Do bases still have ‘rank’ specific clubs?

Ooh-Rah

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I spent the bulk of my time in the Corps on Okinawa and we’d hang out at the base E-Club. I know that the SNCO’s had their own building and the Officers all hung out at the O-Club. That was the 90’s.

Still the same in in 2023 or have they all merged into one ‘all inclusive’ club? My guess is that is what has happened, but that the O’s still have their own exclusive get-a-way from the ranks place to hang out.
 
I spent the bulk of my time in the Corps on Okinawa and we’d hang out at the base E-Club. I know that the SNCO’s had their own building and the Officers all hung out at the O-Club. That was the 90’s.

Still the same in in 2023 or have they all merged into one ‘all inclusive’ club? My guess is that is what has happened, but that the O’s still have their own exclusive get-a-way from the ranks place to hang out.

This started changing in the 90s for the Army. The clubs system changed to "all ranks" and then in the 2000s went to a family friendly rec center style gathering place where nobody actually gathered. No shit remember strippers at the NCO club in the 80s when heavy drinking was highly encouraged. But the Army rapidly started to change the culture. I guess that is a good thing. I missed the NCO club once it was gone though.
 
I think the Marine Corps does a pretty good job with its rank based clubs. Most officer and SNCO clubs are open to all ranks for dining, but restrict access to their bar areas to certain ranks after meal hours unless you are someone's guest. Some camps still maintain NCO only clubs.
 
When I was at Benning, I have no idea where the E-Club was. The O-Club is now the Benning Club and is really just an events center. Don't know if Fiddlers Green is even open on the daily for beers.

At Knox, there is an E-Club, but I guess Officers could go there if they wanted to. You would have to go pretty deep into post to get there though and it's not a place I would want to drink at anyways! The officer club became an events center called the Saber & Quill. There is the Fiddler's Green Bar which is open starting mid-afternoon for beers but seemed mostly to have DA Civilians drinking at it. Good prices though if you were in the mug club.

At Bliss, the old Officer's Club became an MWR Rec Center facility with child care. The events center the Centennial, has a restaurant open for lunch every day and a Bar that is also open. Most people that go there are senior NCOs and Senior Officers. There was the Pershing Pub that was part of the renovation of the VIP Personnel Hotel of Pace Hall, which we went to a few times with one of my COs as it was where the married officer housing was.

Honestly I think moving to all-ranks clubs or just events centers has taken away from tradition and camaraderie within the Army. Which is nothing new, we have not respected our history or traditions well over the past 60+ years. Another thing that may contribute to this but I don't think was part of the decision making is that as the Army has shrank, more folks choose to live off post. So we're on post less. There's also no Bachelor Officer Quarters anymore on any of the posts I mentioned. I think Benning has some type of privately run townhouses that a lot of the Infantry officers would rent at OBC. But we really don't have a tradition of "the mess" that the British Army guys do which builds the camaraderie amongst a regiment's bachelor junior officers.

On all the Naval bases I went to, the shore mess facilities had separate sections with E-7 and above and E-6 and below. That is not how our mess facilities are in the Army for a variety of reasons. But there is something to an Officers Wardroom type environment for both sharing meals as well as sharing time. (One of my old mentors talked about being on the joint staff in Italy once and a bunch of Naval Officers just cut in line at the mess rather than eating last and he was like wtf, the group was a bunch of O5s and O6s)

But I will say, when I was a PL, I ate at my desk every single day.
 
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Camp Hansen on Okinawa had an NCO club with one-arm bandits, a nickel and a quarter machine. I missed a company formation because I couldn’t tear myself away from the quarter machine.

But draft beer was cheap, the smoking lamp was lit and there was a juke box.
 
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Losing rank specific clubs is bad IMO. This isn’t a throwback to the “good old days”, but a chance for pay grades to commiserate with their peers about other pay grades.

Want to cut out strippers or wherever? Fine. Turning a club into an everyone festival is just dumb.

Oh well. Gotta’ take another CBT to avoid a nasty gram from my supervisor. Did you know if you have an accident on the job you should report the accident to your supervisor? No? You’re fucking stupid and why I’m taking this CBT.
 
The Navy clings to some traditions, most bases have an O club and a Goat Locker/chief's mess. The O clubs are like museums, especially at the big bases: Pensacola, Norfolk, Oceana, San Diego. I wish I could've gone to Miramar before it closed. I understand it was legendary.

Camp Lejeune still has its O club, but I don't know about NCO club. I remember going to their NCO club as a kid, before my dad retired, and hating it. Too fancy for a kid.

Pensacola, day after officer school graduation with our RDC and SI:

GunnyandChief.jpg
 
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Losing rank specific clubs is bad IMO. This isn’t a throwback to the “good old days”, but a chance for pay grades to commiserate with their peers about other pay grades.

Want to cut out strippers or wherever? Fine. Turning a club into an everyone festival is just dumb.

Oh well. Gotta’ take another CBT to avoid a nasty gram from my supervisor. Did you know if you have an accident on the job you should report the accident to your supervisor? No? You’re fucking stupid and why I’m taking this CBT.

Cannabis, Booze, Tobacco. All the behavioral therapy you'll ever need.
 
O Clubs were a thing when I joined in the mid-90s. Even back then, it appeared that they were only kept afloat because junior officers were compelled by their COCs to join. I was compelled to join at both Benning and Campbell, neither of which I would have done without being "cordially commanded" to do so. O Clubs had little to no appeal to me. By the time I got into OBC I was through my binge drinking phase, and I went to college down the road in Macon, where I still knew plenty of girls.

At Campbell, we had a lot of "mandatory fun" events at the O Club, which nearly everyone departed almost as soon as they could. Lots of binge drinking, lot of lewd behavior, lots of morning-after regrets. Very little of anything that interested me. At some point there was some scandal or IG complaint or something, and units stopped making people join the clubs. Plus culture began to change (non-military related but still relevant: Bowling Alone) and revenue when way down and many O clubs because all-ranks. I didn't mind that at all.

I got along fine with most of my fellow Infantry officers and enjoyed spending time with them on and off duty, but thought that the unit would have been better served by having O calls at the commander's house, and all-ranks, all-family events at the park or the rec center. Much of the behavior that was not only encouraged, but expected, at the O Clubs back in the day, would be totally unacceptable today. I think the units are better off for it.

I was never an E or an NCO so I don't have an opinion of those clubs. Other Os' MMV.
 
I was watching M*A*S*H yesterday and this episode is what made me think about it.

 
Apparently a long time ago Us GB’s had a cool club. It was not cool when I was at Bragg.
 
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