I heard on the radio this morning that the toast traditionally made in R.N. messes is to change. It is/was "Here's to our wives and sweethearts. May they never meet". (followed by hearty guffaws of laughter) I think the suggestion was that in future it should be "Here's to the family"...
So it looks to me as if the do-gooders are at it again. The excuse is that women now serve on board ship and so the toast is not appropriate. But as long as I can remember there have been women in the shape of the WRENS in the Royal Navy, so why change now?
"I love the old traditions especially the harmless ones such as this."
There's nothing wrong with wanting to hold to tradition, but it's helpful to remember that not everyone always thinks as you do. Toasting wives and sweethearts in a mixed company may be fine for the men present, but it excludes the women, doesn't it?
The idea is to make the armed forces inclusive, not the opposite. When the world changes it's often necessary to change with it, even though die-hard traditionalists may not like it.
"you, me and the whole host of other crusty old ex-servicemen had the best of it!"
That's a classic attitude, and there's nothing wrong with thinking that way. The fact is, people who served before you did probably thought the same thing, and the people before them did, and so on, back through the centuries. It's human nature, but society changes. The changes are usually made by the younger members - those who will look back in the decades to come and say 'we had the best of it'.
I remember the Reveille on ships in the mid 50's, followed by the Master at Arms wake up on the Tannoy, such as "Wakey, wakey , wakey - Rise and shine - you've had your time and now its mine" May be still acceptable, unlike the " Hands off.......Socks " I always thought crude, even for an all male crew.
Re the toast , I agree it should not be used in mixed company, of course. I seem to recall a Russian military toast : "To your death- in 100 years time"
Much has changed in the armed forces but the front line is composed mainly of young, testosterone filled men- who , as has been shown over again recently, are brave in the face of fierce battle.Your ideals are to be admired, but as yet, the young guys are not yet as sophisticated as you. I do not like girlie posters etc, but it is difficult to stop such things with 18 year olds. I could imagine an amusing TV sketch with a Sergeant shouting at recruits in a politically correct manner- must write one.