Rules of the Mess; sharing traditions prior to enlisted dining out July 13|
Posted 7/5/2007 Updated 7/6/2007
7/5/2007 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- The following is a list of rules under which the mess will be conducted. They are designed to conform to tradition and promote levity. Violators of these rules are subject to the wrath and mischievousness of Mister or Madam Vice. All assigned penalties will be carried out before the membership. In keeping with Air Force heritage, for the many Airmen who have not attended one before, the dining out will adhere to formal "rules of the mess."
*Thou shalt arrive at least 10 minutes before the appointed hour for the "Call to Order."
* Thou shalt not sit before the dinner bells are rung.
* Thou shalt not place any drink on the table before dinner bells are rung.
* Thou shalt make every effort to meet all guests.
* Thou shalt move to the mess when thee hear the chimes and remain standing until seated by the President.
* Thou 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 honored with a toast.
* Thou shalt ensure that thy glass is always charged when toasting.
* Thou shalt keep toasts and comments within the limits of good taste and mutual respect. Degrading or insulting remarks will be frowned upon by the membership. However, good-natured needling is ENCOURAGED.
* Thou shalt not murder the Queen's English.
* Thou shalt not open the hangar doors.
* Thou shalt consume thy meal in a manner becoming gentlepersons.
* Thou shalt fall into disrepute with thy peers if thy cummerbund's pleats are not properly faced.
* Thou shalt be painfully regarded if thy clip-on bow tie rides at an obvious list. Thou shalt be forgiven, however, if thee also ride at a comparable list.
* Thou shalt not laugh at ridiculously funny comments unless the President first shows approval by laughing.
* Thou shalt express thy approval by tapping thy spoon on the table. Clapping of thy hands will not be tolerated.
* Thou shalt not question the decisions of the President.
* Thy bar will be closed during dinner.
* When the mess adjourns, thou shalt rise and wait for the President and guests to leave.
* Thou shalt enjoy thyself to thy fullest.
Infractions warranting a trip to the "grog bowl" may be noted at any time by the President, Mister or Madam Vice, or any member of the mess. When the President directs a violator to the grog bowl, the individual proceeds to the bowl promptly and:
* Halts centered on the head table and salutes the President.
* Performs "about face."
* Fills a cup full of grog and toasts "To the mess."
* Drains the contents of the cup without removing it from the lips.
* Inverts the cup over his or her head to show it is empty.
* Places the drained cup in trash receptacle.
* Completes another "about face."
* Salutes the President.
* Returns to his or her seat.
With the exception of the toast "To the Mess," the violator is not permitted to speak during this process.