The mess (also called a mess deck aboard ships) is an area where military personnel socialize, eat, and (in some cases) live. The term is also used to indicate the groups of military personnel who belong to separate messes, such as the Officers' mess, the CPOs' mess, and the Enlisted mess. In some civilian societies this military usage has been extended to the eating arrangements of other disciplined services such as fire fighting and police forces.
The root of mess is the Old French mes, "portion of food" (cf. modern French mets), drawn from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send" and "to put" (cf. modern French mettre), the original sense being "a course of a meal put on the table"; cfr. also the modern Italian portata with the same meaning, past participle of portare, to bring. This sense of mess, which appeared in English in the 13th century, was often used for cooked or liquid dishes in particular, as in the "mess of pottage" (porridge or soup) or Eton mess.
Messing in the Canadian Forces generally follows the British model (see United Kingdom below), from which most traditions have descended. Basic regulations regarding the establishment and administration of messes is contained in the Queen's Regulations and Ordersand the Canadian Forces Administrative Orders.
As in the British Forces, there are normally three messes: the Officers' Mess (called the Wardroom in Naval establishments), for commissioned officers and officer cadets; the Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess (Navy: Chiefs' and Petty Officers' Mess), for senior non-commissioned officers and warrant officers; and the Junior Ranks Mess, for junior non-commissioned officers, privates, and seamen. Some bases, such as CFB Kingston in the 1980s, had a Master Corporals' Mess separate from the Junior Ranks'; all of these, with the exception of the CFB Valcartier Master Corporals mess (known as the "Mess des chefs"), have since been amalgamated with the Junior Ranks' Messes. Certain other bases, mainly training establishments such as HMCS Venture have messes known as the Gun Room for the use of subordinate officers (Naval or Officer Cadets).
Most bases and stations have three messes (officers', warrant officers' and sergeants', and junior ranks'). Many of these establishments have lodger units (such as air squadrons, army regiments, etc.) who also have their own messes. All of Her Majesty's Canadian ships have three messes aboard; this extends to Naval Reserve Divisions and other Naval shore establishments which bear the title HMCS (see stone frigate). Due to limited budgets and declining revenues, many messes have been forced to close or amalgamate: for example, at CFS St. John's, the junior ranks' mess of the Newfoundland Militia District closed, its members moving to the station's junior ranks'; the station's officers' mess and warrant officers' and sergeants' mess later amalgamated.
Headdress is not worn in Canadian messes[ citation needed ], except:
All Canadian Forces personnel, regular and reserve, must belong to a mess, and are termed ordinary members of their particular mess. Although normally on federal property, messes have been ordered to comply with the legal drinking age laws of their province[ citation needed ]; for example, an 18-year-old soldier may legally consume alcohol in a Quebec mess, but not in one in Ontario, where the legal age is 19 years. However, despite being underage, the soldier may not be prohibited entry into the mess[ citation needed ].
Canadian Forces personnel are normally welcome in any mess of their appropriate rank group, regardless of element; thus a Regimental Sergeant-Major of an Infantry battalion is welcome in a Chiefs' and Petty Officers' Mess (inter-service rivalries notwithstanding). Personnel of a different rank (except as noted below) must ask for permission to enter; that may be granted by the President of the Mess Committee, his designate, or the senior member present.
These restrictions are normally waived on certain special occasions, when the messes are "opened" to all personnel, regardless of rank. These occasions may include (and will be locally published by the Mess Committee)[ citation needed ]:
The commanding officer of the establishment or unit that owns the mess is permitted access to all his messes; thus a ship's captain has access to his vessel's chiefs' and petty officers' mess, the commanding officer of a regiment may enter any of his regimental messes, and the base commander of a Canadian Forces Base is welcome in any of his base's messes. In practice, commanding officers rarely enter anything other than the officers' mess unless invited, as a point of etiquette. In addition, duty personnel — such as a duty NCO or officer of the watch — or the military police have access to any and all messes for the purposes of maintaining good order and discipline. Chaplains are usually welcomed in all messes.
As in the UK, Canadian messes are run by the mess committee, a group democratically elected by the members of the mess. One exception is on warships, where the president of the junior ranks mess is appointed by the commanding officer. The committee members are generally the same as those of their British counterparts, with the addition of special representatives for such things as sports, housing, morale, etc. These positions are normally spelled out in the mess constitution, which sets out the bylaws, regulations, and guidelines for such things as conduct of mess meetings, associate memberships, dress regulations within the mess, or booking of the mess by civilian organizations. The constitution and any amendments are voted upon by the members of the mess.
