June 29, 2012

912 ARS hosts Combat Dining-In

by Megan Crusher
452 AMW public affairs
Combat Dining 4
Tech. Sgt. Crystal Goff, Senior Master Sgt. Eric Butt, Staff Sgt. Daniel Garcia and Staff Sgt. Sara Luna, all members of the 912 ARS, are prepped and ready for the start of the 912th ARS’s Combat Dining-In, held in Hangar 2306, June 15.  Luna, Butt, and Goff were all members of the planning committee that organized the festivities.  (U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher)

The 912th Air Refueling Squadron held an old fashioned combat dining-in, which was opened to all members of the 452 Air Mobility Wing, held in hangar 2306, at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., June 15.

The Air Force dining-in custom began in the 1930s with General H. ‘Hap’ Arnold’s “wing-dings” and were not only an important part of our service’s heritage, but a great way to foster unit morale and esprit de corps,” explained Lt. Col, Brice Middleton, commander, 912 ARS.

The non-alcoholic grog was a concoction of beverages that ranged from water and Kool-Aid to energy drinks with cereal and marshmallows as an added bonus, during the 912th ARS’s Combat Dining-In, held in Hangar 2306, June 15. Each section in the 912th provided the contents of the grog and members called before the head table had to drink from the grog using a plunger to pour the contents into their cup. (U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher)

The planning committee consisted of 912th troops, who decorated the hangar in a camouflage-theme and created an obstacle course. Airmen had to run through the course when called before the head table to sample the grogs, which were a creative mixture of beverages, cereal, marshmallows, pop rocks and a few other unidentifiable items.“The 912th leadership wanted to promote Air Force heritage with some of our younger troops, many who have never been to a dining-in or dining-out, and we thought it was fitting to bring a custom started by General Hap Arnold back to March ARB. Unlike the more formal dining-ins, combat dining-ins are similar in format and sequence of events, but are far less formal in atmosphere and dress requirement. The evenings events are limited only by the imagination of the planning committee,” continued Middleton.

Attendees went all out in their attire, dressing up as if it were Halloween, wearing face paint and carrying water guns, that often erupted in all-out water fights. Other improvised weapons were also thrown into the mix, making it quite an evening.

After all the festivities, attendees gathered as a team to clean up the entire hangar.

“The inaugural 912th ARS combat dining-in, hosted by Brig. Gen. Karl McGregor, was a great success and plans are already in the works to make next year’s bigger and even better,” said Middleton.

The event was coordinated by members of the 912 ARS: Staff Sgt. Sara Luna, Chief Master Sgt. Shawn O’Gorman, Senior Master Sgt. Eric Butt, Master Sgt. Deborah Hofstra, Master Sgt. Philip Pettaway, Tech. Sgt. Dustin Clocherty, Tech. Sgt. Daniel Donivan, Tech. Sgt. Crystal Goff and Staff Sgt. Jonathan Flynn.

Brig. Gen. Karl McGregor was the guest speaker during the 912th ARS’s combat dining-in and prior to the start he helped off-load supplies for the event, held in Hangar 2306, June 15. McGregor even participated in the water fights and drank from the grog. (U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher)

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