FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Nov. 29, 2018) -- Food service Soldiers from the 75th Field Artillery (FA) Brigade and the 31st Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade went with a Hawaiian themed Thanksgiving meal Nov. 21, to authorized Defense Department ID cardholders at the Guns and Rockets Dining Facility on post.

Guest Soldier Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Perry of Army Human Resources Command (HRC), a 92G food service specialist, military occupational specialty (MOS), brought something different to the venue: ice sculptures.

Four Soldiers spent about a week creating designs. Chief Warrant Office 2 Jeremy Patterson, food service adviser with the 75th FA Brigade, oversaw the event.

The four Soldiers from the two commands were Staff Sgt. Milton Watkins, and Spcs. Joseph Frimpong, Robert Bieniek, and Dominic Gordon.

Perry described in detail what it takes to create a finished sculpture. "Sculpting typically starts with a block of ice that is 20 by 40 by 10 (inches). Students develop a stencil and freeze it to a block of ice. From there they remove the bulk ice with a chain saw. This leaves them with a two-dimensional shape. The carving must be blocked out into three-dimensional shapes.

"This I typically complete with grinders and chisels," he said. "From this point, the carving must be rounded to start to take a realistic shape of what is being carved. Once properly shaped, the carving is sanded and any small details can be added before displaying. Sculpting depends on the artists' abilities. The more you carve the quicker you become.

"Most students' carvings had about five hours invested into them," Perry said."I have been carving ice heavily since 2010, and some before that. I also grew up with a grandfather who was an art professor and was always attracted to art. Ice was just a new medium for me.

"Fort Sill was the last stop for me as I had traveled to Fort Campbell, Ky.; Camp Humphries, Korea; Fort Bragg, S.C., and then to Fort Sill teaching ice carving. I spent about a week at each location training Soldiers and talking to the 92Gs about career progression and opportunities available to them through Army programs and assignments. At HRC I do professional development and all nominative assignments for the MOS. It's always good to go out to the field and do face-to-face engagements with Soldiers and creating that personal connection and discussing the questions that they may not pick up the phone to ask."

Frimpong, one of the four who sculpted the ice, spoke of his experience: "I was offered a chance to do this. I liked how (ice sculpting) looked, very prominent, very great. I wanted to try. It was negative 40 degrees. We had a template to make ice carving more realistic. I actually enjoyed doing it. I saw it last year and I liked it, so I wanted to be involved this year."

In keeping with a Hawaiian theme, Soldier crafted their statues into fish, palm trees, birds, and turtles, to complement the food spread, which included beef, ham, fish fillets, turkey, salads, shrimp, and a variety of potato dishes, salads, and desserts.