By 2nd Lt. Darian Henderson and Staff Sgt. Chris PerkeySeptember 14, 2018
Following assumption of operational control of Robert C. Stack Jr. Dining Facility (DFAC) Aug. 1, the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, implemented a number of new initiatives to continue momentum generated by the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
In an effort to reinforce readiness, Soldiers from 1st SBCT saw an opportunity and took over the DFAC to create and promote healthier food options for Soldiers, committed to improve overall health.
"Our intent is to provide Soldiers with a healthy food option that includes all the essential nutrients and food groups they will need to perform at an optimal level, and complete any mission they are called for," said Staff Sgt. Kevin Rios, DFAC manager, Forward Support Company, 299th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st SBCT.
In line with the overall readiness, Soldiers must maintain proper nutrition and hydration, and good dietary habits greatly enhance Soldiers' ability to perform at their maximum potential.
"It all comes down to you," said Capt. Michael Houston, commander, Company A, 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st SBCT. "To be an athlete you must be disciplined in what goes into your body. The Stack DFAC has made it a lot easier in supporting physical readiness for Soldiers in our formation."
The first change implemented at the DFAC was the "Half Hour of Power," a 30-minute timeframe after breakfast, lunch and dinner when Soldiers can grab a variety of healthy foods including yogurt, premade wraps, salad and fresh fruit.
The 1st SBCT DFAC team also added a protein bar, which is available during all meals. Soldiers can choose from tuna, chicken, hummus, mixed nuts, boiled eggs and guacamole.
Another hit has been the infused water station where Soldiers can add fresh vegetables or mixed fruit to water.
"We have to fill up the containers at least five times a day because the Soldiers can't get enough of it," said Rios.
The sandwich bar now features new items such as fresh tomatoes, avocados, onions and banana peppers. "Our intent for this facility is to provide people friendly service where Soldiers will 'want' to come and eat, and not 'have' to come and eat," said Staff Sgt. Melvin Jennings, chef leader, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT.
Focusing on providing a more healthy option for the Soldiers has proved to be a great tactic for the brigade. The DFAC management has received feedback from the Soldiers, complimenting the healthy options and the amount of variety.
"I think it's good to know that the Army is nourishing its Soldiers and investing in their health. Being a vegetarian and knowing that the DFAC is broadening its dietary spectrum, I'm starting to feel more comfortable, and at home in the DFAC," said Spc. Christopher Jambor, 4th BSB, 1st SBCT.