Author Topic: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?  (Read 17168 times)

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Offline AlphaBravo

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Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« on: March 18, 2016, 01:03:21 »
So this one I have tried to find information on but there isn't much, and I am extremely worried about making a bad impression etc.

But I am a new recruit at my Naval Reserve unit, and have yet to be issued any kit (and unsure of when I will be issued it), I don't leave for BMNQ until late May, early June.

(I suppose next Tuesday is possible, but I doubt it), our annual Mess Dinner is coming up on 9 April 2016 and because I don't have a uniform I am unsure of how I should dress...

Is it a super formal event, like I should go and try to rent a tux? Also if that's the case, does a black tie work, or should I look at getting a Bow tie?


Thanks in advance!
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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 01:20:17 »
Suit and tie is usually sufficient, your unit coxswain will know there are people attending who do not have DEU issued yet, and will have some direction ready before hand.

Good on you for going. All I hear is complaints nowadays about mess dinners, but they're a good set of traditions if done properly, and enjoyable even for those who don't choose to drink.

Offline AlphaBravo

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 01:25:49 »
Suit and tie is usually sufficient, your unit coxswain will know there are people attending who do not have DEU issued yet, and will have some direction ready before hand.

Good on you for going. All I hear is complaints nowadays about mess dinners, but they're a good set of traditions if done properly, and enjoyable even for those who don't choose to drink.

Thank you kindly! I figured I would go, and try to get to know people around my unit a little bit more. I am trying to prepare myself for the military environment as much as I can before I head off to Quebec this summer.

The drinking is a nice added bonus though haha.  :salute:
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2016, 07:31:48 »
Thank you kindly! I figured I would go, and try to get to know people around my unit a little bit more. I am trying to prepare myself for the military environment as much as I can before I head off to Quebec this summer.

The drinking is a nice added bonus though haha.  :salute:


Be careful with the drinking at official events. I have, over a long career, 35+ years in uniform from private soldier to senior officer, seen a few promising careers stopped dead in their (junior) tracks by booze. Have a good time, by all means, but remember that it is an official, unit function and you are "on duty" and can be called to account for what you say and do. Even imore important than the (remote, I hope) possibility of disciplinary problems, your reputation can be destroyed by an uncharacteristic act or word.
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Offline rmc_wannabe

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2016, 11:08:10 »
Quote from: AlphaBravo

The drinking is a nice added bonus though haha.  :salute:

As someone who has made an *** of himself at one of these functions; it isn't an added bonus. It is a very fine line to walk.

It took me a few years to realise its better to be the spectator rather than the spectacle in these situations.

Have fun, but remember you still have to account for your actions in the morning.
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Offline AlphaBravo

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 12:57:19 »
Haha thankfully I don't drink very much, I have the one or two beers and then I am done haha. But I will definitely try to avoid making myself look like an ***.
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Offline sidemount

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 14:33:17 »
Its for this reason I do not drink at mess dinners. Ive seen too much dumb crap, people getting themselves a ton of extras or charged for their antics  and dont want to be a part of it myself.
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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 14:50:43 »
You already know your limit, stick with that, and you'll have a great time. Note that those getting the tons of extras usually can't figure out where that line is.

Keep in mind there will be a glass of port used as a toast, if you're not keen on it there will be a decanter of grape juice available.

Offline mariomike

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 14:58:27 »
Have fun, but remember you still have to account for your actions in the morning.

Reminds me of some advice I received many years ago, "Never permit yourself to be more drunk than your host, or your guests."  :)

Offline Pusser

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2016, 07:21:15 »
My response here is more a more general response with respect to dress at a mess dinner, than it is to the OP.

1) NO Reservist is ever required to acquire mess dress, regardless of rank.  However, most Reserve officers who decide to make the Reserve a long term thing tend to acquire it eventually.  Sometime unofficial pressure is applied (depends on the unit).

2) Regular Force officers are required to obtain mess dress within six months of commissioning.  Yes, there are many who refuse to do so and simply avoid occasions where they would need it.  However, in addition to being unprofessional, they also deprive themselves of a lot of fun.  They also stand to embarrass themselves (and even risk charges) if they end up in a situation where they are ordered to attend a function and cannot appear properly dressed.  There are places that sometimes rent out mess uniforms, but they are rare.

3)  The advice to simply wear a suit when one has not yet been issued a uniform it is probably good for an NCM, but remember that mess dress is formal wear and so the proper civilian equivalent is either black tie or white tie (depends on the event), which means tuxedo or tails.   I would argue that an officer in that situation would be better off to wear a tux (even if he has to rent it).  It would certainly make a good first impression. 

