Author Topic: Mess Kits  (Read 155201 times)

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Offline ArmyVern

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Re: Purchasing CF Mess kit in Southern Ontario
« Reply #125 on: April 23, 2011, 22:42:44 »
Quit smoking about 4 years ago, after we last drank together, but it's not worth switching to doeskin and retireing in October ;)

Retiring!!??

4 years ago ... I must be getting oldsheimers; I could have sworn that you cruised the streets of TO with me while I scouted out a toy store and received parking tickets (thanks to a certain someone) just a year or so ago ... obviously not.

Time for me to retire too.  :blotto:
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Offline Rheostatic

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #126 on: May 06, 2011, 11:37:56 »
Given that one would wear full size medals with a business suit, and miniatures with evening wear (ref), which would be appropriate for a civilian at a mess dinner wearing a business suit?

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #127 on: May 06, 2011, 12:21:52 »
I'm not sure about a suit, but if you wear a blazer, it's full sized. I really can't recall seeing someone with medals in a full suit. Doesn't mean it can't be done I suppose.
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #128 on: May 06, 2011, 12:26:14 »
Given that a mess dinner is a formal evening affair, it is not strictly correct to wear a business suit, although this has become acceptable in Canada (i.e. I've never seen anyone turned away for showing up in a business suit instead of black/white tie).  For this reason, it has also become more or less acceptable to wear miniatures with a business suit in Canada when attending an evening function.  In short, one should wear miniatures with a business suit in this context.  In fact, one would really stand out (and not in a good way) if one were to wear full-size medals here.

Another option is to spring for a tux.  It's not that difficult to find a used one in good shape for a reasonable price and it's always useful to have one on hand for that last minure invitation to a wedding, mess dinner or murder mystery party....
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Offline Rheostatic

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #129 on: May 06, 2011, 12:46:11 »
Quote from: Pusser
Given that a mess dinner is a formal evening affair, it is not strictly correct to wear a business suit, although this has become acceptable in Canada (i.e. I've never seen anyone turned away for showing up in a business suit instead of black/white tie).  For this reason, it has also become more or less acceptable to wear miniatures with a business suit in Canada when attending an evening function.  In short, one should wear miniatures with a business suit in this context.  In fact, one would really stand out (and not in a good way) if one were to wear full-size medals here.

Another option is to spring for a tux.  It's not that difficult to find a used one in good shape for a reasonable price and it's always useful to have one on hand for that last minure invitation to a wedding, mess dinner or murder mystery party....
I recognize that a tux would be the proper choice, but it's not always practical for everyone. At the event in question business suit has been named as an acceptable alternative. Thanks for the advice.

Offline Sparkplugs

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #130 on: May 13, 2011, 09:25:11 »
So here's one I couldn't find an answer to anywhere, and my WO is confused about it as well.  I have a mess dinner to attend, and while it's not the fancy mess dress, the boys will all be wearing their blues, with the white dress shirts and bowties.

I'm pregnant, and I have the maternity DEU's, but no one seems to know what I'm supposed to wear for this thing.  I can't fit a normal white mess blouse now, without my belly hanging out, and no one knows if I'm expected to find a white maternity blouse to wear with a bowtie.

Anyone ever seen a pregnant chick at a mess dinner?  What was she wearing?  No one can answer whether I just wear my blue shirt with the cardigan, or source out a white one.  My CoC is working on it, but I wanted to know if anyone here had seen anything of the like.  I know they changed the maternity DEUs within the last two years --- the smock is no longer, and there's now this old-man-style button-up wool cardigan.  Very attractive, if I may say so.   ::) 

Anyway, if you can help, thanks so much.  If you just want to have a giggle at the thought of how hideous this uniform is, feel free to stop by the mess dinner, I'll be there for the giggles.   ;D

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Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #131 on: May 13, 2011, 09:32:05 »
Tell your CoC that since you have no appropriate military dress for the occasion that you will attend in appropriate civilian attire (and make your own reasoned decision on what that is). The important part is your attendance, not the details of dress when you are in a situation none of them are ever likely to experience. Tell them you're choosing common sense over bastardized ritual and tradition for the sake of over-sensitive male egos who will decide that any solution is inappropriate in some way.

