JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Grills sizzled and plates clattered as cooks with the 2nd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and the 593rd Sustainment Brigade prepared the meal for the re-opening of the 2-2 Infantry Division Lancer Consolidated Dining Facility in the center of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Lewis North, May 8.
The DFAC was closed in October 2011 as the Lancer Brigade made final preparations for a nine-month deployment to southern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“Today represents a milestone for us in a lot of ways. It represents a milestone in our redeployment home and our re-establishing a normal footprint here,” said Col. Barry F. Huggins, commander of the 2nd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div. during a ribbon cutting ceremony. “It represents our commitment to our soldiers, who we expect the very best of every day; this represents our commitment to giving them the very best as well.”
The kitchen staff is compromised primarily of soldiers with the 2nd BSB, but earns its title ‘consolidated’ from the 593rd Sustainment Brigade cooks who help run the DFAC.
“It also represents, finally in this structure, the coming together of echelons and units from across the post, across the Corps, the 593rd, the Division Staff, our sister units, giving our soldiers what they most deserve each and every day,” added Huggins. “I want to thank you all for the efforts you’ve taken to bring this to fruition on time and on budget.”
The Lancer DFAC is the largest on Joint Base Lewis-McChord and feeds approximately 700 soldiers and post employees a day, and features the competitive prices of $2.50 for breakfast and $4.60 for lunch and dinner.
“Anything that you can get from Burger King or Subway, you can get right here [everyday],” said Sgt. 1st Class Marlin Carter, 2-2 Inf. Div., Lancer Consolidated DFAC manager. “You can’t beat it. It’s cheaper than Burger King and it’s cheaper than Subway.”
Prices do not vary from DFAC to DFAC across JBLM, but Carter makes it an effort to keep customers coming by adding variety to meal selection and ensuring patrons are heard.
“I try to get a specialty meal every week. Monday you might have an Asian meal [and] Tuesday a soul-food meal. We try to bring in varieties, and I also get input from customers,” said Carter.
Steak, lobster and shrimp were the primary entree for the opening, and morale among the staff and customers seemed high.
Spc. Jessica Smith, a cook with the 2nd BSB, smiled as soldiers checked in and grabbed their trays saying, “I’m happy the DFAC is opening again. I’m happy to see smiling faces and feeding soldiers.”