The Federal German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) differentiates between three different mess areas.
1. HBG (Heimbetriebsgesellschaft) - More commonly called Enlisted Mess (Mannschaftsheim): it is common for most bases to have one, where food and drink can be purchased. Newspapers and in some cases equipment and souvenirs such as key chains may also be available. There is generally no strict regulation of conduct, even though access is not limited to enlisted personnel, and NCOs or officers may also be present, ensuring some regulation of conduct.
2. UHG (Unteroffizierheim or Unteroffizierheimgesellschaft) (Gesellschaft lit. society) - also called UK (NCO Comradeship/Unteroffizierkameradschaft) - Non-commissioned Officers' Mess: this is the area where NCOs can dine or spend their evenings. As opposed to the HBG, the UHG has a constitution, bylaws and a board. Access is usually restricted to NCOs, while officers can gain entry, even though it is usually frowned upon by the NCOs. Some bases have a joint NCOs' and Officers' Mess.
3. OHG (Officers' Mess/Offizierheimgesellschaft) - Also called Casino (Kasino or Offizierkasino). Much like the UHG, the Kasino also has a constitution, bylaws and a board. Gentlemanly conduct is mandatory: for instance upon entering the main hall, officers are expected to stand at attention and perform a small bow. Additionally, veterans' meetings are usually held either in a UHG or in a Kasino. As with the UHG, Kasinos have permanent personnel, as a general rule enlisted men, called Ordonnanzen, a military term for waiter or barman. Some Kasinos have grand pianos, and hold recitals, as well as having music played during luncheons or dinners. Official events such as balls and unofficial events such as weddings, informational events and the like, are held here.
The German Navy call their messes Messen, with the distinction Offiziermesse. The land-based messes are also called Offiziermessen.
The Indian Army follows a system similar to the British. A typical regiment/unit would have one mess and two clubs, one for the commissioned officers, club for the Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and one for the NCOs. Havildars/Daffadars (equivalent to Sergeants) are considered to be NCOs. The Air Force, however has an SNCO (Sr. NCO) mess for Warrant Officers and sergeants, while lower-ranking NCOs would be members of the NCO's mess.
In the officer's mess and the JCO's club, there also is rank of Mess Havildar. A Mess Havildar is a senior NCO who manages and executes the day-to-day activities of the mess/club.
On Republic Day (Jan 26) the JCOs are formally invited for cocktails at the Officers mess. This is reciprocated on Independence Day (Aug 15) by the JCOs at the JCOs Club.
In the Israeli Navy, although Hebrew speaking, dining rooms on the Missile Ships, Dolphin submarines, and the kitchen in the Patrol Boats are named Messes, Crew Mess and Officers' Mess. Also, every special meal brought by a crewmember, say celebrating a birthday or a rank promotion, is called Mess.
On a naval or military establishment there are usually two or three Messes:
Officers and SNCOs are required under Queen's Regulations to be a member of a messand unmarried members usually live, eat, and socialise in them. The JNCOs mess if established is normally used for socialising only, JNCOs usually being accommodated in barrack blocks eating in the cookhouse alongside private soldiers and able rates. Depending on circumstance, such as lack of finance or space, some regiments may have a JNCO "club" instead of a proper mess. Members of their mess are also required to pay a subscription fee for supplies and upkeep. The amount is decided upon by the commanding officer within the limits stipulated by the Regulations.
Soldiers, sailors or air personnel are welcome in any Mess for their rank or equivalent, should they be away from their home unit, as long as they are paying dues in at least one mess[ citation needed ]. For the Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess the highest ranking (normally the RSM) member is known as the Presiding Member.
A Mess is run by the Mess Committee, a group democratically elected by the members of the Mess (except Wardrooms), but normally agreed by the CO or RSM.
Some messes also have a Senior Living-In Member (SLIM) who represents the living-in members and supervises their conduct.
The Commanding Officer (CO) of the unit has right of veto over the mess, and any changes or events must have his approval. The CO is allowed into any Mess (because they are legally all his), but it is often considered an abuse of power, unbecoming conduct or disturbing the order for a CO to drink in a lower rank mess[ citation needed ], except when invited on special occasions.