Offline Rheostatic

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #132 on: May 13, 2011, 09:52:02 »
... and feel free to paraphrase. :)

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #133 on: May 13, 2011, 10:02:03 »
... and feel free to paraphrase. :)
Hell no. Change 'you/your' to 'I/my,' add memo formatting, and it's good to go  :nod:

Offline Pusser

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #134 on: May 13, 2011, 12:38:29 »
Tell your CoC that since you have no appropriate military dress for the occasion that you will attend in appropriate civilian attire (and make your own reasoned decision on what that is). The important part is your attendance, not the details of dress when you are in a situation none of them are ever likely to experience. Tell them you're choosing common sense over bastardized ritual and tradition for the sake of over-sensitive male egos who will decide that any solution is inappropriate in some way.

BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG - STOP THINKING, STOP THINKING, STOP THINKING - COMMON SENSE SUPPRESSION TEAM CLOSE UP - BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG ...

I have seen women at mess dinners in maternity dress, but it was always the old bib style and really no different from day to day wear.  Mr O'Leary, however, has said it best.
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #135 on: May 13, 2011, 13:19:39 »
BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG - STOP THINKING, STOP THINKING, STOP THINKING - COMMON SENSE SUPPRESSION TEAM CLOSE UP - BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG ...

I have seen women at mess dinners in maternity dress, but it was always the old bib style and really no different from day to day wear.  Mr O'Leary, however, has said it best.

we have an outbreak of common sense going on here....stop it!!

UNBELEIVERS!! BLASPHEMERS!!! ;)
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Offline Kirsten Luomala

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #136 on: May 13, 2011, 14:32:20 »
So here's one I couldn't find an answer to anywhere, and my WO is confused about it as well.  I have a mess dinner to attend, and while it's not the fancy mess dress, the boys will all be wearing their blues, with the white dress shirts and bowties.

I'm pregnant, and I have the maternity DEU's, but no one seems to know what I'm supposed to wear for this thing.  I can't fit a normal white mess blouse now, without my belly hanging out, and no one knows if I'm expected to find a white maternity blouse to wear with a bowtie.

Anyone ever seen a pregnant chick at a mess dinner?  What was she wearing?  No one can answer whether I just wear my blue shirt with the cardigan, or source out a white one.  My CoC is working on it, but I wanted to know if anyone here had seen anything of the like.  I know they changed the maternity DEUs within the last two years --- the smock is no longer, and there's now this old-man-style button-up wool cardigan.  Very attractive, if I may say so.   ::) 

Anyway, if you can help, thanks so much.  If you just want to have a giggle at the thought of how hideous this uniform is, feel free to stop by the mess dinner, I'll be there for the giggles.   ;D

The appropriate dress for you would be your maternity DEU's or equivalent civilians if approval is gained from the chain of command.  You wouldn't be required to have a different shirt, as the normal CF maternity DEU shirt will work. 

The last mess dinner that I went to (last summer) the 8 month pregnant officer wore a appropriate gown that fit her well for pregnancy as well as floor length.  However the one before that wore her maternity deu's.

Ultimately it will be up to your Chain of Command.  Your approval for dress will come from your RSM or your unit equivalent. 

Hope this helps

Offline Sparkplugs

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #137 on: May 13, 2011, 18:24:08 »
Thanks very much for all the help, everyone.  Since I don't have appropriate civilian maternity wear -- only my wedding dress, and a bunch of big t-shirts and maternity jeans, I'll wear the DEUs with the blue shirt.  They got rid of the smock thing, which is nice, and hopefully it won't be sweltering, so the cardigan won't kill me, hahaha! 

Thanks so much again.   :nod:
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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #138 on: May 13, 2011, 18:45:59 »
*Gasp*  :o You are giving up a good reason to go out and buy a nice outfit?
If you do it right, with alterations, it will be useful later too.
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Offline Sparkplugs

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #139 on: May 13, 2011, 21:10:39 »
*Gasp*  :o You are giving up a good reason to go out and buy a nice outfit?
If you do it right, with alterations, it will be useful later too.

