BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (June 9, 2012) - Soldiers from the 926th
Engineer Battalion Forward Support Company, 926th Engineer
Brigade, 412th Theater Engineer Command, were out in full
force today to show they have what it takes to compete in
the 2013 Philip A. Connelly Awards Program.
In setting up for the USARC evaluation, they wasted no time
putting up a containerized kitchen and laying out other
equipment in a public park across from the reserve center,
and worked feverishly around the clock to ensure no stone
was left unturned. Exceeding all requirements to pass
today's test and make it to the next round were the
priority for the day.
"I'm very proud of my team. Our Soldiers work
extremely hard every year. We're very excited to be
here, and to have this opportunity to enhance and test our
skill set and possibly to compete at the next level,"
said Staff Sgt. Wardell Davis, 926th team leader and Food
But to get to the next level, the Department of the Army
phase, the 926th FSC team needs to pass the current
evaluation conducted under the watchful eye of Chief
Warrant Officer Danny Tindel, Food Service Technician from
the U.S. Army Reserve Command.
Tindel spent several hours observing cooks and field
sanitation members in action, sometimes from afar and
sometimes directly engaging with them as they go about
their normal routine. Communication centered on testing
their knowledge about field kitchen operation and
Soldiers were evaluated on a myriad of criteria ranging
from accounting procedures, field sanitation, command
support, appearance, serving, kitchen site selection and
layout, equipment and food preparation.
It's important that they are aware of the standard and
actually practice what we preach for health and safety
reasons, said Tindel.
One Soldier who takes this lesson to heart is First Cook
Spc. Jerica Chatman, who also works as a chef at the
University of Alabama hospital.
"Cooking is my passion. It's taking care of
people. So it's important that everything has to be
done right, at all times, in our line of work," said
the mother of two and a native of Pell City, Ala.
Chatman and her team cooked up a hot meal for 50 people
that included rice, green salad, stirred fried vegetables,
chicken and banana pudding.
"Food was great. They continue to improve each
time," said one satisfied Soldier.
The 926th Soldiers were acknowledged for their great effort
and received certificates from USARC G4. If they make the
USARC's Top 4 cut by July, they will represent the
412th TEC in the 'Army Reserve Field Kitchen'
category. The DA phase of the evaluation is conducted 1
October to 15 December, with the overall winner to be
announced in March 2013.
The Connelly Awards program is governed by AR 30-22 and is
managed by the Quartermaster Center and School's Army
Center of Excellence, Subsistence, and cosponsored by the
International Food Service Executives Association and the
Department of the Army.
The award is designed to improve food service operations
and to recognize excellence in Army mess halls and during
field kitchen operations.
The Department of the Army and the International Food
Service Executives Association established the Phillip A.
Connelly Memorial Awards Program in 1968. The program is
named in honor of the late Phillip A. Connelly, a former
president of IFSEA.