The Dining-In is a formal dinner held by a military unit or organization. The rationale prompting the event may vary. The dinner may be held to welcome new arrivals or to say farewell to departing personnel; to recognize the achievements of an Officer, a dignitary, or a unit; to build and maintain esprit de corps among the officers of the command; or to take advantage of the availability of a distinguished guest to speak.
Certain messes include the tradition of chiding or poking good-natured fun at fellow members of the mess through limericks and ditties. This is a form of self-generated entertainment during the dinner hour and serves to enhance camaraderie and unit esprit while remembering the formality of the occasion. If they are used, limericks and ditties should be written in advance.