The Officers' Mess in a Royal Navy ship or base is called the Wardroom. Associated with the Wardoom is a Gunroom, the mess for Midshipmen and occasionally junior Sub-Lieutenants. The Captain of a vessel is not normally a member of the Wardroom, which is always run by the first lieutenant or Executive Officer (XO), thereby known as the Mess President ("Mess Prez"). This post is part of the job of being a ship's XO. Other committee members are generally appointed (voluntarily or otherwise) by the XO.
Mess dress is the military term for the formal evening dress worn in the mess or at other formal occasions. It is also known as mess kit. Mess dress would be worn at occasions requiring white tie or black tie.
In the United States Army, officers historically have had to purchase their own food using funds allocated to each officer. In the far-flung forts of the American Old West, officers would organize their food service in two ways:
The mess now is called a dining facility or Dining Facilities Administration Center (DFAC). The Officers' Club ("O Club") is an outgrowth comparable to the Officers' Open Mess, but also providing areas to allow officers to entertain guests. A similar version for enlisted personnel is the "E Club". Mess also describes the formal affair of having a "dining in", held for military members and closed to the public, or a "dining out", a social event for military personnel and their families.
For much of the 20th century the Army's mess food selection was spartan, but after the end of the draft they changed to a food court model with more variety including fast food, while also making fast food franchises available on bases. In 2011, the Army rolled out a program known as "Soldier Athlete" which promotes healthier foods including low-fat milk, whole grains, and veggie wraps.
At most United States Navy shore installations, Galleys (previously called Enlisted Dining Facilities in the 1970s and early 1980s) provide messing for sailors (and, if assigned, enlisted Marines) ashore and as an option for sailors (and, if assigned, enlisted Marines) aboard ships while in port at those installations. Commissioned officers may use these facilities if in a "duty officer" status (e.g., squadron duty officer, command duty officer, etc.) under the pretext of "inspecting/sampling" the mess.
In addition to Galleys ashore, various social clubs with dining facilities may also exist. These are Enlisted Clubs for sailors in the grade of Petty Officer First Class (E-6) and below; Chief Petty Officer Clubs for CPOs (E-7), SCPOs (E-8) and MCPOs (E-9); and Officers' Clubs for commissioned officers, although many have been closed, merged into combination Enlisted/CPO Clubs, or converted into "all hands" enlisted and officer facilities. Such changes began to be imposed following the congressionally-mandated end of DoD budgetary subsidies for all such clubs in the 1990s and the subsequent need for these clubs to be financially self-sufficient.Further impacting the club system ashore for the Navy is the fact that most naval units deploy for extended periods (e.g., 6 to 10 months) on a regular basis with, especially for shipboard personnel, requiring for senior enlisted personnel and commissioned officers to maintain concurrent membership in a ship's CPO Mess or officers' wardroom, respectively.
At sea aboard naval vessels, messing is still separate, with E-6 and below utilizing the ship's mess decks, E-7 through E-9 utilizing the ship's CPO Mess, and commissioned officers being part of the wardroom. Certain large vessels (e.g., aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships) may also include a First Class Mess for E-6, typically a separate dining area adjacent to the mess decks. This is considered a chance for future CPOs to learn how to be a part of a mess before they enter the CPO Mess, often called by the sobriquet of "goat locker." Enlisted personnel normally receive all meals at what appears to be no cost, but in fact subsidize their meals through forfeiture of their Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), also called "commuted rations," although Chief Petty Officers may also have a mess "buy in" and/or monthly mess bill equivalent to the BAS. For those ships with embarked Marine Corps personnel, staff noncommissioned officers in the grades of E-7, E-8 and E-9 will also be part of the CPO Mess. Commissioned Officers retain their BAS, a flat-rate allowance much smaller than the graduated by rank amount paid out to enlisted personnel; however, they must pay for all of their meals while afloat out of pocket. This usually entails a mess "buy in" as a member of the officers' mess and will typically have either a monthly mess bill or will purchase meals via some sort of debit card. In one instance onboard the USS FD Roosevelt there was a Marine staff sergeant who ate in the Chief's mess. The story was that the SSGT convinced the command that since E6 and above are staff he should be eligible since in the Navy Chiefs and above are staff.
