News: USAR food specialists recognized, receive awards in Chicagoland
Story by Sgt. Elisebet Freeburg
SCHAUMBURG, Ill.— Soldiers of the 824th Quartermaster Company (Heavy Airdrop Systems), 362nd Quartermaster Battalion out of Fort Bragg, N.C., were recognized for their first place triumph in the U.S. Army Reserve field kitchen category of the 43rd annual Philip A. Connelly awards program during an evening awards ceremony, April 2, at the Schaumburg Convention Center in metropolitan Chicago.
Ten units from the Army, Reserve and National Guard were acknowledged for their excellence in food service, including the runner-up in the Reserve field kitchen category, the 1011th Quartermaster Company, 329th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion from Independence, Kan.
“This journey has been a fantastic one,” said Col. Gwen Bingham, commandant, Quartermaster School, during the ceremony. “The warriors you see standing before you are the hallmark of what it is all about in our military.”
As part of the Army Reserve’s food service program regulation AR 30-22, the Philip A. Connelly awards program’s objective is to promote and improve Army food service through awareness with incentives, competition and media attention.
During the awards presentation, the five winning units were presented with trophy cups and the runners-up with plaques, recognizing their superb performance in the competition.
“[The competition] was really strenuous for the unit and everyone out there,” said Pfc. Leila Groom, a food service specialist and representative for the 824th QM Company, and a Trenton, N.C., native, while recalling their months of practice. “It definitely took teamwork. I’m very proud that we came together.”
Numerous awards were presented earlier in the day to the winners and runners-up of the five competition categories: large garrison, small garrison, Army field kitchen, Reserve field kitchen and Guard field kitchen. Dignitaries from across the Army who were unable to attend sent certificates and challenge coins to be presented. A super-bowl style Connelly ring was presented to the winning dining facility managers.
Reserve individuals were presented with letters of congratulations from Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, commanding general, United States Army Reserve.
“It’s very inspiring to be in this competition, to get this far,” said Spc. Andrew T. Russell, a food service specialist and representative for the 1011th QM Company, and a Bartowsville, Okla., native. “It’s not an easy competition.”
The awards ceremony was held at the end of the International Food Service Executive Association’s annual trade show and conference. A professional organization dedicated to raising food service industry standards, IFSEA co-sponsors the program with the Department of Army.
From March 23-29, 20 representatives from each unit, selected for their superb excellence, attended a cooking seminar at the nearby Robert Morris University’s Institute of Culinary Arts.
The Army program and awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the Navy and Military Sealift Command programs.
The awardees were as follows:
Small Garrison Winner - Camp Zama Dining Facility, U.S. Army Garrison, Camp Zama, Japan
Small Garrison Runner-up - Pegasus Inn Dining Facility, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Large Garrison Winner - Freedom Inn Dining Facility, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Meade, Md.
Large Garrison Runner-up - Patton's Own Dining Facility, Area Support Group-Qatar, Camp As-Sayliyah, Qatar
Active Army Field Kitchen Winner - 126th Transportation Company, 330th Transportation Bn., Fort Bragg, N.C.
Active Army Field Kitchen Runner-up - 55th Military Police Company, 94th Military Police Bn., Camp Stanley, Korea
U.S. Army Reserve Winner - 824th QM Company, 362nd QM Bn., Fort Bragg, N.C.
U.S. Army Reserve Runner-up - 1011th QM Company, 329th Combat Sustainment Support Bn., Independence, Kan.
U.S. Army National Guard Winner - Support Company, 216th Engineer Bn., Cincinnati, Ohio
U.S. Army National Guard Runner-up - Forward Support Company, 130th Engineer Bn., Vega Baja, Puerto Rico.