HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii --
The 17th Operational Weather Squadron held a Combat Dining-In at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii on Sept. 16 with their naval counterparts from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
The Combat Dining-In is an informal event where military members get together in a relaxed environment and build esprit-de-corps and camaraderie.
The concept of the dining-in, is a tradition in all branches of the United States armed services. However, its origins hail from pre-Christian Roman legions to second century Viking warlords. The purposes of these events had been to feast and honor military victories as well as individual and unit achievements.
The event took place on Sept. 16, at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. The 17th Operational Weather Squadron invited their naval counterparts from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to take part in the tradition.
And so, it was Airmen and Sailors alike battling each other viciously in tug-o-war, practicing their most agile moves during a spirited water fight, leaving nothing but tracks on an obstacle course, and of course, throwing each other to the mercies of the grog bowl.
The 17 OWS Grog Bowl, a concoction nonalcoholic in nature, was filled with several ingredients chosen randomly by unit members.
The distinguished guest for the event was retired Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Cruz Munoz, a four-time command chief who currently acts as the Pacific Air Forces chief diversity and inclusion officer. Munoz ecstatically kicked off the event noting to the junior members that he was only fortunate enough to attend two Combat Dining-Ins during his entire military career.
Munoz told the audience how they are among an elite class of Americans who have answered our nations call as they volunteered to serve in the U.S. military. He then went on to explain to everyone the significance of honoring the traditions of service and how he struggled to embrace civilians thanking him for his service for a long time. Munoz finished by reminding attendees that this is a crucial time in history, and they too deserve and should embrace gratitude from civilians.
During the event, Lt. Col. Claire E. Jarry, 17 OWS commander, held the title of “President of the Mess.” She was responsible for enforcing the 17 unique rules of the Combat Dining-In and dealing out the fate of who must take a drink out of the nonalcoholic grog bowl, which included a drink recipe ripe with tradition.
Senior Airman Joshua E. Young and Capt. Blaine A. Esgar acted as “Mr. Vice” in perfect harmony, as they hosted the event. The pair led attendees in honoring fallen and missing comrades, dining-In traditions, and finally … into battle (tug of war, water balloon fight, and a go-kart obstacle course)! It is safe to say that not a single Airman or Sailor was safe from the Dining-In events!
“It was great having the opportunity to partake in a piece of Air Force culture and to further strengthen the joint atmosphere.” said Aerographer's Mate 2nd Class Robert Y. Hansen.
For now, the Combat Dining-In is once again a part of history – the 17 OWS and JTWC’s history. Joint force, Airman and Sailors working together to achieve a common goal. A part of their rich heritage as a joint military force.
If service members don’t look back, they cannot move forward. By honoring their legacy and sustaining their heritage in the profession of arms they strengthen the enduring mission of the U.S. Air Force to Fly, Fight, and Win – airpower anytime, anywhere and the U.S. Navy’s Honor, Courage and Commitment.
A special thanks to Chief Master Sgt. Tammy Elliott, Master Sgt. Kerri Spero, Staff Sgt. R. Michael Longoria, Senior Airman Jasmine M. Barnes and the West Point Association of Graduates for contributing to this article.