4)  A bow tie with a suit is not necessary (and normally would be seen as eccentric - don't be eccentric when you're new).  A black bow tie with a suit is a definite no-no.
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Offline BinRat55

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 07:46:22 »
So this one I have tried to find information on but there isn't much, and I am extremely worried about making a bad impression etc.

But I am a new recruit at my Naval Reserve unit, and have yet to be issued any kit (and unsure of when I will be issued it), I don't leave for BMNQ until late May, early June.

(I suppose next Tuesday is possible, but I doubt it), our annual Mess Dinner is coming up on 9 April 2016 and because I don't have a uniform I am unsure of how I should dress...

Is it a super formal event, like I should go and try to rent a tux? Also if that's the case, does a black tie work, or should I look at getting a Bow tie?


Thanks in advance!

Were you not sized for your DEU? Those young soldiers / sailors who do not have "Mess Kit" (which BTW as Pusser put it, not required) wear their DEU with a tux shirt and black bow tie - no beret...
Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake - Napoleon Bonaparte

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2016, 07:54:24 »
Were you not sized for your DEU? Those young soldiers / sailors who do not have "Mess Kit" (which BTW as Pusser put it, not required) wear their DEU with a tux shirt and black bow tie - no beret...

PRes will not usually be sized for DEU in their first year.  Cost savings are made by doing this, so you are not issuing DEU to a person who may have decided in their first year that they were not suited to be a Reservist, or could not commit the time necessary to be a Reservist.
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2016, 08:03:20 »
PRes will not usually be sized for DEU in their first year.  Cost savings are made by doing this, so you are not issuing DEU to a person who may have decided in their first year that they were not suited to be a Reservist, or could not commit the time necessary to be a Reservist.

I think that's unique to the Army Reserve.  As far as I know, Naval and Air Force Reservists are issued service dress on enrolement.  Personally, I think it's a travesty that Army Resrvists cannot parade properly in their first year (unless they're with a unit that has a "regimental" dress that is issued at no expense to the Crown).  I understand the reasons behind the policy, but I wonder how much we really save with it and whether these savings really outweigh the costs. 
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Offline BinRat55

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2016, 08:15:51 »
PRes will not usually be sized for DEU in their first year.  Cost savings are made by doing this, so you are not issuing DEU to a person who may have decided in their first year that they were not suited to be a Reservist, or could not commit the time necessary to be a Reservist.

I completely understand the concept behind this George - how many "kit recovery" memos to the AJAG have I had to do in my career because a guy joined the PRes, got thousands of dollars of kit, then bailed, never to be heard from again!

However, it's our policy (Land, Air or Sea) that all PRes needs to be prior to sizing for DEU is a QL3 qualification.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2016, 08:24:50 »

However, it's our policy (Land, Air or Sea) that all PRes needs to be prior to sizing for DEU is a QL3 qualification.

And that can take up to three years in the PRes, depending both on availability of Crses and the person to have time to attend those courses.
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2016, 08:32:00 »
I completely understand the concept behind this George - how many "kit recovery" memos to the AJAG have I had to do in my career because a guy joined the PRes, got thousands of dollars of kit, then bailed, never to be heard from again!


Understood, but the bulk of that kit is not service dress.  The stuff we do issue right away (CADPAT, helmets, rucksacks, etc, etc) are the really expensive things.
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Offline Journeyman

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2016, 08:49:30 »
..... I wonder how much we really save with it and whether these savings really outweigh the costs.
Your average Reservist is going to wear DEU twice in their first year (Remembrance Day and 'the name-changing meal before 25 Dec')? 

You seriously believe that troops are flocking to release because they don't have DEU for those two days?  :stars:


Of course, with the current military fixation on badges and feather boas, I guess these troops (if they exist) are the ones we should pander to; they're the next generation focused on 'important' issues like uniforms rather than that petty stuff -- like maybe effective use of realistic training that motivates retention.


Offline BinRat55

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2016, 08:59:21 »
Understood, but the bulk of that kit is not service dress.  The stuff we do issue right away (CADPAT, helmets, rucksacks, etc, etc) are the really expensive things.

Actually, very little is DEU. If the member f****ed off on us with one year plus a day, they do not have to return their DEU items. Which now becomes even MORE work for me, as I now have to remove all DEU line items off the derelict's IA.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2016, 09:00:35 »
Understood, but the bulk of that kit is not service dress.  The stuff we do issue right away (CADPAT, helmets, rucksacks, etc, etc) are the really expensive things.

Plus: DEU is not recovered on Release, is it? 
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Offline FSTO

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2016, 10:13:14 »
Your average Reservist is going to wear DEU twice in their first year (Remembrance Day and 'the name-changing meal before 25 Dec')? 

