News: Futenma Mess Hall best in Corps
Story by Lance Cpl. Alyssa N. Gunton
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Japan - Headquarters Marine Corps recently announced the results from the Maj. Gen. William Pendleton Thompson Hill Memorial Awards competition.
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Mess Hall 423 is now officially the best garrison mess hall in the Marine Corps.
“The MCAS Futenma Mess Hall won the award because of the superior leadership, teamwork and individual commitment to excellence of every member of the mess hall staff,” said Lt. Col. Ian S. Wallace, the executive officer of MCAS Futenma. “The staff (here) strives every day to create the best atmosphere, prepare the finest food, and provide unsurpassed service to its customers.”
The Maj. Gen. W.P.T. Hill Memorial Awards Program was established in 1985 to improve food service operation and recognize the best mess hall in the Marine Corps.
The dining facilities are judged on areas such as operations, sanitation, taste and quality of food.
“We were judged on Nov. 8, which happened to be the Marine Corps Birthday meal,” said Master Sgt. Tony C. Smith, the mess hall manager. “We even had an earthquake that day, but that did not stop the Marines from excelling and doing what they do every day.”
The MCAS Futenma Mess Hall has also won many other accolades in recent years, including several Mess Hall of the Quarter awards and Mess Hall of the Year for the former Marine Corps Bases Japan in 2011, said Sgt. Londell D. Calloway, a chief cook with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS Futenma, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. It was also recognized as Mess Hall of the Quarter for Okinawa for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.
“We’ve been able to achieve all of this because every day we have great management, outstanding non-commissioned officers and hard-working, diligent troops, said Sgt. Malcolm L. Love, the subsistence chief at the mess hall. “It all comes down to the troops though, doing the right thing at all times. That is what led us to victory.”
MCAS Futenma is the home of the best Marine Corps mess hall because of each and every worker there, said Calloway.
“The hard work, dedication and pride from the Marines and master labor contractors are the reason we were able to win the W.P.T. Hill award,” said Staff Sgt. Tevis J. Mitchell, the assistant mess hall manager.
Five members of the mess hall staff will represent the mess hall in Chicago May 5 during the awards ceremony sponsored by the National Restaurant Association.
The staff at the mess hall believes it can reach this outstanding achievement for 2012 and years following.
“We’ve set the bar, and we can do it again,” said Love. “It will take extra dedication and hard work, but I know we can do it.”