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NEWS | Oct. 6, 2020

U.S. Army Reserve activates first field feeding company

By Spc. Kathia Del Rio 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

The U.S. Army Reserve will activate its first-ever field feeding company Oct. 16, 2020, with one year to become fully integrated. The activation signifies yet another push of moving culinary specialists (92G) from dining facilities to a more battlefield-oriented environment.

A handful of carefully selected Army Reserve Soldiers were chosen to establish the 375th Field Feeding Company (FFC) in Wilson, North Carolina. With proximity to Virginia, culinary specialists will now have an excellent opportunity to participate in culinary competitions, which take place at Fort Lee, Virginia.

The unit will begin accepting Soldiers on Oct. 16. With more than 500 required Soldiers, approximately 90 percent will be culinary specialists (92G).

“The purpose of a field feeding company is to support units in the field, garrison and overseas environments. For the Army Reserve, it serves the purpose of providing unit support during their annual training, battle assemblies and overseas deployments,” mentioned Capt. Elizabeth Mamay, company commander, 375th FFC.

“Next year, when we are up and running and mission capable, we will be a battalion-size element at a company level; and even though it’s a field feeding company, support elements will be vital to support the mission successfully,” she added.

The 375th FFC will also be accepting the following military occupational specialties: chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist (74D), wheeled vehicle mechanic (91B), utilities equipment repairer (91C), tactical power generation specialist (91D), quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer (91J), and unit supply specialist (92Y).

“The field feeding company idea came about when Soldiers in the U.S. Central Command theater of operation were observed eating Meals, Ready-to-Eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner due to not having dining facilities in smaller locations,” stated Teresa Withrow, force management officer, 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

“With contract feeding and dining facilities overseas, culinary specialists often experience the inability to deploy. Also, limited overseas dining facilities present Soldiers with the opportunity to eat local food, which isn’t always the safest when it comes to health and safety standards, often resulting in illness and decreased strength within the ranks,” added Withrow.

When Soldiers feel like they aren’t taken care of, lowered morale and welfare sets in, resulting in increased carelessness, incidences, and a challenging environment overall.

“The activation of this field feeding company will help our cooks (92G) feel appreciated. It’ll increase their sense of belonging as opposed to feeling cast aside until needed,” mentioned Withrow.

The first-ever Army Reserve field feeding company “will be one massive unit helping many smaller units,” stated Mamay. “This will be the first time culinary specialists are the main focus in a unit.”