A Nation at War: the Joint Enlisted Dining-In

Senior Master Sgt. Philip Neal, 17th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, was the guest speaker at the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

Senior Master Sgt. Philip Neal, 17th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, was the guest speaker at the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

Technical Sergeant Jennifer Maitland, mess vice president, and Tech. Sgt. Stephen Burrows, the sergeant-at-arms, raise a toast “to the President of the United States!” at the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

Technical Sergeant Jennifer Maitland, mess vice president, and Tech. Sgt. Stephen Burrows, the sergeant-at-arms, raise a toast “to the President of the United States!” at the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

Chief Master Sgt. David Crane, 17th Training Group, chief enlisted manager, bangs his spoon on the table in appreciation during the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12.  Clapping is forbidden at dinings-in, so participants use their spoons in lieu of applause. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

Chief Master Sgt. David Crane, 17th Training Group, chief enlisted manager, bangs his spoon on the table in appreciation during the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12. Clapping is forbidden at dinings-in, so participants use their spoons in lieu of applause. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Sheehan (center, standing), the 312th Training Squadron superintendant, served as the President of the Mess during the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Sheehan (center, standing), the 312th Training Squadron superintendant, served as the President of the Mess during the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

Uniform caps from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps rest on a table in memory of servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country at the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

Uniform caps from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps rest on a table in memory of servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country at the 17th Training Wing Joint Enlisted Dining-In June 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Musal)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Goodfellow Event Center was packed to bursting June 12, as servicemembers from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps joined together for the annual Joint Enlsited Dining-In.

This year's theme was A Nation At War. To reflect that theme, "warrior" uniforms were worn, and attendees were issued orders directing them to tables labeled by past conflicts: a guest might be sent to World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict or the Gulf War. Adorning each table was a description of the conflict as well as a reminder of each of the joint services' parts in winning that war.

Senior Master Sgt. Philip Neal, 17th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, was the guest speaker at the event. During the evening, photos of deployed members of Team Goodfellow were displayed.

The dining-in is a formal military ceremony steeped in traditions from all branches of the military (the Marine Corps has a parallel tradition known as Mess Night). The tradition is intended to promote camaraderie and esprit de corps.