Wardroom

Wardroom

[wawrd-room, -room]
The wardroom is the officers' mess in a warship. The term "wardroom" can also be used metonymically to refer to a ship's officer corps.

It provides a place of recreation as well as being a dining room. Usually, a galley or scullery adjoins the wardroom. Service is provided by stewards.

There is usually a bar and soft drinks can be purchased at various times at sea, with alcoholic drinks being available when in port. (The United States Navy does not usually serve alcoholic drinks.)

Wardrooms have rules governing etiquette. Traditionally considered taboo are three topics: politics, religion, and sex (earlier guidebooks referred to the latter as "ladies"). On large ships in peacetime, talking about professional business is frowned upon. It is also considered inappropriate to perform work or to meet with subordinates in a wardroom.

The ship's executive officer is usually the "mess president". The commanding officer is normally not a member of the wardroom, but is normally invited to join the members for special occasions.

Prior to the advent of jet airliners and modern communication, warships played a larger role in diplomacy. They transported diplomats and dignitaries and served as floating embassies where these diplomats would meet their foreign counterparts, hold formal dining in ceremonies, and complete international agreements and treaties. The wardroom was normally used for these occasions and was often lavishly appointed, particularly on warships outfitted for service as flagships.

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