Punch Bowl Ceremony

Example Field Artillery Punch Ceremony - US Army

Punch Master:

“On this auspicious occasion of Saint Barbara's Day, it is only proper that we give special recognition to the new gunners who have joined our ranks since the last celebration. This is a most important moment in every Redleg's professional development, for it is at this time he learns the secrets of the Field Artillery's most dreaded weapon-Field Artillery Punch!"

[The President then moves to his position.]

"Gunner, post the limber!"

[Once the cart is in position, the President proceeds.]

"Commanders, post!"

[The battalion commanders move to their designated positions.]

"Each new gunner, who has proved himself by performing his duties as a true Redleg should, is entitled to learn the secrets of our fearsome mixture. One must remember, however, that this most powerful of all weapons is to be used judiciously and only in dire emergency such as; upon notification of an unannounced inspection or immediately before a promotion list is published; just before courts martial or to clean the bores of cannon or to renew the firepower of old artillerymen. Watch and listen carefully."

Battalion Commander 1:

"First comes the blood of the American Eagle so that our rounds will fly straight and true."

[Mixer adds red fluid]

Battalion Commander 2:

"Add the breath of the Dragon known to Red legs everywhere as muzzle blast."

[Mixer adds dark fluid]

Battalion Commander 3:

"Add the wrath of Hades to bring devastation upon all who oppose us."

[Mixer adds yellow fluid]

Master of Punch:

"The base, ladies and gentlemen, traces its heritage to the

Mecca of all Field Artillerymen Block House, Signal Mountain where every Redleg learns to cut a charge."

"Charge 2 is the champagne, which signifies the quality of the artillery the King of Battle. As it is well-known, we artillerymen lend dignity by our mere presence."

"Charge 3 is good corn squeezin's, which remind us of our American heritage as citizen-soldiers who served honorably and well at a moment's notice."

"Charge 4, quality scotch, represents our British heritage. It recalls our noble allies with whom we have fought many rounds and with whom we guard freedom today."

"Charge 5, a cognac, represents the French, who contributed so much to the winning of our national freedom and who have provided many fine artillery pieces for our Army."

"Charge 6 is a blended bourbon to serve as the catalyst that binds our punch together. It represents all the services, all the men of arms and all our allied nations. And it serves to remind us of our common bond, and that no one arm can do it all. We must have a combined arms team on the field of battle."

"The Final Charge is a red elixir representing the color of artillery and reminding us of the blood shed by so many in the pursuit of freedom."

Master of the Punch:

[Takes a large soup spoon and stirs the punch, takes a small sip and states:]

'This punch is not quite right something is missing. What have we forgotten gentlemen?"

Designated Mess Member:

[Holds a sock]

"This represents the basic soldier, without whom we could do nothing and these [Waves women's hose] represent the ladies who make all things worth doing."

Battalion Commander 4:

"The bile of a leprechaun so his luck may follow us all our days."

[Mixer adds green fluid]

Battalion Commander 5:

[Plunges bell rammer into the mixture and stirs carefully as dry ice comes into contact with warm water and gives off a cloud of vapor]

Battalion Commander 6:

"Finally, a pinch of gunpowder for flavor."

[Pass the cup and taste]

"Good, now it's perfect."

Example Field Artillery Punch Ceremony- USMC

 “It is now time to become acquainted with the artillery’s most potent weapon – THE ARTILLERY PUNCH.  The mixing of the punch is a secret that is handed down only to those who are truly worthy. In the revolutionary years, the Chatham artillery called upon their punch to handle even the simplest domestic skirmishes, labeling it the “shrew’s downfall”. Just two glasses rendered a man completely immune to complaints, snide remarks, unsolicited advice, or duty changeovers by the XO; ”

(Punchmasters assemble and move to center stage)

It has been enjoyed by artillerymen wherever they may gather and has significant medicinal and maintenance value.  It can be found in our canteens to ward off the winter chill and in a pinch, is an effective lubricant for the breech, as a propellant for our rounds or fuel for our vehicles.  It cures what ails you, and we have weaned many a lieutenant and cannoneer on it.  In preparation for our gathering, the recipe of the Detachment’s private stock was lost… But alas!!! It was discovered by a certain SgtMaj...while working late into the night compiling the all hands upcoming events email...and turned over to competent authority.

 (Punchmasters posted center stage. ______ retrieves the Base Charge from the CO and stands in front of the ‘grog’)

 Here now, is the list of ingredients for this potent ale:

 The base charge, handed down from generation to generation encompasses all past batches of punch that have come before.

(Base charge is added)

 Charge 1 Lima is the blood of the American Eagle so that our rounds will fly straight and true. (Chargemaster 1 adds red fluid)

 Charge 2 Lima is the breath of the dragon – known to Redlegs as Muzzle Blast

(Chargemaster 2 adds dark fluid)

 Charge 3 Hotel is the wrath of Hades – to bring devastation upon all who oppose us.               (Chargemaster 3 adds yellow liquid)

 Charge 4 Hotel is the bile of a leprechaun – so his luck may follow us all our days.

(Chargemaster 4 adds green fluid)

 Charge 5 Hotel is good corn squeezin’s which remind us of our American heritage as we serve honorably and well at a moment’s notice.”

(Chargemaster 5 adds clear Liquid)

Master of the Punch: Takes a Ramming Staff and stirs punch – dips in a canteen cup, takes a sip and states: “Check Firing, Check Firing, Check Firing”

Narrator: Members of the mess… this punch falls short along the GTL...which so happens to be a better result than about a 380 mil deflection error while firing at the Yausubetsu Training Area in Japan!!! To mitigate such a disastrous occasion, some key ingredients have been acquired to restore this punch to its ideal potency.


Narrator: From the Enlisted Gunnery School: Caffine, nicotine, and hate in it’s most potent form...Distilled.

Narrator: From the Cannoneer School: The hot garbage LOI for this event which is riddled with administrative errors and was somehow signed tomorrow via wormhole.

Narrator: From the Officer Instruction Branch,  .

Master of the Punch: Takes a Ramming Staff and stirs punch again – dips in a canteen cup, takes a whiff and then gives a thumbs up.

Narrator: “The recipe is complete and the strength of this punch has been verified.  However, it needs to be tested by the most expendable member of the mess.  Traditionally this is conducted by the most junior Second Lieutenant but since we’ve reclassified a metric-ton of them recently, we can’t afford to lose one.

Cannoneer School and Enlisted Gunnery… you are exempt by shear virtue of “Cannon” and “Gun” comprising your titles.

Target Acquisition… you also are exempt because the pedestrian gates at Pershing are open yet again so send a sentry to stand guard until you can get physical security right.

Marine Battery…I mean company…I mean MEU…ah hell, whatever echelon the Det is calling you this week: you’re already cleaning this mess up over the weekend so you’re good.

That leaves only one person left… XO sir… by order of Saint Barbara herself, you have been deemed as the most expendable member of the mess.  Please come on out and take a swig of our fine brew. 

*May need to ask if the punch is suitable for the mess…

XO: (Takes a drink) “This punch is suitable for the mess!”

 (Master of the Punch delivers a cup of punch to the CO)

Narrator: “Colonel _____, sir… Would you please do us the honor of tasting our punch?”

CO: (CO drinks the punch) “This is a fine kettle of punch and suitable for all present.”

Punchmaster: “Aye Aye Sir!”