This past weekend Z and I attended the Army National Guard 175th Bravo Company’s Dinning Out and Annual Reunion.
This semi-formal event is a military tradition combining drinks, dinner, dancing and…grog. I’ll get to that later.
I jumped at the chance to make myself fancy for an evening out. Chances like that are few and far between in my life.
I browsed CarahAmelie.com for hair inspiration and settled upon a style. Some hot rollers, hair spray, and bobby pins and voila! Side swept elegance.
The dress was actually my bridesmaid’s dress from Denise’s wedding. I was able to re-wear it! I have achieved the holy grail!
The men were to be in either dress uniform or suits. Z’s Marine uniform needed some tailoring attention that would not be ready before the event so he opted for this grey ensemble.
The event was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbia, MD. The ringing of a dinner bell signaled the start of the event, prompting us to take our places at the tables.
This booklet contained information regarding the history and traditions surrounding the event. There was even an entire section dedicated to “Rules, Protocol, and Etiquette.” It was then I wished that Z had sent me this information ahead of time so I could study up on it!
Here is a sampling:
- The Dining Out traces its heritage back to the Viking tradition of celebrating great battles by formal ceremony.
- “During the social portion…conversation should be light and/or in short duration.”
- “Thou shalt move to the mess when the chimes ring and remain standing until seated by the President.”
- “Toasting is a simple courtesy to the person being honored. It is not necessary to drain the glass at the completion of each toast. A mere touch of the glass to the lips satisfies the ceremonial requirement.”
Whew! Lots to remember!
Once seated there were opening remarks and then the introduction of guest speaker, Chet Nycum, a WWII veteran. Before he spoke they showed us a History Channel documentary in which he was interviewed. He had some amazing stories from his time as a paratrooper in the Philippines.
Next up was the “Grog Bowl Ceremony.” Z warned me about this ahead of time…
Essentially, a bunch of different types of liquids (alcohol mostly), each signifying a different piece of the unit’s history, are mixed together to form a “grog”. With ingredients such as whiskey, wine, tequila, gin, champagne and more I wanted to vomit just thinking about it.
The men must take shots of grog as a penalty for any type of infraction (ex: uniform not up to code, late to dinner, etc.). The guys had fun calling one another out and making them go up and drink.
Not in uniform? A shot of grog!
Some even choose to voluntarily drink this concoction…
…and these were the reactions.
The rest of the evening included awards, dinner and dancing.
This was my first military function and I enjoyed the history, tradition and camaraderie that surrounded it. Getting to play dress-up wasn’t bad either…