Dining-in night

As an officer without no5s or no1s what would be acceptable dress at dining in night I presume same as cadets? But what about headress and outdoor wear

If you don’t have No 5’s or No 1’s (which you would wear as No 4’s) then Civilian Dinner Jacket would be the next down the pecking order.


Unless the PMC decides the non-uniformed dress code.

Running shorts, flip-flops and unit t-shirt - with sidies and longer, scruffier hair than the Daily Heil might think appropriate.

1 Like

I know someone who walked into a dining in night, went to the bar and asked for x pints of lager. He was longish haired in jeans T shirt and line boots. When someone asked him who he was, just said xxx Squadron special forces flight. Oh right ok was the reply.

Nobody had heard the aircraft slip quietly over the fence in the dark and park up, with some other long haired people on board.

I always found that putting my feet on the table and calling people ‘mate’ or ‘sport’ was the key to starting any conversations on the right note.

Being congenitally scruffy has always helped - people are so shocked by my appearance that they never get around to my incompetence.


As usual, standard div replys TSR 2 has left the building.

Given that your contributions to this forum consist entirely of bone questions - often without bothering with a question mark - and then not bothering to say thanks for the replies you get, or offer any help to anyone else who asks a question, it’s no loss.

What does the dressing up dress code add to the eating of the meal?

I know some will say that it’s a ‘military tradition’, but how does that affect us?

Why wouldn’t one of these events be done “come dressed as you are”?

Because, as most things seem to be these days, “that’s just how it is”

Because it’s not McDonalds.


I thing many dining-in nights would be greatly improved if they were drive-through!


I can walk into a pub within 5 miles of my house - that’s owned by a chef who previously held a Michelin star - in the devils cloth and a t-shirt. The food will be of a far higher standard than that served in any Mess ever, and I won’t be expected to make small talk with people I have no interest in talking to or follow ridiculous and useless traditions that no one who has ever been touched by a woman would care less about.

1 Like

I love a good mess night …

1 Like

Nobody is forcing you to are they?

The exact reason my wife enjoys mess nights is so she CAN dress up, much the same as people enjoy dressing up for evening meals on a cruise ship.

Fortunately, we have discovered that there are, in fact, other places we can go should we want to go out for a fancy date night - we recently had a 24 break in Shrewsbury sans children: we got dressed up, we had dinner at a place that doesn’t sell chicken nuggets, we went to the theatre, we mooched through the pubs and did our Bible studies (twice) when we got back to our very nice hotel.

At no stage did I find myself having to make small talk with the utter throbber, my wife didn’t have to pretend to be interested in anything or anyone she has no interest in, and neither of us had to sit with a full bladder or pass our wine in a particular direction.

It was great - you should try it.


I know it’s great as I have tried it more times than I care to remember. You’re assuming that I have no choice in the matter. If I wish to have a night out in jeans and then stay in an expensive hotel I can.

It’s also my choice to put on No5’s and have a very cheap night in the mess. And get this - I only have to speak to people I want to and I can even decide when I want to leave.


I have no real issue with people who get a kick out of donning their dining pyjamas and being forced to hold in their pee until some nob decides it is time for a break. No kink-shaming here!

I do have an issue when that is the only sort of gig that is on offer and those for whom the guff, nonsense and expense of a military-themed formal night holds no appeal, are excluded.

1 Like

I hear lots of people complain that the only cadet orientated socials are those that involve No5’s and the whole Shabang, suprisingly none of those people ever seem organised an alternative.


I dont mind the occasional Sqn based Dining In, but as I have never bothered with No5 and think interim mess dress looks bloody awful, not to mention No1 Jackets are so not designed to be sat down in (or just my size!), I go with the black tie option.

Sqn ones are OK, it gives the kids a taste of the occasion without being too stuffy. Not that keen on more formal do’s for the stuffy, stilted chat needed, nor the ever so quickly drunk persons who cant moderate volume.

Now Summer/Winter ball occasions at bases, they can be a right laugh if going with regulars as no-one takes their status too seriously.

1 Like