December 23, 2008

Virginia Guard unit wins national food service competition

By Maj. Cotton Puryear
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Joey K. Falls (left) and Spc. Seth Grove (right) of the 1032nd Transportation Company serve 1st Sgt. Ernest T. Miller out of a mobile kitchen trailer.  The mobile kitchen trailer was set up as a requirement of the Connelly Competition for which they were competing. (Photo by Sgt. Jesse L. Houk, Virginia Guard Public Affairs) Click HERE to download a high resolution copy of this photo.

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia National Guard’s Gate City-based 1032nd Transportation Company has won the Department of the Army’s annual Philip A. Connelly Award For Excellence In Army Food Service in the National Guard Field Kitchen Category.

“The food service staffs of these units deserve special recognition for their contribution toward improving the Army's food service program, and for their superior efforts in enhancing the quality of food service for our Soldiers,” said John Q. McNulty, Chief of the Food, Liquid Logistics, and Field Services Division, Directorate of Supply for Department of the Army, in the letter announcing the winners. “All finalists displayed high standards of excellence; were very competitive; and are congratulated for their outstanding performance.”  McNulty sent notifications to the winning units via email Dec. 19.

Soldiers from the unit prepared their meal for the competition at Fort Pickett in October. They competed against National Guard units from six other regions across the country and were judged in 11 different categories that ranged from sanitation to the quality of the food. The unit will receive the actual award during ceremonies scheduled April 2 – 5 in Atlanta.

Spc. Daniel C. Elswick of the 1032nd Transportation Company supplies drinks for Soldiers during a lunch at Fort Pickett.  The 1032nd Transportation Company was competing in the Connelly Competition. (Photo by Sgt. Jesse L. Houk, Virginia Guard Public Affairs) Click HERE to download a high resolution copy of this photo.

“I am so proud of all the Soldiers in the company and want to give my thanks to those involved with this years competition that made this win possible,” said Capt. Alexandre Oryschak of Staunton, Va., the commander of the 1032nd. First Sgt. First Sergeant Ernest T. Miller of Mechanicsville, Va. is the unit’s senior noncommissioned officer and Master Sgt. Brian E. Kinkead of Gate City is the food operations sergeant in charge of the winning team.

"This is the second consecutive year that the 1032nd has participated and was selected as both the State and Regional Connelly Champion,” said Lt. Col. Doug Messner, commander of the 1030th Transportation Battalion, the battalion headquarters for the 1032nd. “Winning the overall competition this year is confirmation of what we've known at the 1032nd and the battalion staff for many years: the combination of great teamwork, commitment to providing the Soldiers the best food service possible and the energy and camaraderie of the team is electrifying."

The commander of the 329th Regional Support Group, Col. Timothy Williams, echoed Messner’s assessment. “Winning the Connelly Competition is a true reflection of a great unit with a history of outstanding performance in food service operations,” Williams said. The 329th is the brigade headquarters for the 1032nd.

The Connelly program is named in honor of Philip A. Connelly, past president of the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA), highly regarded as the driving force behind obtaining IFSEA sponsorship for the Department of the Army’s recognition of excellence in Army food service.

The program is co-sponsored by the Department of the Army and IFSEA. IFSEA representatives participate in the evaluation of finalists in five dining facility categories - Small Garrison, Large Garrison, and Field Kitchens in the Active Army, U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

U.S. Army Center of Excellence and Subsistence (ACES) and IFSEA evaluators traveled around the world during the past three months to obtain first-hand knowledge of how Army food service personnel perform their jobs.

All the finalists were evaluated in a number of areas including food preparation, taste, nutrition, service and sanitation.

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