As you may know, I am moving out of the Mess next week – not posted, just moving out of my single room into a proper house – but the main part of that process is called ‘Marching Out’.
It’s done whenever you move out of any military accommodation (conversely moving INTO some accommodation is called Marching In) and although it sounds all official, it’s basically just clearing your stuff out, a quick tidy up, having the state of your room checked. Then you hand the key over and you are off!
Some places it’s an easier process than others but how easy it is for you to do also depends on what you’ve done to your room.
Over the years the rules have eased you see. When I first joined the RAF the chance of having your own bed in your room was almost zero, but now it’s pretty much the norm as most people-like me-have returned our single beds to stores and have bought our own double beds. I also got rid of the service issue ‘comfy’ chair in my room and have a one of those nice Ikea bouncy chairs and foot stool. (A quick note here-the junior ranks-below Sargeant-don’t get an issued comfy chair in their room in the first place…RHIP you know!)
Some people even paint their rooms in their own colour scheme, although I hate painting and so I’ve never bothered doing this. The rules are basically that even though your room can, and often will be inspected, what you do with the decoration and furniture in your room is your own decision-as long as you keep it neat and tidy, of course!
The only stipulation is that the room is returned back to the same condition as it was when you moved in…and that means magnolia walls and white skirting…you are also responsible for making sure the original furniture is back in there for the next occupant if he or she needs it.
As I said, my march-out will be on Wednesday afternoon and all I’ll have to do is pack my stuff and give the shelves a quick dust, the carpet a hoover and I’ll be out of here and into a nice house in Abingdon, just down the road. I am so looking forward to having more than just four walls and a sink!
That means just one thing. I’d better get packing my stuff into boxes…