529th food operations moves to Fort Myer
August 30, 2011
There aren't any sounds of lunch time chatter or aromas of morning chow at the Fort Lesley J. McNair, D.C. dining facility. Instead, all that can be heard is the clanging of metal kitchen equipment moving across the floor and the reminiscent stories of the cooks who once cooked on them.
A team of 18 cooks from the 529th Regimental Support Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), served their last meal at Fort McNair's DFAC, 29 July, and have been preparing for the move to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. during the month of August.
Staff Sgt. Antonio Williams, 529th dining facility manager, said his first reaction to the move was to be proactive.
"We started cutting items from the menu and looking for storage areas for equipment we needed to transfer over," said Williams. "We also started making planning dates to have things disconnected and turned off."
Williams's initiative has paid off since the closure. All the kitchen field equipment has been transferred to Fort Myer and the preparation for the return of the stoves, ovens, refrigerators and serving line equipment to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office at Fort George G. Meade, Md., has taken place.
Due to the small stature of the DFAC, Williams said a lot of the Department of Defense civilians on Fort. McNair took it personal when they found out about the move.
"We generally saw the same faces every day," said Williams. "A lot of the Soldiers and civilians knew each other, they communicated and they bonded."
Spc. Noah Teutsch, 529th food operations specialist, also said he will miss the familiarity.
"You knew exactly what they wanted and what to expect out of them," said Teutsch, referring to the Soldiers and DOD civilians who frequented the DFAC. "After a month or so, you knew everything about them."
However, it's not the smiling faces Noah said he will miss the most, but the chance to be a part of history.
"We were here in the last 106th year of the dining facilities' operations," said Teutsch. "106 years is a pretty long time."
"It's the end all be all. I'm the last manager of this building's existence. I was actually sad when they closed the doors," said Williams.