By Sgt. 1st Class Andrew PorchJune 5, 2015
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Over the past 20 years, 20 different dining facilities across the Army have had the honor of being named the best in the business, but only one has done it two years in a row.
The Courage Inn Dinning Facility, located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord Main, Washington, beat out almost 300 other DFACs to retain the title as the best DFAC in the Army, and received the Philip A. Connelly Trophy during an award presentation, June 4.
"Its been real exciting for me, I've spent almost 30 years in Army Food Service and this is the first time my team has ever won a [Department of the Army] level Philip A. Connelly," said Sgt. 1st Class Scott Markley, dining facility manager, Courage Inn DFAC. "It made me feel honored that myself and my team were chosen as the very best in the United States Army. Feel a lot of pride that we are the best in our profession."
Senior leaders gathered during the event to tell the Soldiers and civilians that work at the Courage Inn not to underestimate how special it is winning the award two years in a row.
"We have soldiers, we have civilians, we have leaders in this formation that have won it two years in a row and that says a lot about; first of all, the caliber of leaders you have in this organization and the team that you have built, military and civilian; it says the reputation and the pride you have in this dining facility, and the third thing it says is that you are truly masters of your craft," said Lt Gen. Stephen Lanza, commanding general, I Corps.
To win the award, everybody had to play his or her part and focus on the end goal.
"It's and honor to be part of the best DFAC in the Army," said Cpl. Derek Anderson, training noncommissioned officer, Courage Inn DFAC. "It's an honor to be apart of a striving team that exceeds the standard."
And the Soldiers knew winning was not something that they just expected to happen, they had to earn it.
"We spend a lot of time focusing on the minor details," said Anderson, a native of Detroit. "We take a lot of hours from the time that we wake up till the time we go home to put a lot of time and effort in."
"My Soldiers strive to learn everything they can," said Markley, a native of Spokane, Washington. "We try to provide as much training as possible and my Soldiers are eager to learn their jobs, and what really drives them is being able to support their units.
For Markley, it is not just about the award; it is about the Soldiers that he keeps fueled on a daily basis.
"I have always tried to provide the Soldiers with the absolute best food," he said. "I'm not so worried about the colonel who is on separate rations; I am worried about those [lower enlisted Soldiers] that live in the barracks that have nowhere else to eat.
While the DFAC has shown it takes pride taking care of Soldiers and the food it serves, the sights are already set on going for the trifecta.
"In order to win a third one, we are going to have to up our game," said Anderson. "We are going to have a lot of competitors trying to knock us from the top, so we are going to spend a lot of time, and put a lot of heart and effort, to make sure we are on point and we can continue to be the best."