Hahaha, being a girl, I should love shopping -- but Trenton area is not the greatest for maternity stuff, unless I want the shirt that says, "I'm what happened in Vegas" with an arrow pointing to the belly.   ;D
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Offline Danjanou

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #140 on: May 13, 2011, 22:03:37 »
unless I want the shirt that says, "I'm what happened in Vegas" with an arrow pointing to the belly.   ;D

I vaguely remember some mess dinners I've attended where that would have probably fit in.  8)
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Offline Sparkplugs

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #141 on: May 16, 2011, 09:28:26 »
I vaguely remember some mess dinners I've attended where that would have probably fit in.  8)

My favourite part of this post is 'vaguely remember'...   ;D

One more question or two, hopefully this is the last of them.  My CoC has decided on me wearing civilian clothes to the dinner.  The selection of maternity dresses, are very very slim in this area.  Does it have to be floor length, or is a little longer than knee length still appropriate?  My other question is this: My hair -- while wearing civvies, do I have more freedom with it, or is the best idea still to stick with a bun?

Thanks so much, everyone, you've been wonderfully helpful already. 
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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #142 on: May 16, 2011, 09:54:40 »
     
              Regarding the hair, I attend pretty much every mess dinner on the wing I'm at being a musician with the wing band. (I'm not a 871 trade musician) There are a lot of civilian women at various units so I've seen many women in civilian dresses (or sometimes pants) Some were pregnant and some weren't. In any case, many wore their hair down. I'm sure I saw a few with hair up in some form or another but I rarely have seen buns being worn. I'm pretty sure if you are not in uniform that night the hair regulations will not be an issue.

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #143 on: May 16, 2011, 10:37:33 »
     
              Regarding the hair, I attend pretty much every mess dinner on the wing I'm at being a musician with the wing band. (I'm not a 871 trade musician) There are a lot of civilian women at various units so I've seen many women in civilian dresses (or sometimes pants) Some were pregnant and some weren't. In any case, many wore their hair down. I'm sure I saw a few with hair up in some form or another but I rarely have seen buns being worn. I'm pretty sure if you are not in uniform that night the hair regulations will not be an issue.

Perfect!  Thank you so much for the quick response.
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Offline N. McKay

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #144 on: May 16, 2011, 14:15:42 »
The selection of maternity dresses, are very very slim in this area.

Jeez, that's no good, is it?  I'd think you'd want just the opposite...!

Quote
Does it have to be floor length, or is a little longer than knee length still appropriate?

I'm not an expert in womens' clothing, but I do attend black-tie events on civvie street from time to time.  It's completely normal to see women wearing dresses as you describe; floor-length gowns are sometimes seen but are not universal by any means.  I would hope that nobody expects a service member (or anyone else) to buy a formal gown in a maternity pattern.  Something tells me it would get about as much use as a prom dress.

Offline Sparkplugs

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #145 on: May 17, 2011, 11:57:42 »
Jeez, that's no good, is it?  I'd think you'd want just the opposite...!

I'm not an expert in womens' clothing, but I do attend black-tie events on civvie street from time to time.  It's completely normal to see women wearing dresses as you describe; floor-length gowns are sometimes seen but are not universal by any means.  I would hope that nobody expects a service member (or anyone else) to buy a formal gown in a maternity pattern.  Something tells me it would get about as much use as a prom dress.

Well, I found one -- apparently, there are a few prom-like floor-length dresses that are built to accommodate women who are big only in the belly -- when I asked the woman at Sears about it, she said that they had a lot of pregnant high school girls looking for prom dresses, so they had to bring some in that would do.  First off,  :o , but I'm glad I found one.  It was on a really good sale so I didn't spend a fortune on it -- to be honest, probably less than I would have spent to get my DEU pants tailored, dry cleaned and pressed.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to wear it again, but worse comes to worse, that's why kijiji exists, hahaha, so I can sell my prego prom dress!

