By Spc. Kelly MaloneAugust 12, 2011
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- The honored tradition of being the backbone of the Army belongs to all noncommissioned officers, or NCO as is more commonly known among the ranks. Every so often a truly dedicated NCO stands out among their peers. Staff Sgt. Bradley Williams is one of these NCOs.
Williams, a food service specialist for Tony’s Place dining facility, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade on post. Williams has served in the Army for ten years, working in food service for his whole career.
Many things credit Williams with being an outstanding NCO. He arrives to work at 4:30 a.m. every morning and puts in a minimum of nine hours at the dining facility. He is a mentor, trainer, and leader to a group of upcoming food service specialists which work with him in the dining facility.
In additional to assisting the senior NCOs who manage the dining facility, training his subordinates, being on-call to assist with company tasks, he is in charge of the dining facility’s remedial physical training program, which supports soldiers who require training time in order to improve their annual physical fitness test score. He spends 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with these soldiers each week day before calling it a day.
Williams’ day doesn’t end there. He volunteers several days per week for the Edge Program, held at the Audie Murphy Community Center. This program is sponsored by Child Youth Services and offers cooking and food handling skills to dependent children from the elementary to high school level.
Another fact about Williams is that he has been deployed to Iraq four times in six years. His second deployment to Forward Operating Base Danger, Tikrit, Iraq, was very special to Williams. He and his sister, now Staff Sgt. Renae Williams, also a food service specialist, were in the same unit and went down range together. Bradley was Renae’s NCO, and held the honor of escorting the then Spc. Williams to the promotion board. It is an experience the siblings hold dear.
The best memory Williams has of his days working in Tony’s Place dining facility is of the 2010 Annual Installation Management Agency competition centered on Thanksgiving culinary decorations and meal preparation. Out of 18 other post dining facilities, Tony’s Place took 1st place. Williams worked with Sgt. 1st Class Christian Moore, now retired, who headed up the winning team.
Training the young cooks and working with Sgt. 1st Class Moore was very rewarding as well as being part of the whole team’s success, says Williams.
“He taught me a lot about the color flow process,” says Williams of Moore.
Color flow is hard candy that can be colored and molded into any shape, says Williams. We used this process in the competition to create unit crests and patches.
Pfc. Joshua T. Miller, food service specialist, Tony’s Place dining facility, HHC, 4th MEB, has worked under Williams for more than a year and was part of the culinary team for last year’s win. While sitting in the office, Miller and Williams finish each other’s sentences. It is very apparent of the high regard Miller has for his sergeant.
“He’s a genius cook anyway and there isn’t much he can learn,” said Miller.
Tony’s Place culinary team was honored with coins from post commander Maj. Gen. David Quantock. Personally, for his training efforts and wiliness to go above and beyond, Williams received a unit-level Army Achievement Medal.
At the end of the day, after all the training, mentoring, and volunteering, Williams finally goes home.
Home now has the pitter-patter of little feet in the shape of a young daughter.
“Home is where I like to be most now,” said Williams.
Standing out among his peers for his pursuit excellence, support of the junior enlisted in his unit, and his community spirit, his most important aspect of life now is his family.
Williams said that he is thankful to be home and to spend more time with his new family.
“Being home now is the best reward for all my hard work,” he said.