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News > Enlisted spouses host evening of learning about proper military protocol
Enlisted spouses dinner
With a definite “yes” vote, Kaci Smith offers her opinion on what is and isn’t appropriate dress at a military function. Ms. Smith, wife of Airman Ronny Smith with the 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was one of 60 enlisted spouses who attended the Tinker Enlisted Spouses Network Protocol Dinner Nov. 16 at the Tinker Club. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)
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Enlisted spouses host evening of learning about proper military protocol

Posted 11/23/2010   Updated 11/23/2010 Email story   Print story


by Brandice J. Armstrong
Tinker Public Affairs

11/23/2010 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.  -- They sat around circular tables set for eight and chatted easily with one another. Dressed for a semi-formal affair, roughly 60 enlisted spouses and a few active duty Airmen attended the Enlisted Spouses Dinner Nov. 16 at the Tinker Club ballroom.

Hosted by Lori Johnson-Vegas, spouse of Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center Command Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Vegas, and supported by the Tinker Enlisted Spouses Network, the event taught spouses about military events, traditions and protocol, and promoted the message of support. Paula McKinley, wife of retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney McKinley, and Carol Herrick, chapter president of Operation Homefront Oklahoma were also in attendance.

"I want to thank each and every one of the spouses that are here tonight," said Chief Vegas. "Thank you for the love and support you provide to your Airmen that allows them to accomplish the Air Force mission. It's a great deal of sacrifice that you provide each and every day, and we're very fortunate you stand beside us as teammates."

As dinner was served, attendees were briefed by Kathy Smith, 72nd Air Base Wing protocol officer, who explained the meaning of the table place settings and proper etiquette while dining.

Throughout the evening and between speakers, attendees were encouraged to mingle and often assigned topics to discuss, including their most embarrassing moments.

Following dinner and the distribution of several door prizes, attendees welcomed guest speaker Senior Airman Edrianne Flores-Tullis of the 72nd Security Forces Squadron. Both a military member and enlisted spouse, she spoke to the audience about the importance of their roles.

"You are part of the mission," she said. "You are crucial to our success. You are crucial to the success of your spouse. You are crucial to mission accomplishment. You are part of the United States Air Force even if you are not wearing that uniform."

Following Airman Flores-Tullis' speech, attendees were briefed by six speakers on the military traditions, protocol and appropriate dress for various military functions. At the end of each briefing, spouses were treated to a fashion show displaying the "dos and don'ts" of appropriate attire. After each model, guests voiced their opinions on who was dressed appropriate and who was not.

"I hear so often from spouses, 'I don't want to go to these events because the first time I went, I didn't know I wasn't supposed to wear that red dress. My husband didn't let me know what the attire was and I was so embarrassed and I never want to go again,' or 'When I sat down, I messed up and drank from the wrong glass,'" said Mrs. Johnson-Vegas, advisor to the Tinker Enlisted Spouses Network, who offered closing remarks after sharing her own most embarrassing moment. "These situations happen, and it's OK, your recovery is what matters, but as we heard from every speaker who comes up here, our role as a spouse is so important. Our active duty members rely on us, depend on us and want our support. When they're being recognized, it does make a difference to have us in the audience or for us to be by their side."

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