Dining In 2015

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Seneca Battalion Cadre all drink from the Grog during Dining In 2015.

Every year towards the end of the fall semester, Seneca Battalion holds a formal dinner on a Friday night geared towards celebrating Army Tradition and enjoying the camaraderie between soldiers. Known as Dining In, this tradition dates back to the first days of the Army. Members attending the mess must abide by a certain set of rules, overseen by Mr. Vice, an MSIV. Cadre members as well as cadets in Battalion leadership sit at the head table and each class sits together.

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The Grog, after every MS IV had added their signature ingredient

Once the mess was declared open, the punch bowl ceremony was conducted by MS I cadets. A different cadet added each ingredient to the punch, giving a short speech as to the significance of that ingredient. Every person in the mess got to taste the punch before the MS IV’s added their contributions – anything edible, with a reasonable explanation, was allowed to be mixed into the punch to create a concoction so foul that the serving staff would not venture near it. This sludge is known as the Grog, and it is possibly the foulest liquid that one will drink in the Army.

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The Grog, after every MS IV had added their signature ingredient

The rules of the mess are printed and placed on every table in the mess; once the mess is declared open, the rules are all-encompassing. Mr. Vice is solely responsible for ensuring all order and discipline are maintained. If these rules are broken, Mr Vice will decide the punishment – which is drinking a canteen cup full of the Grog.

After the Grog is made, dinner is served, during which all proper decorum must also be maintained. After Dinner and deserts, the skits are presented.

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CDT Barnhart prepares to present the MSIV skit

Seneca Battalion has put its own spin on the tradition and has every MS class make a skit to present to the rest of the mess. In recent years these skits have turned into videos for which the rules are simple; members of the Battalion may only make fun of those higher than themselves. For example, MS I cadets can make fun of MS II, MS III, MS IV cadets and cadre. These skits are a source of hilarity and very important boost in morale that are often talked about for the rest of the semester.

The night lasted roughly four hours and was closed as it had begun. Many cadets left laughing at the skits they had witnessed, enjoying their fellow cadets’ interpretations of themselves.

With the final major event of the semester now complete, cadets will focus on their studies, preparing for final exams and the holidays.

A full set of pictures from Dining In 2015 can be found on this blog.

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