AlanM wrote:When I was an instructor at US Naval Service School Command, Great Lakes I stood senior Shore Patrol duty at the Enlistedman's Club about every 6 days. (I was an E-6 at the time)
We had three drinking ages, 21 for hard liquor and any beer, 19 for regular beer (in bottles), and 18 for 3.2 beer (draft beer served in plastic cups).
I would have about 4 E-4s and E-5s working with me and at least one of us would be sitting at a desk at the entrance checking IDs and stamping the backs of hands with one of three stamps. We would wander around the club tables making sure those that had 3.2 stamps were holding plastic cups.
Before the club would open for the night I would tell my SPs the story of a gentleman's club in England that had two brass plaques beside it's door. One (the older, more corroded one) stated "No dogs allowed." The other, newer, plaque said, "Any dog leading a blind man is automatically considered a cat."
I would then tell them that anybody coming into the club with a green ID card (regular Navy, not a reservist) was to be automatically assumed to be 18. (ie a cat.)
To illustrate this point, I was on the desk one night and a group of nearly bald recruits came in (boot camp liberty after six weeks) and I did a double take on the birthday of one of them. He was EXACTLY 17 years and six weeks old. I remarked, "Damn, your parents REALLY wanted you out of the house." I stamped him for 3.2 beer, even though, by Illinois law, he was nearly a year too young to drink and told him to behave and enjoy himself, which I'm sure he did.
BTW, I got to talking to the club manager one day and he confessed that he NEVER ordered kegs of 3.2 beer, just regular (~5%) bar kegs.
I doubt that Illinois knew or cared.
Gotta be careful with that one. At my last duty station, our unit SGM had enlisted in the Army at age 15 (he lied about his age). He was able to get away with it because he was 6'5" and weighed in at 230 pounds when he was 15. When he retired at age 45, he was still 6'5" and weighed about 250. He then became a parole officer for the state of South Carolina. I really pity the guys who drew him and screwed up. He was a great SGM though as he could strike fear into the hearts of lower ranks just be looking at them crossways.