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Social Etiquette -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
How can I effectively integrate newcomers into our Family Readiness Group?

Answer:
The most important thing you can do to effectively integrate newcomers into your Family Readiness Group (FRG) – or any type of group – is to make them feel welcomed. One of the first things you can do is introduce them to existing members. If you have a large turnover in your membership, it may be helpful to wear nametags during your first couple gatherings. Arranging for someone in the group to bring newcomers to their first meeting is also a nice gesture. This enables the newcomer to come to the meeting having already met one of its members. Another idea for your FRG meeting is to hold an icebreaker, which helps members get to know each other and build a relationship. As an FRG leader, it is important to emphasize interaction on an equal basis. Do not exhibit favoritism and encourage all members to participate. These are just a few examples of the things you can do to integrate newcomers into your FRG and to make all members feel included. Learn more about FRGs and group dynamics from the references provided.

Question:
How can I tell the difference between the different military ranks and titles?

Answer:
Each of the different services maintains a rank structure for both enlisted and officer military personnel. You can learn what each insignia represents by visiting each of the services official website. Another way to learn this information is to take advantage of some of the free Army Family Team Building (AFTB) classes, which include ones that can help familiarize you with military customs and courtesies, rank insignia, organizational structure, benefits and services available to Army personnel and their family members, as well as other useful topics.

Question:
In terms of formality of social functions, what is the difference between a "coffee" and a "tea?"

Answer:
Teas are considered to be a more formal social function than a coffee and are usually held in the afternoons. Coffees tend to be more informal or casual and may be held any time during the day or evening. Dresses, slacks, or skirts and sweaters are acceptable attire.

Question:
Is it acceptable to a thank you note via email as opposed to a handwritten one?

Answer:
Although most etiquette experts say that a thank you sent via email is better than none being sent at all, it is still recommended that thank yous be handwritten on nice stationery or a in a card. The personalized thank you note shows appreciation and sincerity, especially for a gift. Some experts agree that sending a thank you via email (or fax) for a job interview is acceptable as it can be received almost immediately, which may make a difference in whether or not someone gets the job. Personal cards or letters to remember one's birthday, anniversary, etc., are always a nice way to show someone you care.

Question:
What are some examples of unofficial social functions?

Answer:
Unofficial social functions can include promotion parties, bridal and baby showers, and unit-related parties.

Question:
What are some guidelines for writing thank you notes?

Answer:
Thank you notes should be written on stationery, by hand. Thank you notes should include husband's/wife's thanks, mention the host, draw attention to specific things you liked, and be sent promptly after the function.

Question:
What are some of the "do's and don'ts" associated with invitations?

Answer:
If the invitation includes an RSVP, it is important to respond to it by the RSVP date. If it is a formal invitation and no respond by date is given, it is customary to respond within 48 hours. Note that some invitations use a "Regrets Only" RSVP, implying that only those unable to attend should respond. A personalized thank you should be sent to your host/hostess following a more formal function such as a dinner. It is also appreciated if you return the favor of an invitation. If invited to someone's home, reciprocate by inviting them to yours.

Question:
What are the etiquette rules for wearing gloves to a social event?

Answer:
If you wear gloves, you should remove them before eating, drinking, or smoking. What about shaking hands?

Question:
What information should be included on any type of invitation?

Answer:
Every invitation should include the following: type of event, host's name, day and date, time, location, how guests are to respond (RSVP), proper dress code for the event, and map or directions to the event if necessary.

Question:
What is meant by "Casual Attire"?

Answer:
When Casual attire is required, men should wear an open-neck shirt (no tie) or slacks with a sport coat or sweater, and women should wear a simple dress, skirt and blouse, or a pants suit.
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