Thanks again, all.
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Offline redseer

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Female RCA mess kit - link buttons
« Reply #146 on: June 29, 2012, 00:17:09 »
So my wife just got her mess kit back from the tailor, and something was wrong - red shoulder-straps!  So this sent me looking into both the RCA standing orders (SO) and the CF Dress instructions (DI).
The main point of confusion is that the CF dress instructions (pg 256) stipulate that females wear link buttons on their jacket, but the RCA standing orders (pg 104) doesn't mention it.  In fact their pictures don't appear to have the buttons either. 
So does anyone have any experience in this matter, and if so where does someone buy link buttons?

A second and hopefully less serious point is that the DI indicate infantry cuffs vs. RCA SO indicate surgeons cuffs.  I thought that surgeons cuffs meant that there are buttons and the cuff can be opened.

Also, is it common to wear headdress with mess kit if outdoors?  RCA SO states yes...

I'll included the relevant references, if anyone knows the bbc code for spoiler tags so I can shrink it down, that would be appreciated.

Cheers.

Quote from: Dress Instruction
5. Standard Options. The following are standard options for the universal pattern army mess dress (Figures 5B1-3 and 5B1-4). Members of branches/regiments with no authorized differences
from the universal pattern shall wear that pattern and these options:
a. Jacket. The environmental facing colour of midnight blue on collar, shoulder-straps and cuffs. Infantry cuffs. Gold officers’ cuff embellishment. For males, plain jacket front without buttons or button-holes. For females, plain jacket front with single link buttons.
b. Waistcoat/Cummerbund. Midnight blue waistcoat, with four button-holes, for senior officers and above only. During the summer dress period, only a cummerbund is worn.
c. Trousers/Overalls/Skirt. Highcut trousers; overalls optional. Scarlet trouser/overall/skirt
stripe, 4.5 cm (1-3/4 in.) wide along trouser seam and around (half on each side) skirt vent.
d. Footwear. With trousers/overalls, black  socks; black shoes or wellington boots;
wellingtons with overalls; no spurs. With women’s skirt, beige or black plain-pattern nylons; black leather/patent leather pumps.
10. Artillery Branch. Waistcoat for all ranks. White jacket (No. 2A) optional for officers and CWOs
only. Trouser/skirt stripe 4 cm (1-1/2 in.).  Overalls optional, with optional spurs.

