Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Dining Out Ceremony

The Officer Candidate School of the Texas State Guard held a reunion dinner for all classes 2001-2017, last Saturday night, August 18. I was invited as a member of the training cadre because I teach WebEOC for battle captains.
This was a dining out for officers and their cadre, including spouses and significant others. It followed many of the ceremonial details. (See Wikipedia here for "Dining In.") In addition to the formal flourishes - entering of the honored guests; salute to the colors and anthems; chaplain's invocation - the grog bowl symbolized the celebration.

Dry ice goes in last after the rum, whiskey, beer, and more.
The Lieutenant serves to the XO and the Commanding General.
The XO is also the brains, heart, and soul of the OCS.
 That said, we also paused to remember those who were not with us. The details of the special table were explained. When I worked at the VA this past winter, they had a table set up on our floor. That it was highly symbolic was obvious. What it all meant was not.
The lemon is for the bitterness of their captivity.
The salt is for our tears.
Rose, ribbon candle, Bible, and all explained here
We got home safely, watched some TV and went to bed just after midnight. I got up without an alarm at 0500 feeling good. I had slept through the night without interruption. And I woke up without any aches. I was happy. And it was not for myself. 
The Lieutenant was one of the organizers.
I had spent four-and-a-half hours tapping my spoon on the table, being happy for other people. It was a new experience for me. I am pretty much an individualist and my time in the TXSG has been a learning curve. Taking orders, giving a few, working together to accomplish a difficult task, and taking care of civilians in an emergency, that was all predictable. Saturday night was a new experience.


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