Army G-4 Announces This Year’s Philip A. Connelly Award Winners

By HQDA, G-4May 17, 2023

The Department of the Army has announced winners for the 55th Philip A. Connelly Award for Excellence in Food Service. The Award’s purpose is to recognize excellence within the Army food program while challenging Army food service providers to meet high standards in the culinary arts.

Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS), G-4, Sgt. Maj. Petra M. Casarez, speaks of the Philip A. Connelly Award as an achievement for Soldiers, Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs), Officers, Civilians, and Contractors in Army Food Service, as well as how it presents the Army food program in professional terms.

“What the Army food program does,” says Sgt. Maj. Casarez, “is it puts Soldier health and nutrition first. The Connelly Award for an Army field kitchen or garrison dining facility recognizes this highest level of healthy, nutritious food service excellence.”

This year’s winning units in the competition come from the 7th Special Forces (SF) Group, the 16th Sustainment Brigade, the Army Reserve’s 333rd Military Police (MP) Brigade, and the Connecticut Army National Guard’s 1109th Theater Aviation Sustainment Group.

Runners-up for this year’s competition represent the Iowa Army National Guard, the Army Reserve’s 654th Regional Support Group, the 10th Mountain Division, and the 2nd Infantry Division.

“Army Culinarians, we call them,” said William Duff, Logistics Management Specialist and Army Food Service Team Chief, at HQDA G-4, Directorate of Army Logistics-Support. “They observe dining trends but also try to innovate so they offer higher quality food choices, provide healthy nutrition, and present excellent dining experiences in welcoming atmospheres,” Duff said.

Winning units may select a participant to attend training with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The Association has been instrumental in fostering excellence in the Army Food Program since the Connelly Award’s inception in 1968. Mr. Duff said, “The Army Food Program monitors trends in dining and food service partly through our collaboration with the National Restaurant Association.”

“This is the same kind of honor as the highest recognition for any of the finest restaurants in the world today,” Sgt. Maj. Casarez explains, “just as it has been since 1968. It shows how the requirements of the Army food program result in the best in food service.”

Seventh SF Group’s Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 7th Group Support Battalion (GSB), 7th SF Group (ABN) achieved top honors in the Regular Army Garrison category. The unit’s home is Camp Bull Simmons at Eglin Air Force Base, on Florida’s Panhandle, west of state capital, Tallahassee.

The Regular Army Field Kitchen winner calls Grafenwoehr, Germany its home. The 221st Quartermaster Company is part of the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, in the 16th Sustainment Brigade.

Fort Meade, Maryland is where you will find U.S. Army Reserve Field Kitchen winner, Headquarters and Headquarters Company 400th MP Battalion. The 400th is part of the 333rd MP Brigade in the 200th MP Command.

Bravo Company, 1109th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group (TASMG), located in Pearl City, just north of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is part of the Connecticut Army National Guard in Groton. It captured the top spot for its Field Kitchen, upping its game from competition in 2022.

Each winner and runner-up received an invitation to be recognized at the awards ceremony this month, hosted by the National Restaurant Association. The association, one of the founders of the Philip A. Connelly Award, hosts the awards ceremony as part of its annual trade show, this year in Chicago, Illinois.

Units also will hold their own local ceremonies to bring home the trophy.  This gives unit commanders the opportunity to encourage their Soldiers to enjoy the culinary artistry of these Food Service Soldiers, NCOs, Officers, Civilians, and Contractors, all “Army Culinarians,” who comprise the distinguished recipients.