Social clubs on United States Air Force installations were at one time called Open Messes, even though most were known in vernacular as Officers Clubs or NCO clubs. Those for officers were able to utilize their initials as colorful acronyms, among the more well-known of which in the 1960s and 1970s were Zaragosa and Zweibrücken (ZOOM), Danang (DOOM), Ramstein (ROOM), and Korat Air Bases or Kirtland Air Force Base (KABOOM), Randolph AFB (Auger Inn) and Nellis AFB (Robin's Nest), with the nicknames usually ascribed to those facilities' casual bars versus the entire club.
At one time, each squadron had its club, and some flying squadrons continue to maintain a bar in the squadron facilities for officer and enlisted aircrew to this day, but most disappeared after World War II and the various Airmen's Clubs, Senior NCO Clubs and Officers' Clubs became facilities of a base rather than a unit. Most are now officially referred to as officer or enlisted clubs; the term "mess" or "officers' open mess" having largely disappeared from the Air Force lexicon. Though a few bases (usually major training bases) have separate Airmen's Clubs for junior enlisted and NCO Clubs for noncommissioned officers, this is no longer normally the case. Physically separate Officers' Clubs still exist at some installations; however, smaller Air Force installations may have one consolidated club with separate lounges. Membership is voluntary, though highly encouraged for senior NCOs and officers. Most NCO and Officers Clubs contain a sit-down restaurant in addition to social lounges, meeting/dining rooms, and bars.
Mess halls in the USAF, where unmarried junior enlisted residing in the dormitories are expected to eat, are officially referred to as "dining facilities," but are colloquially called "chow halls," although dining facility workers traditionally take offense at the term.
In the United States Marine Corps, enlisted dining facilities ashore are commonly referred to as 'galleys' or 'chow halls.' When embarked aboard naval vessels, enlisted Marines and NCOs in the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6) and below will use the same mess decks as sailors in the grade of Petty Officer First Class (E-6) and below, while Staff NCOs in the rank of Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) and above will take meals in the Chief Petty Officers (CPO) Mess. Separate enlisted, NCO and officers clubs continue to exist at Marine Corps shore installations, following the Navy model of enlisted, CPO and officers clubs.
Marine Clubs have also been in decline. According to an article by USA Today:
The United States Coast Guard follows the US Navy model in terms of messing facilities afloat and ashore in terms of the demarcation of galleys for E-6 and below, CPO Messes for E-7 through E-9, and wardrooms for commissioned officers. The only exception is that, given its small size, there are very few Coast Guard clubs aboard Coast Guard installations and those that do exist are typically "all hands" facilities (e.g., "Redtail Lounge" at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater).
Warrant officer (WO) is a rank or category of ranks in the armed forces of many countries. Depending on the service and/or historical context, some WOs are classified as the most junior of the commissioned ranks, the most senior of the NCO ranks or in a separate category of their own. However, warrant officer ranks are always senior to non-commissioned officer (NCO) ranks and subordinate to commissioned officer ranks. WO ranks are especially prominent in the militaries of Commonwealth nations and the United States.
Military ranks or Military leadership are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. The military rank system defines dominance, authority, and responsibility in a military hierarchy. It incorporates the principles of exercising power and authority into the military chain of command – the succession of commanders superior to subordinates through which command is exercised. The military chain of command constructs an important component for organized collective action.
Regimental sergeant major (RSM) is an appointment that may be held by warrant officers class 1 (WO1) in the British Army, the British Royal Marines and in the armies of many Commonwealth and former Commonwealth nations, including Australia, Kenya and New Zealand. It is also an appointment that may be held by chief warrant officers (CWO) in the Canadian Forces and warrant officers of any grade in the Singapore Armed Forces, and is a rank in itself in the Irish Defence Forces and formerly in the British Army, Royal Marines and United States Army. Only one warrant officer holds the appointment of RSM in a regiment or battalion, making him the senior warrant officer; in a unit with more than one WO1, the RSM is considered to be "first amongst equals". The RSM is primarily responsible for maintaining standards and discipline and acts as a parental figure to their subordinates and also to junior officers, even though they technically outrank the RSM.
A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. In contrast, commissioned officers usually enter direct from a military academy, and are often expected to have a university degree.
Sergeant is a rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, serjeant, is used in The Rifles and other units that draw their heritage from the British Light Infantry. Its origin is the Latin serviens, 'one who serves', through the French term sergent.
Sergeant major is a senior non-commissioned rank or appointment in many militaries around the world. In Commonwealth countries, the various degrees of sergeant major are appointments held by warrant officers. In the United States, there are also various grades of sergeant major, all of the same pay grade of E-9; however, the Sergeant Major of the Army and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, as their respective service's Senior Enlisted Advisor, receive a special rate of basic pay that is higher than all other sergeants major.
