Dining in

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by cajuncarrier, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    Hi everyone,

    DS called to say that he is attending "Dining In" tonight. All he knows is that he wears his dress blues and will meet several dignitaries (I guess local). Is this like an initiation type of dinner or something? Is it battalion specific or AROTC?

    If anyone could shed some light on this I would appreciate it very much. So new to us. We don't have a clue. 95% of what I've learned about the military has been on this forum. I'm so grateful that I found this site. Thanks to all for your vast knowledge.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I assume it's similar to NROTC who hold theirs in the spring. It's just a formal dinner at a local hotel (usually) with the entire unit and cadre in attendance. There are usually local dignitaries but I suppose even a national figure, especially if they are an alumnus, might be invited. I'm sure there are a few speeches. There are usually skits and stuff after dinner. A time of bonding. Dates aren't allowed, but that might be unit specific. I also expect there are some unit specific traditions that take place. It's a big night. DS always looks forward to it as well as the Navy/Marine Corps Ball in the fall where dates are included. It's also formal. I suppose Army has something similar around its birthday/
     
  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    A dining in would be a formal dinner. Dress uniforms, very formal. No way is it an initiation or anything like that.
     
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    This wikipedia definition hits it pretty close from my experience...

    "Dining in is a formal military ceremony for members of a company or other unit, which includes a dinner, drinking, and other events to foster camaraderie and esprit de corps.

    The United States Army, the United States Navy the United States Coast Guard and the United States Air Force refer to this event as a dining in or dining-in. The United States Marine Corps refers to it as mess night. Other names include regimental dinner, guest night, formal mess dinner, and band night.[1]

    The dining in is a formal event for all unit members, male and female; though some specialized mess nights can be officer- or enlisted-only. The unit chaplain is usually also invited, if an invocation is needed. A unit's dining-in consists of only the members of the unit, with the possible exception of the guest(s) of honor. An optional formal dinner, known as the dining-out may include spouses and other guests. The dining-out follows the same basic rules of the dining-in, but is often tailored to minimize some of the military traditions and be more interesting to civilian guests."
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    He'll have a good time, is he bringing a date, lots of formal dresses.

    My son's battalion also has each class perform a skit of some kind, usually ends up a roast of the cadre, all in good fun.

    They have always had a visiting dignitary, a lot of toasts, and speeches. All in all a good time. Absolutely no initiation or hazing of the new cadets of any kind.

    These dining out/in's are also training of sorts for the cadets. My son always joked that it was the "Gentleman" part of training for "Officer and a Gentleman"

    My older son just graduated Army Flight School, they had a Military Ball the night before. They actually sent out an OPORD that spelled out the Go and No Go for attire for the dates, how long and what style of dress and the attire for the men as well. Son said it was just like all the Dining In/Out's they had at ROTC, so they do serve a purpose.

    He'll have a great time.
     
  6. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    I agree. In many ways, they are a throwback to the customs and courtesies of a long time ago. Emily Post would be proud. Social etiquette and dining etiquette are all part of the lessons learned during a fun evening. Obviously military customs and courtesies are also part of the event.
     
  7. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    Can I go????:smile:

    Sounds like such a wonderful time!!! I really would like to attend.

    DS didn't say anything about bringing a date. I hemmed his dress blues for him last weekend when he came home. And he said that he had class till 2:30 then had to iron them and be ready by 4:30. They are taking a bus to wherever the dining in will be. What an awesome experience!
     
  8. sjba16

    sjba16 Member

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    You will probably have the opportunity to attend in the Spring. My DS' battalion has Dining In in the fall cadets and Cadre only with a guest speaker. More of the fun, roast type of event as jcleppe mentioned. In the spring is when parents and dates are invited for honoring the seniors and special awards are presented. We have attended the past two years and it is such a wonderful sight to see them all in their ASU's and ball gowns.
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You got invited to one of these things! I am SOOOO JEALOUS! I have to attend vicariously through the pics posted to the unit's facebook page a few weeks later. :frown:

    EDIT: Maybe I should move down there and become a local dignitary! :biggrin:
     
  10. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    Awesome!!! Hope DS's battalion does this. Also hope my son invites me.:biggrin: His cadre is encouraging them to be independent and cut some of those apron strings. He laughs at me because I want to be there for everything. I think I'm having a little withdrawals. I work at the high school he attended so I was aware of everything going on. Now I feel left out!:thumbdown: I can let him be independent. I just still want to be involved.
     
  11. sjba16

    sjba16 Member

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    We receive formal invites from the battalion in the mail. So hopefully you will have the same opportunity! That way he has no choice :wink:
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I certainly know the feeling. My son participates in an NROTC club called "Boat Crew". They get together and do Navy SEAL like exercises (log exercises, hump runs, etc) every Friday 17:00-19:00 (when most kids are at happy hour). When I go down I like to hang out and just watch. It's a way to feel connected with him still and get some sense of what he does. However, last time I did that someone said to DS "Gee, I've heard of Dads coming to watch football games and stuff, but Boat Crew?". Still debating if I'll do it again! :biggrin:
     
  13. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    That would be fabulous to get an invite in the mail... I'm so tempted to contact the AROTC admissions lady (whom I've met and talked with several times through email and phone) to ask her to keep me informed, but I figured that would just embarrass DS. So I'm giving him the opportunity to keep me in the loop before I go to extremes:smile:
     
  14. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    kinnem, I feel ya! I think I would still go, just lay low. I would have loved my parents to be more involved. They may not appreciate it now (or admit it), but one day they will be happy you were part of their lives. Such fond memories.
     
  15. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Just stalk him on facebook. The key is to look at who appears in pictures with him the most often... those are his closest friends. Learn their names, click on them to see their home town, and then if you really want to piss him off, when he mentions one of their first names in passing like, "son, who was your date to Dine-in?", and he says, oh, another cadet named Mary, and then you go... "Oh yeah, Mary JONES, from Chicago, right?". Then he'll just about cut a hole through you with a stare of violation! Actually, DON'T do that.
     
  16. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    :yllol: HOW FUNNY!!! My DD informed me the other day that it is called creeping now not stalking. I have to keep up with the lingo....I guess I'm not hip enough.

    Actually, if I ask DS questions he'll get frustrated, but will tell me what's going on. I just believe he will think something is not such a big deal and thus leave me out of the loop. Like his contracting.. I kept asking him if I could go.. He was like "Mom, it's not much. You don't need to come." So I didn't. He's right. His battalion doesn't make a big deal of it. They did video it on his phone. After numerous times begging for it, he finally sent it to me. It was all of maybe 2 minutes, but I still got teary eyed watching my baby pledging.. sniff sniff....
     
  17. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Traditionally "Dining Ins" do not include dates/guests rather they are meant for unit esprit de corps. Usually there is a alcoholic grog bowl (commander discretion with alcohol) and some other activities with dinner. Since this is ROTC some of the traditions are not included and battalions modify to fit their needs.

    Usually there is a set script, toasts and rules that must be followed...or there are consequences. AKA grog bowl. ROTC is obviously going to be A LOT more tame than say an infantry unit's dining in.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  18. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    Yes, that's why I asked if it was an initiation. DS said something about this bowl with alcohol. But I didn't know the name. He said that there will be no alcohol this year. I'm sure it will be a blast. I know DS is loving ROTC. It is a perfect fit for him.
     
  19. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I've only been to two Mess Nights (company at USNA didn't do them), but this sounds more like what I've experienced.

    Both were very fun, but neither were parent or date friendly.
     
  20. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    :thumbdown:
     

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