Quote from: RCA Standing Orders
2. Artillery Pattern Mess Dress. This Mess Dress (No 2) was authorized in FMC 5250-2 (Comd) 23 October 1986. It is based on the Universal Army pattern which consists of a scarlet jacket with shawl collar, midnight blue trousers and midnight blue waistcoat. Regimental detail is based on facings, collars and cuffs in midnight blue and a broad scarlet stripe on the trousers. Detailed specifications are available from Regimental Headquarters. The Male Mess Dress is illustrated at Figure 16. The Female Mess Dress (with skirt) is at Figure 17. Unless otherwise stated Male and Female orders are the same. Artillery Pattern Mess Dress is as follows:
a. Jacket
(1) Material
(a) Officers/CWO’s - scarlet doeskin; and
(b) NCM’s - scarlet barathea or doeskin.
(2) Design. Buttonless, simple breasted body with shawl lapels and surgeon cuffs;
(3) The colour for lapels, shoulder boards/epaulettes and cuffs is midnight blue (doeskin or barathea to match the material use in the jacket body);
(4) Senior Officers wear crowsfoot sleeve embellishment, Junior Officers and NCM’s do not wear cuff embellishments;
(5) Artillery buttons (26 ligne) are used on the epaulettes only;
(6) Badges, accoutrements and CF rank insignia of gold wire pattern are worn. NCM’s shall wear gold wire insignia with midnight blue backing. Officers shall use single braid available from the supply system. Gold wire grenade collar badges and scarlet backed hazardous skill badges are worn; and
(7) Miniature medals/decorations are worn.
b. Waistcoat is of midnight blue barathea and uses four 20 ligne RCA buttons. During periods of summer dress the Male/Female Artillery cummerbund will be worn instead of the waist coat;
c. Trousers / Skirts
(1) Trousers, overalls, and skirts are of midnight blue barathea. Overalls have a high english back;
(2) The trouser/skirt stripe is 1.5" scarlet barathea. The skirt stripe equally divided along skirt vent; and
(3) Trousers are optional for females.
d. Shirt / blouse
(1) Males. Pleated front, turn down collar and French cuffs;
(2) Females. Blouse white long sleeved with gold buttoned front closure and high collar;
(3) Studs shall be regimental pattern (RCA/RCHA); and
(4) Cufflinks shall be regimental pattern (RCA/RCHA).
e. Bow Tie (Male only) is black, 4.75" in length by 1.5" at the squared ends;
f. Cummerbund – worn during summer dress period. Regimental design is the Red zig-zag on Dark Blue. It is worn positioned to over the waistband of the pants with the closure at the back. The open side of the folds are worn facing upwards.
(1) Females. Smaller size (46cm x 9.5cm). and
(2) Males. Larger size (52.5cm x 14cm);
g. Footwear.
(1) Males. Black socks, and black shoes if wearing trousers. Wellington boots if wearing overalls; and
(2) Females. Plain beige or black nylon stockings and black leather or patent leather pumps with skirt. With optional trousers, same as Male.
h. Spurs. Stainless steel gooseneck spurs are worn with overalls. Spurs are not worn on board HM ships, while dancing, or with straight trousers; and
i. Additional items.
(1) Head dress will be worn (outdoors); and
(2) The service dress raincoat or greatcoat is worn as an outer garment and white gloves as required.
j. White Summer Mess Dress (No 2A). It may be worn as optional summer dress by officers and CWO’s only (see Figure 18).
(1) The jacket is identical in design to the No2 scarlet jacket, Artillery pattern mess dress. The shoulder straps (with 26 ligne Artillery buttons) are white. There are no Facing colours on lapels or cuffs;
(2) An Artillery Male or Female pattern cummerbund will be worn, and the waistcoat shall not be worn with this order of dress;
(3) Miniature medals/decorations are worn, white gloves are not;
(4) Badges, accoutrements and CF rank insignia of gold wire pattern are worn. CWO’s shall wear gold wire insignia with midnight blue backing. Officers shall use single braid available from the supply system.
(5) Gold coloured metal grenade collar badges and miniature (if available) metal hazardous skill badges are worn; and
(6) There are no other changes from No2 Artillery Pattern Mess Dress.
3. The supply cataloguing information for Artillery mess dress cloth is:
Scarlet 8305-21-876-0623 Cloth Tropical, Wool/Polyester 203 g/sq m Scarlet (SP No DCGEM 255-77) Plain Weave. Note that this will, in due course, be replaced by a scarlet superfine english doeskin (650 g/sq m) for officers and either doeskin or a scarlet barathea cloth for NCOs mess dress.
4. No 2B (Mess Service). This is an optional mess dress uniform for wear in preference to No 3 order of service dress on occasions when mess dress would be considered appropriate. This uniform consists of the service dress tunic and trousers with a plain white shirt and black bow tie. Details are available in CFP 265. The following personnel may wear it:
a. Newly commissioned Regular or Reserve Officers during the six months accorded them to obtain mess dress;
b. Officer Cadets; and
c. Non-commissioned members of both Regular and Reserve Forces.

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Re: Female RCA mess kit - link buttons
« Reply #147 on: June 29, 2012, 21:23:19 »


Also, is it common to wear headdress with mess kit if outdoors?  RCA SO states yes...
Cheers.

Yes, the standing orders now say that head dress will be worn outdoors. However, I have not yet seen anyone do this and standing orders notwithstanding, I can't imagine it ever happening here at 2 RCHA. Luckily it doesn't mention what the head dress is so if forced to wear head dress, I'm wearing the Yukon Cap in the summer.
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Re: Female RCA mess kit - link buttons
« Reply #148 on: June 29, 2012, 21:40:29 »
All requirements for head dress with mess kit were dropped last year in a CC email on the RSM net.

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Re: Mess kit questions
« Reply #149 on: February 04, 2013, 00:46:25 »
I have seen photos of RCAF mess dress worn with boutonnieres for weddings, but I can't seem to find a reference for it. I have found many US sites that state they are never worn with uniforms, but nothing specific to CDN practice. Is it acceptable to wear a boutonniere with mess kit?