Posted on Jan 12, 2021
MSG Darren Gaddy
14K
872
184
57
57
0
This is a question that I've heard brought a few times. Let's say I'm an instructor at a given military installation and I happen to instruct new officers, many of which were prior military, (has no bearing on this question). In the past when they (new officers 2LT - CPT) arrived they were assigned meal cards, however with Covid, they now receive BAS. The kicker is that they cannot leave the installation, so they mostly all eat in the DFAC. This is also a training installation so Drill Sergeants have large groups of Soldiers in lines most meals. When is it acceptable for someone to skip past the AIT Soldiers being that only an hour is allowed for lunch? Should they ask the Drills if they can skip? I would submit that it's not really acceptable, but I don't believe there is a black and white answer for this. This is just meant as a point of discussion. Thanks for your feedback. R,
Avatar_feed
Responses: 121
SFC Senior Brigade Career Counselor
62
62
0
I think it's completely unacceptable. Allowing one group to skip the line reinforces the idea to that group that they are special, or exempt. That attitude gets brought to the platoon as a new Lieutenant, and that kind of attitude is a bad attitude for a new LT. I've met more than a few LTs who came to their platoon with that sense of entitlement and their Soldiers hated them. Lieutenants should eat in line, preferably after their own Soldiers, just like their PSGs do. I've seen plenty of Battalion Commanders, Brigade Commanders, and Company Commanders get in the back of the line and wait their turn. In my mind, if my leaders can stand in line, I can too.
(62)
Comment
(0)
MSgt Robert Bell
MSgt Robert Bell
2 mo
Got to take care of our Docs
(4)
Reply
(0)
CPT Allen Saum
CPT Allen Saum
2 mo
As a young Armored Cavalry officer, I was taught early (actually by my father, a retired LTC Armor officer) that horses eat first, troops second, officers last. I lived by that through my military career and later as an officer in a fire department for 23 years. If your horses aren't fed, you can't get to the battle......if the troops aren't fed, they don't have the energy to fight, and if the officers aren't fed, they should still have the energy to command!
(4)
Reply
(0)
SSG Timothy Lanham
SSG Timothy Lanham
1 mo
Nothing to do with chow but the same sense of entitlement. I was the unit (HHC MP Bde) drug and alcohol NCO. One time during the monthly 10% urinalysis the Bde Cdr and XO (he wanted to be called deputy commander) were selected to pee in a bottle. The Commander came in presented his ID card , did what he needed to do and left. A short time later enter the XO. He did not want to present his ID. I told him I would need his dog tags, driver license and somebody to verify who he was. (Per what I was supposed to do when that situation presented itself with any body). The XO got pissed off that he was being treated like a soldier and demanded that I take him at his word that he was who he said he was. ( I Knew he was the LTC/Bde XO) I informed him that my integrity was the only thing I had and I was not going to give it up for him or any body else. He left. He talked to the company commander. She talked to me. I mentioned my integrity again and informed her it might be a good idea to get a new UADAPCP NCO. XO thought he was going to punish me by making me and an observer go to his office to get the test. (Yes he presented his ID).
(3)
Reply
(0)
SGT Thomas Seward
SGT Thomas Seward
1 mo
I’ve been out of the Army for over 15 years, but I made sure that my men went before me up until the day that I retired as a manager in the oilfield.
(1)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
CWO3 Us Marine
46
46
0
Is there not a line for O/SNCOs? As an unwritten rule, the troops always eat first. No seconds until everyone has eaten.
(46)
Comment
(0)
MAJ Matthew Arnold
MAJ Matthew Arnold
3 mo
I remember a long time ago, probably in the late 70s, while visiting Camp Pendelton or maybe El Torro NAS, for a reason I no longer remember, I went into a mess hall and was surprised to find that it was all divided up with different lines and different eating areas all according to rank. There was a field grade officers only table, company grade officer only tables, senior NCO tables, junior NCO tables, and enlisted tables. There was half wall dividers separating the areas. It was the most rank segregated dining hall I had ever seen. I even got yelled at by a Mess Hall NCO when I crossed the line into the field grade officers area to talk to my BN CDR. I never saw anything like it in the army.
(8)
Reply
(0)
CWO3 Us Marine
CWO3 (Join to see)
3 mo
MAJ Matthew Arnold - Sounds right. Might have been a chance for quiet talk between a Company Grade Officer and a Mess Sergeant. It never got that extreme, but I didn't head west till 87. Gatherings of seniors at mess hall were the exception rather than the rule. They did schedule unit events over breakfast, but rarely. Different PT regimens and lifestyle. There were early birds and folks in training cycles. Folks on duty, the men in barracks, leaders. For each of them someone was breaking out rations somewhere.
(3)
Reply
(0)
CW3 Uas Officer
CW3 (Join to see)
2 mo
At WOC most of the class is line outside the DFAC under an awning. The student in charge of keeping the line moving will have the non WOCs go to the end of line in the DFAC effectively skipping the WOCs still waiting outside. This seems appropriate as it would be inappropriate to be in the their quasi-formation under the awning and soldiers of any rank are moved ahead.

Sometimes an additional WOC inside will have the non WOCs move up to where you get the tray and silverware.

So I'd say that in the case where a DFAC is primary used for a large formation it would not be inappropriate to have a policy to allow for those not part of that formation to move further up.
(2)
Reply
(0)
SSG Timothy Lanham
SSG Timothy Lanham
1 mo
MAJ Matthew Arnold - I was a PFC when the Div CDR came in DFac one time. When the CPTs and 1Sg saw him they started to move over to make room for him at their table. He looked around and saw an empty chair at the table where I was sitting at. That is where ha sat. He told us to sit down before we could stand up. He talked to us like he was our squad leader or lower enlisted.
(3)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
LTC Jason Mackay
43
43
0
Skipping the line is bad optics, it's tough to sell the operational need. Personal recommendation: with officer students, you can make some deals with them and work to adjust the before and after class time a little to maybe get them to the DFAC before the AIT students get there so as soon as the serving starts they are in front. They can eat and be gone. There are also likely far fewer officer students than AIT students.m
(43)
Comment
(0)
CWO2 Network Operations and Systems Officer
CWO2 (Join to see)
2 mo
It is bad optics, Sir, agreed. The only time I can recall skipping a line (NCO/SNCO/Officer) was retuning gear or weapons where I had a no szzt meeting or OpSynch I had to be at. Chow? Does not count. I can also understand pushing a platoon to the front with a legit training exercise and/or time requirement, but it would normally be case by case. Funny, I was night shift on Sun-Tues and every other Wed, 1800-0600 a few years back. My favorite barber had the 'Officers in uniform have head of line here' sign. He was the shift SWO, I was the Senior Watch Officers second, and was always there at the MCX early for our initial weekly shift, and he would always show up just before I was about to mount the chair. I was always earlier, to make shift and always in civies and change over at work. She would always pull him before me as he was in uniform. It was a kind of joke between Tom and I. One Sunday I showed up in uniform with my CWO bars, and she said "Ohh, I didn't know you were officer". He showed up right about then with his Captain bars, which confused her. She asked me who was senior, and I pointed to him. (He was my boss, after all). He got the chair before me. Again. But that's just how some things work, and it was funny. If it came down to the very last plate of chow with no one left, we would have spit it. Miss that guy.

Edit: meant SPLIT IT! Spit it would be Gross, a waste of chow, and piss off DFAC personnel. Annd we would have been hungry...
(3)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close