USAG HUMPHREYS, South Korea – The 501st Military Intelligence Brigade gathered to honor the 47-year service of Korean National employee Mi Suk Han by presenting her with a Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service medal as a retirement award at the Provider Grill dining facility, Oct. 5.
Han was presented the second highest award for Army Civilians by Lt. Col. Nora Flott, commander, 719th MI Battalion, for the exceptional commitment she has shown during her long term of service; attending to the nutritional needs of the Soldiers, and employees of the brigade, Eighth Army, and United States Forces Korea.
Han began her employment with the brigade on Aug. 29, 1973, as a cook in the 177th Army Security Agency dining facility. She has held many positions since then, eventually rising to serve in her current position as the mess operations senior leader. During that time, she made sure patrons at her dining facilities received nutritious meals and superior service in a clean and welcoming environment.
For the last 12 years, Han has overseen dining facility operations and managed 29 subordinate Korean National cooks and food service workers providing support to the brigade dining facility and three forward detachments along the Demilitarized Zone.
Han led her dining facilities to receive accolades as among best garrison dining facilities in the Army twice while serving in her current position. In 2020, her Provider Grill team won the Philip A. Connelly Award, while in 2010 the Red Dragon Inn was recognized as the Runner Up for the same award.
The Philip A. Connelly Awards Program, established on March 23, 1968, is named for the late Philip A. Connelly, former president of International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA). The Joint Culinary Center of Excellence administers the Philip A. Connelly Program competition in both field and garrison environments celebrates culinary excellence in Army food service programs.
Han has also served as an advisor and mentor to countless U.S. Army and Korean National cooks and support personnel who have worked with her and had the benefit of learning from her decades experience.
After receiving the award, Han thanked everyone for attending, and conveyed that she had really enjoyed her work over the years at the dining facility.
“One thing that I would really like to mention now, and it is something I am really proud of, is back when I first started (working here), kimchi was not on the menu at all,” said Han. “Now it is on the menu, and I can’t believe this DFAC is serving kimchi. On top of that, doenjang-jjigae (a Korean soybean paste stew) is being served as well.”