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. â€˜Hapâ€™ Arnoldâ€™s â€œwing-dingsâ€ and were not only an important part of our serviceâ€™s heritage, but a great way to foster unit morale and esprit de corps,â€ explained Lt. Col, Brice Middleton, commander, 912 ARS.
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.â€œThe 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,â€ 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.
â€œThe 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 yearâ€™s bigger and even better,â€ said Middleton.
The event was coordinated by members of the 912 ARS: Staff Sgt. Sara Luna, Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Oâ€™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.