Combat Dining-in brings 29th IS together

Combat Dining-in brings 29th IS together

Lisa Zollner

FORT MEADE, Md. — Members of the 29th Intelligence Squadron held a Combat Dining In at Burba Lake at Fort George G. Meade, Md., recently.

The event, aimed to foster camaraderie and esprit de corps, featured creative activities for attendees.

“We wanted to get everyone out to celebrate camaraderie,” said Staff Sgt. Ashley Stevens, 29th IS, and event coordinator.

Squadron members kicked the afternoon off by going through a good humored deployment processing line where troops were issued water guns and “immunized” with nonalcoholic gelatin shots.

“We made sure everyone was ready by having them bring some of the items they would normally need to deploy,” said Sergeant Stevens.

Lt. Col. Douglas Kiely, the event’s president, and Sergeant Stevens, madam vice, opened the mess with a hearty meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

The gala continued with entertainment by Master Sgt. Brent Jameson whose Bob Hope impersonation was “undeniably convincing,” said one attendee.

The windy weather didn’t hamper an earnest rendition of Diana Ross and the Supremes’ hit retro tune “Stop in the Name of Love” and other classics performed by Technical Sgt. Cozette Teasley and Senior Airmen Donna Desrosiers and LaTasha Richardson. “We pulled out all the stops, wigs and all,” Airman Richardson said.

Attendees later engaged in perhaps one of the oldest CDI traditions–sampling the grog bowl for violations of the mess.

This particular event made getting to the grog bowl (traditionally filled with the most unpleasant mixture of liquids) as difficult as drinking from it.

“We set up an obstacle course that led to two grog bowls–leaded or unleaded,” said Sergeant Stevens.

Mess “offenders” had to low-crawl through sand, cross a body of water and sink a basketball shot while under accurate and continuous water gunfire.

Both grog bowls contained anything from juice to teriyaki oil to hot sauce.

Latecomers Capts Elgin Manigo and Steven Coffee were the first to drink from the bowls and penalties for their tardiness included a left-handed salute to the grog bowl, one fell swig of the entire cup and another salute. Any missteps would require a repeat of the process.

Many troops through out the evening found their way to the grog bowl including Col. Chip McCoy, 70th Operations Group commander.

Col. McCoy decided to bring “shop-talk” to the mess when longtime colleague and friend Lt. Col. Steve Timmons felt obliged to report this violation to the president; Colonel McCoy respectfully declined the opportunity to defend himself and accepted his inevitable fate.

After the main ceremonies had ended, the entire area was declared weapons free, and the range was hot. Immediately, several dozen troops armed with water guns opened fire in random directions. With the official events complete, the organized mess evolved into an organized chaos–soaking uniforms and leaving everyone drenched.

Senior Airman Lisa Zollner

29th Intelligence Squadron

COPYRIGHT 2006 U.S. Air Intelligence Agency

COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group