138th Combat Dining In builds unit camaraderie and promotes esprit de corps

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Preston Chasteen
  • 138th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Upon the conclusion of Saturday's unit training assembly August 1, 2015, the 138th Fighter Wing Senior Non-Commissioned Officers Council sponsored a Combat Dining In.

Guardsmen of all ranks and ages from nearly every organization on base donned their wacky uniforms, filled up their water balloons and super soakers and gathered to participate in the festive event.

Traditions were adhered to with formal toast, the president of the mess offered a message and established the rules of the mess.

"The folks that attended had a blast, I wish more would have participated, so everyone could have enjoyed the event," stated Chief Master Sergeant Tom Payne, 138th Fighter Wing Command Chief. 

"Our intent was to help to build esprit de corps among the ranks all over base.  There's a great deal of camaraderie within individual units, and we wanted to create an opportunity for that to better spread across unit lines throughout the wing," said Master Sergeant Kathryn Brown, 138th SNCO Council Vice President.    "We just wanted to have an event with little formality that everyone could attend and have fun, and what better way to do that than a free for all water fight."

Prizes were given for the best female and male wardrobe.  Master Sergeant Shanell Woodson, 138th Maintenance Squadron, won a $50 prize for best female, while Master Sergeant Michael Maloy was awarded a $50 prize for best male.  Additionally, some $25 door prizes were handed out periodically over the course of the event.

"This was actually my 3rd combat dining in, and anyone who missed this event missed a time to really let loose with their brothers in arms and enjoy each other for the warriors that we really are," said MSgt Jason Stockinger, 138th Communications Flight.

Combat dining-ins have become increasingly popular over the years with far less formality than traditional dining-ins.  Although the format and sequence roughly resembles a traditional event, the program is at the discretion of the planning committee with no standard rule or protocol.