Currahee DFAC three-time Best Mess Award winner
February 19, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky-When the sun peaks over the rolling lawns of Fort Campbell, while most Soldiers still lay sleeping in their beds, a group of specially trained Soldiers, a small army in their own right, have been up toiling tirelessly for hours to meet their mission to the best of their ability. These Soldiers are food service specialists who labor preparing and serving meals at the 4th Brigade Dining Facility. They are the best within the division.
The 4th Brigade Combat Team Dining Facility was awarded the 101st Airborne Division Commanding General's Best Dining Facility or "Best Mess" of the Quarter for the third consecutive quarter, Feb. 8, 2013 at Fort Campbell, Ky.
"Sometimes we will have four or five people on a shift and we are feeding 300 to 400 people," said Sgt. Joerell Sturgis, a food service specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 801st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div. "We do all that all the while being able to maintain everything in accordance with the standard."
All dining facilities on the entire installation are inspected and graded on criteria to include food preparation, food safety, customer service and the cleanliness of each facility.
The dining facilities receive scores in each of the criteria and the facility with the highest overall score is awarded the title of "Best Mess" of the Quarter.
"Every quarter this award gets more and more difficult to earn because our competition keeps getting better," said Sgt. 1st Class Cassandra Carter, the 4th Brigade Combat Team Dining Facility manager from HHC, 801st BSB, 4th BCT. "It was very close this quarter."
"This win feels pretty good and it is pretty cool being able to say we are the best," said Spc. Jasmine Rivas, a food service specialist with HHC, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th BCT.
"We worked really hard and it is nice to be noticed for that work, it makes us feel appreciated. Many times people forget that we are usually at work before anyone else usually wakes up and we usually leave several hours after everyone else generally goes home."
"As food service specialist we don't get every weekend off or [days of no scheduled activity]," said Sturgis.
Not only do food service specialists do their standard daily duties, they are continually filling last minute food requests.
"Our job requires serious amounts of multi tasking," said Rivas.
"The fact that we accomplish all that we do and still continue to meet and exceed the standards is a testament to our hard work," said Sturgis.
"After all the work is said and done, it is very refreshing to be recognized for our skills with this award," echoes Rivas.
With the staff of the 4th BCT DFAC gathered to celebrate their achievement and receive their award, Carter reiterates the importance of teamwork.
"This is not about Sergeant Carter, this about all of us," she shares.
"We are like a family here," adds Carter. "We do a lot of simultaneous training, filling last minute orders and it would not be possible without our very resilient Soldiers who are dealing with a lot behind the scenes."
"We always do our best," said Rivas.
"We like our jobs and we are doing what we signed up to do, the level of skill we have demonstrated with these wins shows how much we really do enjoy doing our job," said Sturgis.
With a deployment scheduled to begin in the spring, these Soldiers take this achievement as a good sign.
"We left the old year with bang and we are starting the new one the same way," shares Sturgis.
"We are excited, it is a great way to bring in the new year," said Carter, smiling.