Chow Line

How can we make basics go faster through chow?

Where do staff fit in the line?

Why did SMs cut infront of basics during chow?

SET must be able to ask basics OI questions in line.
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One staff from each flight should eat first, then find a place to seat all their cadets, and enforce discipline as the basics sit down to eat their food. The other staff member should stay with their cadets in line, and make sure the cadets in line don't make special orders, are polite, and stay disciplined. After all cadets from their flight have food, then that staff member can get their food and join the first staff member at a "staff only" table, near their basics. ~ C/2d Lt Larson

Flights should only be given 10 minutes to eat. We must be allowed to drill before and after meals.
C/Col Feinstein

Sometimes it takes 20 minutes to get a flight through the chow line! When this happens, the last cadets don't have any time to eat (and since 1st Sgts eat last, they have no time to eat either…) So the ten minutes may have to be for each cadet (i.e. once a cadet has his food, he has 10 minutes to eat) or something…
Also, it may help to seat senior members at a different section of the mess hall than the cadets, that way they don't get all upset when we try to encourage the basics eat a little faster…
On those lines, if possible, cadet staff (excepting flight staff only) should have a separate section to sit and eat than the basics. This is the one time we have to sit down and discuss stuff, or fun around and let down our guard (like the executron did…) plus it adds a bit of mystery to staff if they aren't eating smack dab in the middle of a sea of basics. ~C/2d Lt Larson

Ok that steak thing NEEDED to happen. If that was our stress relief for the week as executron, then so be it and flight staff will have to deal with any consequences and will just have to come down harder to restore discipline.
SMs should sit in another section- most of them did, but they should have sat in the booth section (on the right side) and then the staff sits on one side fo the divider in the regular room.
What do you guys think of having a commander's table? Like mid week, when everything is going well, we pull out the best basic from each flight to have a relaxed meal with the C/CC so the C/CC can divulge some secrets and give a couple words of advice?
C/Col Feinstein

I like the idea of a commander's table. I think it could be great way of rewarding diligent cadets, and in turn, motivating other cadets to do even better.
C/TSgt Daniel Otto

Col. Feinstein-
At my basic at Tri-Wing, a cadet from each day's honor flight would be pulled to eat with the executive staff at encampment. This was a chance to divulge advice as far as leadership was concerned to the cadet as well as give motivation to the rest of the encampment to work harder.
-C/2d Lt. Huneycutt

the idea of a separate area for cadet staff to sit is a good idea, but as a basic, i felt more compelled to eat fast, sit quietly, and not to just lolly gag with the C/CC, a few 1st Sgts, and Huneycutt siting within a few feet of me.
C/MSgt Horner

A few rules for chow by C/2d Lt Larson:

  • Stand at parade rest while waiting in line for food
  • No special orders
  • Go quietly to seat, sit at attention until table is full
  • Eat at a reasonable pace: don't choke yourself, but don't take forever
  • No talking
  • No watching TV
  • When done, sit at ease until the rest of the table is done
  • As a table, put trays away
  • Fill canteens, use head
  • Report to flight sergeant to ask where to go next
  • Highest ranking cadet (or element leader) at table is responsible to make sure cadets eat quickly and quietly, put trays away, fill canteens, and report to flt sgt

What if we just had a muster point outside of the chow hall? If you are done eating, then put your tray up and go there (in pairs of course). Seems simpler.
C/Col Feinstein

Sure, have a muster point outside. But if the cadets report to the flight sergeant before heading outside, he/she will still know where his/her cadets are, and how many are done, and who needs "forceful encouragement" to finish eating.
~C/2d Lt Larson

We station the first or flight sergeant at the door which counts each basic as they leave the chow hall- s/he will be able to tell the flight of the basic by thier colored tape.
C/Col Feinstein

Don't like that idea; staff need to eat too, and they are usually the last to get their food. Cadets should report to the table where their flight staff are eating, and ask permission to go outside. Much simpler for staff, staff still get to eat, and basics have the chance to act with responsibility.
~C/2d Lt Larson

First of all, the first sergeant/ flight sergeant of the first flight through eats first. That way he/she can be outside first. Secondly, while the basics do need to act with responsibility, it doesn't necessarily mean they will. We can't be sure basics will act maturely and responsibly without an authority figure present. My cadets at 048 simply can't do it; I don't have much faith in cadets from around the wing either.
-C/2d Lt. Huneycutt

On their own, they won't. That's why the highest ranking/element leader cadet would be in charge of the table. I've found that when you place high expectations on a cadet, and give them a chance to be in charge, they usually live up to those expectations. Granted, it doesn't always work, but usually it does.
However, as long as one of the flight staff eat first, then having them get the other cadets outside would also be a great idea.

~C/2d Lt Larson

It's a good idea to put instill a sense of responsibility into the cadets. However, staff can get in trouble for even the most miniscule things. How do you think SM's would react after learning that basics were frolicking around by themselves with no staff supervision? Also, how can we be sure the basics would even listen to the cadet we put in charge? Since element leaders aren't actual staff members, basics probably won't take them seriously and their commands will fall upon deaf ears.
-C/2d Lt. Huneycutt

I agree with Lt Huneycutt that it's likely that very few basics would actually respect and follow the commands of an element leader. I like the idea of having an element leader, but we need to figure out how to confirm their authority and ensure that their fellow basics respected it.

Another point that I think is important to clarify to basics is the reason behind the ban on sugared foods and drinks. Basics didn't really understand this; we were told it was because it's bad to have sugar in hot weather, but then we were allowed to have syrupy foods at breakfast. It also seemed like a "letter of the law" situation when SMs allowed us to have Jell-o.
C/TSgt Daniel Otto

Depending on the configuration of the mess hall, one option is to have each flight could eat at it's own table. The flight sergeant would break off from the flight as soon as it entered the mess hall, and would sit at the head of the table. Support staff would alternate (eat in shifts) and coral the basics through the chow line. Then the basics would go to sit at their flight's table. Once done eating, basics would remain seated and study their OIs until the flight had finished. Then the flight would take care of their trays/dishes and exit the mess hall as one flight.

The benefits of this are:

  • Having the flight sergeant at the table would ensure that basics do not talk or dawdle.
  • Eating as a flight would improve flight cohesiveness.
  • This way would also reinforce the image that staff has everything is under control, as opposed to having basics scatter and eat wherever they can find a table.

However, this is just a rough idea, and there a couple problems:

  • Flight sergeants would either need to be brought food, or else go to the head of the line and get their food ahead of basics.
  • As stated above, it's dependent on the mess hall configuration.

C/TSgt Daniel Otto

That's similar to what we did at 2008 Encampment. One member of flight staff got their food before the basics, and was waiting for them at the table. The other member of flight staff got their food last, after making sure all the basics behaved themselves in line, and didn't get special orders, etc. It worked well, but wasn't applicable this year due to the seating situation. Which is why we need to figure out what to do when only four people can sit at each table, and flights are spread across the dining hall…
~C/2d Lt Larson

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