Last night was the Randolph Composite Squadron Dining-Out. Dining In's and Dining Out's are a military tradition. They are fun, relaxing time for bonding and camaraderie although they are still dictated by very specific military rules and traditions.
There are many, many toasts. The most meaningful is the POW toast that is a silent toast made with water. A lone table is set for a sympbolic POW.
Then you have the grog..... Grog is a vile conconction of nasty stuff meant as a punishment. After declaring a point of order any guest can call out another guest for an infraction of the Rules of the Mess but it must be in rhyme, there can be a rebuttal but it must also be in rhyme. This results in lots of laughter and people (mostly cadets and some senior members) drinking, at this dining-out, a grog of pineapple juice, beanie-weenies, animal crackers and something else I cannot recall. After a while it became apparent that the grog wasn't bad enough so the Vice-President of the Mess started getting creative. The best was when the cadet staff of Randolph (including Jack) had to do the can-can, while singing YMCA and imitating John Wayne.
On a more serious note the guest speaker, a retired colonel with an incredible career, gave an excellent speech about perseverence and serving others. The last item on the agenda was a bit of a surprise but something wonderful to witness. C/Lt. Col Castriatta recieved his appointment to the US Air Force Academy. Castriatta is a wonderful young man, who has done a lot to help Jack and many other cadets and I wish him well on his career in the Air Force.
"To the class of 2013!!"
Rules of the Mess tro be posted later.