JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- A team of food service specialists assigned 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team represented I Corps during the Forces Command level of the Philip A. Connelly Program for field feeding Aug. 30, 2017, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.Evaluators from U.S. Army Forces Command inspected the team's field feeding site, situated at Training Area 12 on JBLM, questioning members of the team and examining the team's operational implementation of regulations covering food service. If the team wins, it will represent FORSCOM in the Department of the Army level competition, which begins later in the year."The Philip A. Connelly program is an opportunity for food service personnel to showcase their talents across the entire Army," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarell Smith, the 1-2 SBCT Food Service Technician. "In addition to food service excellence, it is a training opportunity to gain insight from those outside of the JBLM footprint on how food service should operate."This is one of the best learning opportunities the Soldiers can be in, said Staff Sgt. Suzanne Lindsey, a culinary NCO with 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 1-2 SBCT. The Soldiers can dig into the regulations and learn in a practical way, which is far more valuable than a classroom environment.This will help increase food service readiness, said Smith. After the Soldiers learn the proper tactics, techniques and procedures for setting up a field site, they can teach it to others who were not able to be a part of this team.Some of the items the teams are graded on for the Philip A. Connelly Program are training and supervision, headcount operations and cash collection, receipt and storage of rations, field food service safety, appearance and attitude of food service personnel, kitchen site setup and layout, food preparation and quality, troop acceptability and maintenance of equipment."It starts with the hygiene of our cooks," said Lindsey. "We enforce handwashing throughout the cooking and preparation process. The culinary specialists must have clean hands and uniforms. We have a field sanitation team on site that monitors the chlorination level of the water source. They also ensure the sanitation tent is keeping the right temperatures for the dish water."The layout is based off of the kitchen, Lindsey continued. For example, the latrines have to 100 yards downwind from the kitchen. The soakage pit has to be 30 yards away from the kitchen trailer, with the sanitation tent in between."Whenever Soldiers are in the field, the one thing they look forward to is meal time," said Lindsey. "Food is sustenance, energy, and the meal is a time for relaxation and camaraderie. The food should be palatable and the Soldiers should enjoy it."Starting at the brigade, they worked their way through the division level and eventually made it to the I Corps competition. Now they hope to compete at the DA level if they win the FORSCOM competition."The team has won dinning facility of the quarter multiple times within 7th Infantry Division," said Lindsey. "I feel so proud of my cooks and my crew. They work so hard and are dedicated to their jobs. They are always studying and refining their areas of expertise.""I feel very honored to be a part of the team," said Pvt. Abigayle Middleton, a culinary specialist with 1-37 Field Artillery. "I did not know what the competition was the first time I went in May. When they asked for me to come back for this one, I felt honored. We get to show all the sergeants major and chiefs who are inspecting how much we know about our craft.""This kind of competition raises the bar for field feeding teams," Lindsey said. "This competition shows you what is possible and what you should strive for."Update Oct. 10, 2017: It was announced the 1-2 SBCT team won and will be representing FORSCOM at the DA level.