16th STB Soldiers take field cooking to a new level
November 16, 2011
BAMBERG, Germany- Earlier this year, Soldiers of the 16th Special Troops Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, took home the Phillip A. Connelly award for the best field kitchen at the both the 21st Theater Sustainment Command and U.S. Army Europe levels. On Oct. 13, Department of the Army judges arrived at the 16th STB field site on Warner Barracks, here to decide if the unit had what it took to win at the DA level.
The Phillip A. Connelly competition recognizes food service personnel throughout the Army and evaluates their expertise in running the food service program. The underlying principle of the competition is intended to improve the quality of food throughout the military and give food service personnel the recognition they deserve.
Judges evaluated Soldiers in several different categories to include food preparation and quality, use and maintenance of equipment, field food safety, appearance and attitude of the staff, and also supervision and training of personnel.
"Expect the unexpected, look for Murphy, and practice makes perfect!" This is how Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ruth Caraway, the 16th Sust. Bde. command food advisor, described what she learned from the Phillip A. Connelly competition. Caraway and her group planned and trained for eight months leading up to the competition.
"The biggest challenge while preparing for the Connelly was keeping up with the Brigade op-tempo," said Caraway. "As a brigade we have various missions going on all the while making time to practice and improve the site. We just took it one practice at a time, focusing on the 25 meter targets and working our way up."
For 1st Lt. Melissa Wilson, the 16th Sust. Bde. food service officer, "The biggest challenge was compiling the entire team. We had Soldiers from almost every section participating. The sections lost those Soldiers completely while preparing for the brigade, 21st TSC and U.S. Army Europe evaluations."
Despite all of the demands to prepare for the competition, the 16th STB food service Soldiers brought their warrior spirit to excel in the military food service arena.
Judging for the Philip A. Connelly competition will continue through December and the winners will be announced early next year.