Ft Knox, KY Monday, April 4, 2011 - 2LT Reilly pours Jägermeister into the “grog” during class 11-002’s dining in.
The practice of dining in is thought to have formally begun in 16th-century England, in monasteries and universities; though some records indicate that militaries have held formal dinners as far back as the Roman Legions. The Vikings held formal ceremonies to honor and celebrate battles and heroes. During the 18th century, the British Army incorporated the practice of formal dining into their regimental mess system. Customs and rules of the mess were soon institutionalized rules, known as the “Queen’s Regulations”. The mess night or “Dining in” became a tradition in all British regiments. The Americans, taking many of their traditions from the British military, held mess nights in the 18th and 19th century, but the tradition waned after the Civil War.
The grog is a concoction made by each platoon. One member takes a swig of the selected alcohol and pours it into the grog. Through the course of the night, members of the mess drink the grog as a consequence of violations or other reasons. I smelled the alcohol about 5 feet from the table.