A petty officer (PO) is a non-commissioned officer in many navies and is given the NATO rank denotion OR-5 or OR-6. In many nations, they are typically equal to a corporal or sergeant in comparison to other military branches. Often they may be superior to a seaman, generally the lowest ranks in a navy, and subordinate to a more senior non-commissioned officer, such as a chief petty officer.
Petty officer first class (PO1) is a rank found in some navies and maritime organizations. It is the sixth enlisted rate in the United States Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, ranking just above petty officer second class and directly below chief petty officer. It is designated as non-commissioned officer, as are all petty officer ratings. It is equivalent to the rank of staff sergeant in the Army and Marine Corps, and technical sergeant in the Air Force. They are all ranked E-6, which refers to the enlisted numbering system associated with pay grades.
The wardroom is the mess cabin or compartment for commissioned naval officers above the rank of midshipman. Although the term typically applies to officers in a navy, it is also applicable to marine officers and coast guard officers in those nations that have such service branches. Typically the mess compartment aboard a naval or coast guard vessel, and on larger vessels, such as aircraft carriers of the U.S. Navy, there may be more than one wardroom. It may also be used to refer to similar officer mess facilities at naval, marine, and coast guard installations ashore.
Chief warrant officer is a military rank used by the United States Armed Forces, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Pakistan Air Force, the Israel Defense Forces, the South African National Defence Force, the Lebanese Armed Forces and, since 2012, the Singapore Armed Forces. In the United States Armed Forces, chief warrant officers are commissioned officers, not non-commissioned officers (NCOs) like in other NATO forces.
Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) is a term used for a group of military personnel which is higher than havlidars and lower than lieutenants; this term is only used by India and Pakistan. Senior havildars are promoted to JCO rank on the basis of merit and seniority, restricted by the number of vacancies. JCOs are treated as a separate class and hold many privileges. With good pay and privileges, it is an ambition of most enlisted men to attain such rank. Primarily the term was associated with armies but since 2000s India and Pakistan's navies and forces are using the term to indicate their Chief Petty Officers and Warrant Officers. The British Indian Army recruited Gurkha soldiers from Nepal since the 19th century and separate Gurkha Regiments were created for them, the Gurkha soldiers got same ranks as other Indian soldiers; the modern Nepal Army officially made the Indian Army rank system for their soldiers in 1960s through a series of reorganizations and the 'JCO' term is being used by them from then.
Chief petty officer, 2nd class, AKACPO2, is a Naval non-commissioned member rank of the Canadian Forces. It is senior to the rank of petty officer 1st-class and its equivalents, and junior to chief petty officer 1st-class and its equivalents. Its Army and Air Force equivalent is master warrant officer (MWO), and is part of the cadre of warrant officers.
Chief petty officer, 1st class, AKACPO1, is the most senior non-commissioned member (NCM) rank of the Royal Canadian Navy. It is equivalent to a chief warrant officer (CWO) in the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force. It is immediately senior to the rank of chief petty officer 2nd-class and its equivalents, master warrant officer; it is part of the cadre of warrant officers.
Master warrant officer (MWO) is a senior military rank in the Bangladesh Armed Forces,the Canadian Forces, Singapore Armed Forces, the South African National Defence Force and the Israel Defense Forces.
This is a list of British Royal Navy ratings rank insignia.
A warrant officer (WO) in the British Armed Forces is a member of the highest group of non-commissioned ranks, holding the Queen's warrant, which is signed by the Secretary of State for Defence. Warrant officers are not saluted as they do not hold the Queen's Commission, however they are to be addressed as 'Sir/Ma'am' by subordinates. Commissioned officers may address warrant officers either by their appointment or as "Mister", "Mrs", or "Ms" and then their last name, e.g. "Mr Smith". Although often referred to along with non-commissioned officers (NCOs), they are not NCOs, but members of a separate group, although all have been promoted from NCO rank.
Chief petty officer (CPO) is the seventh enlisted rate in the United States Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above petty officer first class and below senior chief petty officer. The grade of chief petty officer was established on 1 April 1893 for the United States Navy. The United States Congress first authorized the Coast Guard to use the promotion to chief petty officer on 18 May 1920. Chief petty officer is also the final cadet grade in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority.
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