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Thread: Mess Secretary

  1. #1
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    Default Mess Secretary

    Hi all,

    can anybody give me some explanation about this function? I suppose it has nothing to do with the military part of RAF - I suppose he was doing some kind of administrative work in the Officer's Mess at the airfield.

    I also suppose that this function was no the full-time job that it was done by airmen who was normally acting in common flying/ground duties?

    Many thanks in advance for explanation.

    Pavel

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    Pavel,
    The Mess Sec (either aircrew or not) was often appointed against his will!! The Mess Sec was in charge of the airman/airwomen, and civilians, who actually made the Mess work on a day-to-day basis. It was not, you might understand, a Secondary Duty that was eargerly sought after!!
    On the other hand, you might find that some WW2 Courts Martial were involved with Mess Sec duties!!
    Having been a Temporary, Local, Acting, Assitant, Mess Sec for an RAF Unit embarked on a civilian ship (STUFT - Ships Taken Up From Trade) in the Falklands Unpleasantness I can tell you that the ability not to conform to the Letter Of The Law is not too difficult.
    Sorry, Pavel, to use double, or triple, negatives in the English language (which I know is not your native tongue) but one must be careful not to paint all Mess Secs as Thieves & Rogues. Some produced miracles out of nothing!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 6th April 2008 at 17:27.

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    Pavel,

    Just to put the issue into context, each Mess (Officers, Sgts, Cpls - it matters not) has a Mess Committee made up of members of that Mess. As already highlighted, the Mess Committee was/is made up of folks who are persuaded that such a secondary duty is good for their careers! The Mess Committee would also probably include a President, Entertainments member, food member, property member etc - in fact any role or function that they wanted. A Mess would hold regular Mess meetings (usually a three line whip for all Mess members), where items requiring a decision would be voted upon by the whole Mess. The President (or 'Chairman' in the Sgt's Mess) would chair and the Mess Secretary would take the minutes, prep the agenda, despatch correspondence etc. Each position would be held for a perscribed length of time (nowadays its for 12 months).

    Certainly when I was on the Mess Committee at RAF Kinloss, no member ever had any command responsibility for personnel working in the Mess. That was up to the chain of command, e.g. OC Catering or the WO IC for the chefs/cooks etc. I will, however, defer to Peter on that one.

    Rgds

    Jonny

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    Chaps many thanks for your explanations!

    Pavel

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