BYU ROTC enjoyed a unique date

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    By Richard Reeve

    How would you like being kicked out of a banquet for “hitting on” someone else”s date? This was one of the many rules that BYU Army ROTC cadets had to follow at their annual Cougar Battalion Dining Out last Saturday, April 7, in the Skyroom Restraunt on BYU campus.

    “(It”s) essential to the grooming of gallant gentlemen and women into the Officer Corps,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ried Grawe, commander of the BYU Army ROTC and professor of military science.

    “Its purpose is to acquaint future lieutenants with the customs and traditions of formal dining, and create an atmosphere of comradery, fellowship and professionalism.”

    The dinner also consisted of a series of toasts. Its origin can be dated back to the knights of old, Grawe said. Toasting is a simple courtesy to the persons being honored.

    Many cadets, like Belwant Sood, said they enjoyed the dinner.

    “The dinner was a great chance to get out of an informal setting and be together in a formal one,” said Sood, 21, a sophomore from Gaithersburg, Md., majoring in political science.

    Another part of the dinner was the “the charging of the grog.” The grog is a bowl mixed with different drinks that if combined, create a very unpleasant taste, said cadet Charity Coe, 21, a senior from Lehi, majoring in zoology.

    Anyone in attendance that violates a dinner rule must take a trip to the mighty grog, Coe said.

    At a military dinner, it is customary to have an inspection of the meal prior to the actual dinner, Grawe said.

    “This is customarily a humorous exchange between (leaders) to ensure fitness of the meat (and the absence of poison), which goes back centuries to the courts of the nobles where intrigue was common,” Grawe said.

    Some cadets said the dinner had some hard requirements.

    “This dinner forces us to get dates,” Sood said. “You”d think being in uniform would get you dates, but it”s still hard.”

    Any one of a series of dinner violations can result in drinking from the grog bowl, Grawe said.

    Some violations include arriving late to the dinner, wearing an inverted cummerbund, improper toasting procedure, leaving the dining room without the president”s permission, any improper wear of the uniform or immodesty in you or your guest”s apparel, Grawe said.

    “As the ROTC, we try to introduce everything, like a dinner banquet, that cadets will see in the Army,” said Major Paul Dunn, assistant professor of military science.

    Dunn said the dinner is a way to learn unique Army traditions and etiquette.

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