News: Strike Dining Facility sets Army standard
Story by Sgt. Joe Padula
FORT CAMPBELL, KY - “An army marches on its stomach,” was the famous observation made by Napoleon Bonaparte. The quote stood true then as it does now.
The Strike food service specialist soldiers of the 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), won the Department of the Army’s Philip A. Connelly Award and was also presented the Commanding General’s Best Dining Facility Award, during a ceremony held outside of the Strike Dining Facility, May 16.
The command team of the 101st understands the importance of the Strike soldier chefs’ accomplishments.
“The Infantrymen can’t get anything done on an empty stomach; so goes the D-Fac, so goes the organization,” said Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell during the award ceremony. “On days like today it’s appropriate that we recognize this crew because of the most recent announcement of the Philip A. Connelly Awards … very few people get this award and it is an enormously big deal. And while some may not understand the significance of it, it has not gone unnoticed by me or those in the division.”
The Philip A Connelly competition has all of the Army’s food service specialist teams competing against each other in five separate categories. The team representing Strike took home top honors in the Active Army Field Kitchen category, considered by the some the Superbowl of Army cooks.
“We had to wake up every morning to put forth that extra effort to be the best that we could be, and we knew that we had the potential, we just had to activate it,” said Sgt. First Class Terrilski Davis, the brigade’s senior food service specialist and the Strike Dining Facility manager from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 526th BSB. “It was unbelievable to achieve such a level, but as we put forth the hard work over the past year, step by step, going the extra mile.”
After Stammer verbally recognized Strike for winning the Connelly award, he then presented them with the Commanding General’s Best Dining Facility Award - 2nd Quarter 2013. The victory continues the winning trend recently set by the Strike Brigade as a whole.
“What the D-Fac has done here is continued to make winning a habit and that is a great thing to have,” said Col. Dan Walrath, the Strike Brigade commander. “The D-Fac is not the building, it’s the people and you are setting the example for the rest of this brigade on being winners.”
Stammer also re-enlisted three of the soldiers from the winning team, one of which is the division’s culinary specialist of the quarter.
“You have got to be on point with everything that you do in training because as long as you get in that good habit, then when you actually get into a situation you can flawlessly execute those orders that need to be followed” said Spc. Andrew Sparks, of HHC, 526th BSB and the division’s chef of the quarter.
The division command views the award as a reflection of the soldiers’ dedication to hard work and the capabilities from the brigade’s leadership.
"This is an honor and a tremendous accomplishment,” said Stammer while addressing the formation. “It is very representative of not only you and your troopers, but also that of your battalion and brigade’s leadership here.”
The Philip A. Connelly award itself will be presented to a representative of Strike in person during a ceremony scheduled to be held in the near future at Fort Lee, Va.