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    The man behind the meals

    The man behind the meals

    Photo By Sgt. Francesca Stanchi | U.S Army Sgt. Iris Williams, left, assigned to the 390th Seaport Operations Company,...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Francesca Stanchi 

    372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – More than 400 Army Reserve soldiers across the country arrived at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., last week for their annual Extended Combat Training. As in any training exercise, making sure the troops are properly taken care of and properly fed is of the utmost importance.

    Sgt. 1st Class Ferris Scott, the food service noncommissioned officer in charge with the 941st Transportation Company from North Charleston, S.C., is the man responsible for feeding all of the military personnel participating in the Seaport Operations Company 13-2 training exercise.

    By the time Scott received his orders for this mission, there was no solid plan for rations. For this mission, he is doing all his ordering through a process called local purchasing.

    Normally Scott would order food through the Troop Installation Subsistence Activity, and the food would be on-site when his troops doing kitchen duty arrived. Because of his short notice for the training exercise, however, there was not enough time to get the order in and have it be in place for the training. For this mission, Scott is going grocery shopping at the base commissary.

    “Mainly, everything is based on a 21-day menu and all meals are based on 100 servings,” Scott said. “So what happens is that the [logistics section] will receive all the [unit strength reports] from different companies that are going to be participating in the exercise, and then I know I have 515 soldiers to feed, and I know I’m going through local purchase, and I know I have $2,500 to play with.”

    He needs only to provide breakfast and dinner for the personnel participating in this event, as lunches are pre-packaged Meals, Ready-to-Eat. His main concern, then, is staying on budget and providing good, quality meals that incorporate all of the basic food groups.

    “I select which meat, but for everything else, the vegetables, starch, things of that nature, basically it is the same, but the meat is the difference,” Scott said. “That’s how I base my meals and when I buy, I buy in bulk.”

    As far as the vegetables are concerned, he chooses frozen vegetables over canned because of the lower sodium count. Also, because it is frozen fresh, it provides the proteins, vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a soldier’s health. Fresh salad is provided at dinner and fresh fruit is served at both meals. Scott said providing good-tasting, healthy food is his top priority.

    Once he has his shopping list, Scott and some of his soldiers visit the commissary to physically place the order that will feed the soldiers for the remainder of the exercise.

    “I go to each of the departments and say, ‘OK, this is what I need’ and then, where are the coupons and that’s how I do it,” he said.

    The kitchen duty operations will continue to operate all the way through the entire mission, and the last meal will be prepared the morning of Aug. 9. At that point they have a day to start cleaning and get everything ready to go back home.

    Scott has been in the military for 33 years, and he likes his military job because it gives him a chance to be creative. And by looking at the soldiers’ faces, one can tell that his passion is certainly appreciated.



    Date Taken: 08.01.2013
    Date Posted: 08.03.2013 12:58
    Story ID: 111305
    Location: FORT EUSTIS, VA, US 

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