One of the ways the Army plans to modernize and increase Soldier readiness is to improve food service and nutrition, and Army logisticians have recognized the need to provide convenient, nutritionally balanced options to Soldiers where they work, train, and live.
To meet this need, the Army developed a food truck and kiosk concept called “The Culinary Outpost.” These outposts are similar to AAFES food trucks, with one major difference- their nutritional content is based on research conducted by the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence and the Army Nutrition Team.
Proper nutrition is necessary for Soldiers to perform optimally, both mentally and physically, but it can be difficult to maintain in locations with limited options- especially if Soldiers have to leave their training and work areas to find a well-balanced meal. The food trucks and kiosks, which are mobile platforms capable of feeding up to 200 Soldiers per meal, provide a solution to this problem. Using standardized menus and fresh ingredients for quick, nutritious meals, they can provide support where Soldiers need it.
“Food trucks provide a convenient option for quality hot food options,” said Mr. Bradley Hancock, a director of logistics and engineering at Joint Force Headquarters in the National Capital Region and the Military District of Washington.
Currently, the Army has 12 Culinary Outposts, located at Fort Bragg, Fort Drum, Fort Stewart, Fort Carson, Fort Bliss, Fort Hood, Fort Riley, Schofield Barracks, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, and U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria.
Later this year, Joint Base Lewis-McCord will also be added to the list, and by the end of 2027, the Army will have 22 Culinary Outposts.
Nutritional readiness has evolved over the past four decades from a series of varied ideas and one-size-fits-all guidelines into an evidence-based science promoting integrated and personalized practices. Previous studies and recommendations focused on endurance sports, while contemporary performance dietary guidelines are mission-and individual-driven to enhance individual Soldiers’ readiness. The goal of nutritional readiness is to help Soldiers achieve optimal performance and the Culinary Outposts are part of the overall effort.
“My brigade participates in the food truck initiative here at Fort Hood, and it reinforced that the purpose of food trucks is versatility through flexibility. They will show up where you need them and when you need them,” said Chief Warrant Officer Two Silvestre Arroyo, a food service advisor with the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade.
The Army is committed to improving readiness and modernizing the force, and the Army Food Modernization program is tied to both of those priorities. Food trucks and kiosks are part of the overall food modernization plan, along with improved nutritional standards and dining facility enhancements. The Army will continue to implement food modernization efforts over the next few years as part of its effort to improve individual Soldier readiness.
The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, is the Army’s headquarters staff for developing, implementing, and overseeing Army strategy, policy, plans, and programming for logistics and sustainment. For more information please visit www.army.mil/g-4. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.