PANZER KASERNE, Germany – Logistics Readiness Center Stuttgart has a new food service manager, but he’s not new to Germany. Over the years, he was stationed at Landstuhl, Baumholder, Schweinfurt and Bamberg, and now he’s stationed in Stuttgart helping to the support the community, there.
Ezekiel Shepherd, Jr. arrived about three months ago. Before coming to LRC Stuttgart, he was the food service manager at LRC Presidio of Monterrey in California. Shepherd has 36 years of U.S. government food service experience – much of it with the Army – to include food defense, food service operations, and food safety and sanitation.
The retired senior noncommissioned officer with 24 years of active-duty Army service said it’s not really a job for him. It’s a passion.
“For me it’s a no brainer,” Shepherd said. “I love working in food service and I love serving my country. It’s the best of both worlds so I really enjoy what I do.”
As the food service manager at LRC Stuttgart, Shepherd is responsible for overseeing operations at the Originals Café dining facility on Panzer Kaserne, in Böblingen, Germany, supporting the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart community. At the Originals Café, he manages a staff of dining facility attendants and food service specialists, also known as cooks.
The Originals Café is unique in that it also has Soldiers who work there. A group of uniformed culinary specialists from 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) work side-by-side with their LRC Stuttgart counterparts, both local nationals and Army civilians. Together, the combined team manage and operate one of the Army’s finest dining facilities.
“They work really well together as a team,” Shepherd said. “They really care about each other and about providing quality meals to the community, both nutritious and delicious.”
The working relationship between the Soldiers and the LRC Stuttgart employees at the dining facility is productive and very respectful, said Shepherd, who is married, has three children and calls West Monroe, Louisiana, his hometown.
“We all know what our lanes of responsibility are, and we stay within them, but we also work very closely together, too. We all have our guidelines for what we must do, LRC versus the Soldiers, and we work really well together knowing those guidelines,” Shepherd said. “There’s still a few things we need to tighten up, but we’ll get there very soon.”
Shepherd’s responsibilities as the LRC Stuttgart food service manager include conducting inventories, reporting account and personnel statuses, checking timecards, conducting cash turn-ins, maintaining and updating policies and standard operating procedures, organizing training events and developmental opportunities, ordering new equipment as needed, and managing the Enterprise Requirements Management System. ERMS is an automated tool that facilitates requirements and creates detailed records of services for the current budget year.
“What I do is all about taking care of people and mission accomplishment,” said the 56-year-old Soldier for Life. “We’re a community dining facility. It’s not just the Special Forces who use the DFAC. It’s the entire community. We’re here for all of them.”
LRC Stuttgart is one of eight LRCs under the command and control of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade. LRCs execute installation logistics support and services to include supply, maintenance, and transportation as well as clothing issue facility operations, hazardous material management, personal property and household goods, passenger travel, non-tactical vehicle and garrison equipment management, and property book operations. When it comes to providing day-to-day installation services, LRC Stuttgart directs, manages, and coordinates a variety of operations and activities in support of USAG Stuttgart.
LRC Stuttgart reports to the 405th AFSB, which is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website and the official Facebook site.