Mess - Germany

Germany

The Federal German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) differentiates between three different mess areas.

1. HBG (Heimbetriebsgesellschaft) - More commonly called Enlisted Mess (Mannschaftsheim), it is common for most bases to have one, where food and drink can be purchased, as well as newspapers and in some cases equipment and souvenirs (such as key chains etc.,). There is generally no strict regulation of conduct, even though access is not limited to enlisted personnel, and NCOs or Officers may also be present, ensuring a more regulated conduct.

2. UHG (Noncommissioned Officers' Mess/Unteroffizierheimgesellschaft(Gesellschaft lit. Society)) - Also called UK (NCO Comradeship/Unteroffizierkameradschaft), this is the area where NCO can dine or spend their evenings. As opposed to the HBG, the UHG has a constitution, bylaws and a board. Access is usually restricted to NCOs, while Officers can gain entry, even though it is usually frowned upon by the NCO. Some Bases have a joint NCO and Officer's Mess.-

3. OHG (Officers' Mess/Offizierheimgesellschaft) - Also called Casino (Kasino or Offizierkasino). Much like the UHG, the Kasino also has a constitution, bylaws and a board. Gentlemanly conduct is mandatory. For instance upon entering the main hall, Officers are expected to stand at attention and perform a small bow. Additionally veteran's meeting are usually held either in a UHG or in a Kasino. As with the UHG, Kasinos have permanent personnel, as a general rule enlisted men, called Ordonnanzen (Military term for waiter or barman). Some 'Kasinos' have grand pianos, and hold recitals, as well as having music played during luncheons or dinners. Usually, official events, such also balls, but also unofficial events such as weddings, informational events and the like are held here.

The German Navy call their messes 'Messe', with the distinction Offiziermesse. The Land based messes are also called Offiziermesse.

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