Food Service Keeps Army Marching Along
Staff Sgt. Nicolas Killgo, with the 69th ADA Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas, prepare cucumbers for use in smoked salmon mousse canapés at the – John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel April 13, 2010. Sixteen Soldiers participated in training as a reward for competing and placing either first or second in the 2010 Philip A. Connelly Awards Program. (Photo by: Sharon Mulligan, Fort Lee Public Affairs)

FORT LEE, Va. (April 22, 2010)- “An Army marches on its stomach,” were the words spoken by Napoleon more than 100 years ago. Today, leaders all over the world still recognize the importance of food service to military personnel and the belief “a well fed Solider is an effective Solider.”

“The Army food service program falls under the war-fighting function of sustainment and is key to the war fighter being able to accomplish the mission,” said Brig. Gen. Jesse R. Cross, Quartermaster School commanding general.

“The Philip A. Connelly Awards Program supports the Army by bringing together the best Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians who have risen to the top, above everybody else in terms of their professionalism and culinary skills, and rewards and recognizes them for their contribution to our nation,” continued Cross.

The U.S. Army honored those Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians during the 2010 Philip A. Connelly Awards Program and Conference held in Reno, Nev., April 12-17.

The goal of the Connelly Awards Program is to encourage excellence in preparing and serving food to Soldiers, while providing incentives for improved food service operations through unit recognition. It is a unique culinary competition because it takes place over a number of months and focuses on the overall operations and effectiveness of Army dining facilities throughout the world.

“We have a very comprehensive evaluation that focuses on food preparation, sanitation, serving methods, acceptability of the troops, command support and the overall picture in terms of dining facility operations,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jack Van Zanten, Quartermaster Corps regimental chief warrant officer and Connelly evaluator. “The overall state of Army food service today is great. We are better fed now than we have ever been in the past and are by far the best fed Army in the world.”

The ceremony, held in conjunction with the 2010 Joint Services Excellence in Food Service Awards, was the culmination of an eventful week geared toward honoring the winners and runners-ups of the program.

Starting on April 12, 16 selected Soldiers received two days of hands-on professional development training from the culinary staff at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel in Reno. Classes included instruction on Southwestern cooking, Asian cooking, sourdough breads, hors d’oeurve, buffet presentation, quick desserts, Chinese appetizers and an overview of restaurant operations.

In addition to the training, participants also received a tour of the Ralston Foods cereal plant and competed in a Bistro Challenge against other military and culinary school teams.

The Connelly Awards Program and Conference is held jointly with the Navy and Military Sealift Command programs. Connelly is managed by the Quartermaster School’s Joint Culinary Center of Excellence and co-sponsored by the International Food Service Executives Association and the Department of the Army G4.

For more pictures and coverage, visit: www.flickr.com/photos/ftleetraveller. Under ‘sets,’ look for ‘2010 Philip A. Connelly Awards.’