Chow Calls

Informant, was a Naval Officer for much of his life (though not any longer), and had gone to the Naval Academy. Though not open to telling me many stories about the Naval Academy Rituals as he thought they were too inappropriate to tell a young lady, he offered to explain a few.

Informant: And then uh. Then there were things called Chow Calls. So at the beginning of every meal, at the end of each hall way there’s a Pleeb and ten minutes before each of the meals, they get out and they go: [fake shouting] SIR, YOU NOW HAVE TEN MINUTES BEFORE NOON MEAL FORMATION, THE MENU FOR NOON MEAL IS, and they go down whatever that menu might be, and [sniff] then they go, [slightly quieter fake shouting] THE OFFICERS OF THE DAY ARE, THE OFFICER OF THE DAY IS, BOOM BOOM BOOM, and they list who the Officers of the Day are, [fake shouting, still slightly quieter] THE UNIFORM FOR NOON MEAL FORMATION IS, AND THE LOCATION FOR [stumble a little here] it so that they everybody knows where it is, and if you get something wrong or you stumble over it, you’ve got upperclassmen come shout at you: WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS WRONG, and then you might have to [pause] give that Chow Call, from the Rig, then it’s really hard. [Demonstrates and makes silly noises. Laughter.]

When asked about why these traditions are done:

Informant: Um. One it keeps the guy’s minds off of the fact that they might be homesick.

Author: Mmhmm.

Informant: It does, you know, they have to start working together as a group. Not so much shouting but just um [Pause] that you can get in and push and go beyond your limits, you know? But yeah, everybody does it.