You seriously believe that troops are flocking to release because they don't have DEU for those two days?  :stars:


Of course, with the current military fixation on badges and feather boas, I guess these troops (if they exist) are the ones we should pander to; they're the next generation focused on 'important' issues like uniforms rather than that petty stuff -- like maybe effective use of realistic training that motivates retention.

Not in the Naval Reserve. We have ceremonial divisions once a month during the training year, open houses, opening of the legislature and various other official functions. Unless the sailors in our unit are doing something that they will be getting dirty (launching/operating boats, etc) they will wear Salt&Peppers or Jacket and tie (depending on the function), our recruiters very rarely (if ever) will attend an event wearing NCD's.

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2016, 10:29:18 »
Not in the Naval Reserve.
Yes, but Pusser felt a need to respond to the Army-specific post by George Wallace; the point has been made that this is an Army Reserve issue.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2016, 10:53:32 »
Not so sure here, Journeyman, George himself was answering the previous post by Binrat55. Binratt's post quite clearly stated a policy regarding reserves that specified it applied to Air, Land and Sea elements.

On the other hand, it also spoke of "fitted" DEU.

Now, I have been out for  a while but in my days, any "fitting" to DEU in the naval reserves was at the member's expense, unless for medical reasons. You got issued the closest thing to your actual size and that was it.

I have to say that, "fitting" naval reservist early on is not necessarily the best policy. In my first five years in, I went through three different sizes: I joined at 16, by the time I was 18, I had grown up three inches (the CF [no DEU then] sleeves looked lovely three inches above my wrist  ;D ) and had to change all my uniforms. Then, by the time I was 21, I had bulked up by 40 pounds from "Spaghettini" size to properly proportioned chest size due to muscle build up and reached my final size. I had to change all my uniforms again  :nod:

I am pretty sure the majority of naval reservists still come from high school or early college years, so a lot of them haven't finished growing into their body.
 

Offline Pusser

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2016, 11:06:36 »
You seriously believe that troops are flocking to release because they don't have DEU for those two days?  :stars:

Where did I ever say that?

I simply stated that I think it's a travesty that Army Reservists have to wait at least a year before being issued with proper dress uniforms and I am not convinced that this policy saves a significant amount of money.  However, it does lead to young Reservists either being denied the opportunity to participate in some events or forcing a unit to dress in a manner that may not be appropriate for the occasion (e.g. Change of Command or Freedom of the City in CADPAT).  I realize I am never going to convince some of the crowd that dress uniforms, with all their buttons and bows, are important, but nor will I apologize for believing that they are.

Frankly, if we really want to save money so that we can put it into ensuring that soldiers in the field (or sailors at sea for that matter) have all the kit they need and should have, then we should stop people who have no need to wear it from wearing it all the time.  There is no reason for anyone, at any level, sitting at a desk in a climate-controlled building in Canada to be wearing anything other than service dress.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2016, 11:43:21 »
Where did I ever say that?

I simply stated that I think it's a travesty that Army Reservists have to wait at least a year before being issued with proper dress uniforms and I am not convinced that this policy saves a significant amount of money.  However, it does lead to young Reservists either being denied the opportunity to participate in some events or forcing a unit to dress in a manner that may not be appropriate for the occasion (e.g. Change of Command or Freedom of the City in CADPAT).  I realize I am never going to convince some of the crowd that dress uniforms, with all their buttons and bows, are important, but nor will I apologize for believing that they are.

Frankly, if we really want to save money so that we can put it into ensuring that soldiers in the field (or sailors at sea for that matter) have all the kit they need and should have, then we should stop people who have no need to wear it from wearing it all the time.  There is no reason for anyone, at any level, sitting at a desk in a climate-controlled building in Canada to be wearing anything other than service dress.

Moot points really.  If they are not trained to QL3 level, they for the most part don't have the experience at Drill to be partaking in those ceremonial functions.  For many they will wear CADPAT in support of those functions, and if not issued any uniform, attend in civilian attire as 'spectators'.

The Release rate of first year enrollees in the Reserves is actually fairly high in some locations.  Giving them a DEU uniform that they may never have the opportunity to wear, other than as a Poser somewhere after Release, is a waste of resources.
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Offline krimynal

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Re: Mess Dress as a New Recruit?
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2016, 11:58:10 »
quick little intervention , and I might be out of my way correct me if I am but. 

I did Reserve BMQ , SQ + DP1 in 2013.  After the BMQ Part ... there were no drills ever ... SQ was basically 10 or 11 days long and DP1 was about 3 weeks to become a gunner.

So there was no point in doing drills or drill practice much after the BMQ part , there were a lot of pushup chinup and stuff like that but little to no drill.

So saying that someone that is not QL3 is not ready to be drilling ... I mean as soon as he his BMQ Qualified he knows pretty much as much as the other guy who is fully qualified ....

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