Social Decorum Formal Dinner
We recently stopped by the Falcon Club during two Social Decorum Formal Dinners, the cadets in attendance at the dinners we attended were C2C's and C1C's from Squadrons 23 and 24 on Tuesday, and Squadrons 1 and 2 on Thursday.
Several years ago USAFA created a requirement for an etiquette training program that would instruct cadets in "military protocol for social and business situations" as well as giving them the expertise they need to be successful in the U.S. Air Force as well as in life in general.
All year long Cadets from each class have taken part in their own Social Decorum Training. C3C's and C4C's take a class in Fairchild about topics such as; How to give a proper handshake, introducing themselves, eye contact, and more. Then in their 3rd and 4th year as C1C's and C2C's will attend Formal Decorum dinners where they must dress business/professional and practice proper dining etiquette with a 5 course meal as well as practicing their conversational skills and everything else they've learned over the last three to four years to help prepare them for any situation. Whether dining in or out, a social event and even a job interview. Two squadrons of C1C's and C2C's in the same group will attend these dinners together at the Falcon Club.
"The objective of the social decorum program is to provide cadets with the knowledge and resources to ensure appropriate social behavior while being approachable in and out of uniform. The program will provide instruction both in the classroom, as well as in actual social events to provide as much realism as possible. Social decorum training is imperative to ensure our future officers have confidence and are comfortable in all social situations." and "instructing cadets, on the correct protocol for social and business situations. The training should include military, dining, and social decorum. Topics of instruction include: Personal/social correspondence (invitations, RSVPs, thank you notes, etc.), receiving lines, appropriate civilian attire, basic manners, common courtesies, telephone etiquette, table etiquette, and proper etiquette for typical USAFA functions (ring dance, sponsor visits, graduation and commissioning ceremonies, dining-ins, dining-outs and events at senior leaders’ quarters)."
The cadets are able to mingle with each other before the dinner begins and they must introduce themselves to everyone they will be dining with at each of their tables. Once seated, a cadet is chosen from each table to pour the wine for those 21 and older. Prior to the food being placed in front of them the Cadets went over a few things, such as where their bread plate and drinking glasses are located, bread to the left and drink to the right.
Fun fact: A quick and easy way to remember is making a "b" with the left hand and "d" with the right, as shown below.
To view the rest of the pictures from this dinner go to; Galleries - Military Training - Character & Leadership Development. Or click the link below.