By Capt. Colin CutlerJuly 24, 2017
CINCU, Romania - The Soldiers of Resolute Castle 2017 work diligently to advance the engineering projects at the Joint National Training Center, Cincu, Romania. Soldiers from unique backgrounds contribute to the mission in unique ways which are not always directly related to the construction aspect of the mission. In this publication, we delve into the life of Sgt. David Edwards who contributes to Resolute Castle by serving up energizing meals that fuel the mission.
Sgt. David Edwards' day begins with preparing and heating food before anyone else is up, and ends with cleaning dishes long after most other Soldiers are off for the day. At 0315, he's up, and he's in the containerized kitchen at Joint National Training Center, Cincu, Romania, by 0430.
Edwards doesn't mind it, though. "Feeding the soldiers makes me happy." He has been with Forward Support Company, 926th Engineer Brigade, for the last 7 years, and has had an eclectic past prior to that. "I was a cook in the Marine Corps for 7 years, spent 2 years in law school, got a B.A. in business administration, and worked for 7 years as a mortgage banker in North Carolina and Alabama until the recession hit in 2008." When the Army offered him a prior enlistment contract, he took it.
"I've gotten to travel a lot with the military," said Edwards. "I was in Okinawa with the Marines for 3 months, then deployed to Desert Storm as a Pvt. 1st Class. Then Hawaii, California, and North Carolina." Edwards spent a year on FOB Wardak, outside Kabul, Afghanistan, with the Army; after he de-mobilized, he returned for 16 months as a contractor for Supreme International.
Edwards now works as an executive chef for Genesis Healthcare Systems. Food is his passion-"It's all about making people happy with the food you provide." Being a chef has given him a unique view on the military: "There isn't a person who doesn't remember the cook's face if he does his job right." His various experiences prepared him for his current assignment.
"The Marines made me who I am as a person, and trained me in dealing with soldiers of different nationalities." In Romania, he expands upon that-"you get to know the culture, but you also get to know the personalities until they all feel like family."
Resolute Castle particularly focuses on engineer skillsets, deploying active Navy, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard engineer units to work alongside the Romanian 10th Engineer Brigade and the U.K. Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers on training infrastructure at the Joint National Training Center in Cincu, Romania. The mission supports Operation Atlantic Resolve through developing training infrastructure in eastern Europe, creating interoperability among NATO forces, and enhancing stability and resolve among Allied nations.