Officers' mess night secures traditions for present, future Marines
By Cpl. Joshua Bozeman
| | June 5, 2002
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Only in the atmosphere of camaraderie and esprit de corps found at a Marine Corps mess night are officers forced to sing "Macho Man" or to pay fines for a bad haircut and an extremely wordy email. But such was the case Friday evening at the Officers' Club.
The officers were clothed in dress uniforms adorned with medals and ribbons procured through years of work and dedication. As Brig. Gen. Richard S. Kramlich, Marine Corps Logistics Bases commander and president of the mess, said later that evening, the night was a time for the officers to enjoy the traditions of the Marine Corps and look around at its future.
The evening began with a member of the mess staff bringing the beef for the president to test, and continued with the lighting of the smoking lamp.
Kramlich emphasized the importance of the values and traditions of the Corps and knowing the Marines responsible for holding those standards ? and for keeping them straight.
Col. Charles V. Mugno, the base commanding officer, was the guest speaker for the event. He spoke on the power and state of mind that comes with being a Marine.
Once the speeches ended, the toasting began.
"To those who fought for freedom they never knew," proclaimed one of the guests.
When the toasting was done, the president opened the floor for fining. The seriousness of the toasting gave way to smiles and the tradition turned to camaraderie as the vice president of the mess read the many counts of witty reasons for officers to be fined. The basket to hold the money, which was empty at the beginning of the night, was soon overflowing as one by one officers were found or pleaded guilty to a variety of harmless acts for which they were fined.
Though the Marine Corps is in a constant state of change, many of its timeless traditions ensure the ties between the past, present and future are steadfast and secure.