Originally Posted by freebird5825
My committee and the CGOC w*rked hard to make sure nobody felt pressured to attend and kept the atmosphere lighthearted (no speeches).
One of the big changes in military events was the audience. Once the senior brass started showing up, the fun started disappearing.
When I was at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, the student population was mostly O-3s with a sprinkling of O-4s. The joke was that you came there to get at least one of four things: a degree, a dependent, a divorce, or a dog. Young bachelor officers would get married and start families (sometimes in that order) and everyone socialized heartily on evenings & weekends. Sometimes we even went to classes.
But the formal affairs were the best I'd ever attended-- the Navy balls and the community birthday celebrations were bacchanalia that started early, roared through the evening, and only moved to an after-party when the clean-up crews got in the way. When the NPS admiral would totter to his feet to give the introductory speech (some geezer who must've been in his 50s) we'd all patiently try to settle down and pretend to be a little respectful while he droned on. Then we'd return to the serious business of partying.
I thought this was way better than anything I'd ever attended at USNA, my school commands, or my first submarine. I thought it was the way parties were going to be from now on.
It turned out that the only reason Monterey parties were so much fun is because we were all of a similar age, background, and interests. Nobody was really "in charge" or trying to "make an impression". We also weren't burned out on overwork and had plenty of time for rest &
Once we left Monterey to return to the "real" Navy, the "parties" returned to the scripted & stilted mandatory fun that I'd seen before. When the CO on my next submarine held a mandatory wardroom meeting to create & rehearse the humorous skit that we were going to perform at the submarine birthday ball... I volunteered to take the duty that weekend.