum fine, which was set at three dollars for this mess.
Marines forced to pay fines at mess nights are summoned to see the vice president, normally the youngest member of the mess or for the NCO’s mess Corporal Raul E. Damiani, administrative clerk, H & S Company, who collected fines and enforced the mess’s presidential decisions.
“The night went very well, I felt as though certain bonds and friendships were made that could last a long time,” Chatman said.
Chatman was the Marine who brought up the idea of putting the night together for the NCOs. Using the same techniques to put the mess together as the Marines before him, Chatman consulted Baldwin about putting the mess together. Baldwin gave Chatman information about all the mess nights he had attended prior.
Of course, Baldwin didn’t mind helping, “The food is good, and the event was fun. Most military clubs do great cheesecake.”
The mess was successful and we plan on putting together more in the future, Chatman said. Chatman suggested that more Marines in Mess Night because doing so is following the tradition set by the Marines before him and possibly bringing in something new to the event.
|address, marines, mess|
|Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)|
|New To The Site?||Need Information?|