FORT BENNING, Ga, (March 12, 2014) -- The scene at Riverside, the commanding general's quarters, looked more like the 1950's March 2 when Daughters of the United States Army and senior enlisted and officers' wives held a tea. There were plenty of hats and gloves in evidence, a staple of the formal tea decades ago.

The Army traditions and history were passed down by DUSA to nearly 150 wives of Infantry Officer Basic Leadership Course, Armor Officer Basic Leadership Course, Ranger Training Battalion and Maneuver Captains Career Course.

The tea is a more formal event than a unit coffee and although such teas are rarely held today, they are a time-honored military tradition. The basic format with silver, linen and china and pourers for the tea, coffee and punch was replicated during Sunday's event.

As in the past, a receiving line greeted guests ate cucumber finger sandwiches and cheese straws. The tea included education along with the petit fours.

Fort Benning first lady Katie McMaster was thrilled by the attendance and the passing on of tradition.
Eva Chappelle and Borden McGahee, who organized the DUSA effort, were encouraged by the participation.

The young officers' wives learned that beverages at a tea are "ranked" - coffee, tea and punch in order of importance. Some say that the reason for this ranking order harkens back to the tea taxes levied by the British prior to the Revolutionary War making coffee more popular and so more guests would approach the person pouring coffee than those serving tea and punch thus the honored or most senior guest would have the opportunity to visit with more guests while pouring the coffee.

DUSA President, Sally Lasseter, said the tea was designed so the younger officers' wives and the older women, whose fathers, and in some cases, husbands were career military could socialize.

The chair for the event, Tina Sager a senior officer's wife and Army daughter, explained that not only was it a way to pass down tradition it was an opportunity for young Armor and Infantry wives to bond.

DUSA at Fort Benning is open to daughters and granddaughters of any active duty or retired commissioned or warrant officer in any branch of the Armed Services (including the Reserves). For more information call Sally Bork Lasseter at 706-323-2831.

Page last updated Tue March 11th, 2014 at 00:00