News: ‘Vanguard’ cooks advance to DA-level Connelly competition
Story by Staff Sgt. Tanya Green
FORT STEWART, Ga. – For the first time 10 years, Fort Stewart, Ga., soldiers will advance to the Department of the Army-level Phillip A. Connelly competition. A team of 25 food service specialists with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division will vie to win the garrison military category of the 45th annual awards program.
The Philip A. Connelly Awards Program is a competition that provides recognition, promotes professionalism and excellence throughout the Army food service corps.
“We’re going to win, plain and simple,” says Sgt. Aisha Sartin, with Company E, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th IBCT. “This is not your typical dining facility.”
After defeating four other facilities in the Atlantic-region last month, Sartin and her fellow ‘Vanguard’ soldiers will now face off against other top Army diners across the globe. Culinary inspectors will evaluate the facilities between October and December to determine the Army food service’s ‘best of the best.’
Sartin said that it is the camaraderie and close-knit group of culinary experts she works alongside that has helped ‘Vanguard’ soar through the competition thus far.
“The soldiers want to come to work,” she said. “They love their job and it really shows. We offer what other dining facilities often do not, and that’s excellent service.”
The cooks will be critiqued on their appearance as well proper food preparation procedures. The dining facility will also be evaluated on sanitation and overall appearance.
The winner of the Connelly competition, which is slated to be announced early, next year, will attend a formal recognition ceremony in San Diego, Calif.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for, our time to shine,” Sartin said.