Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 311th Signal Command (Theater), experienced hands-on training in their field while sustaining their team in the field, and bringing the command tactically closer to mission ready during range qualification operations at Area X here, Apr. 9-11.
“We prepared about 350 meals throughout the exercise to include steak, beef and broccoli, and roast turkey,” said Sgt. Kem Nunn, one of the Culinary NCOs who oversaw the set-up of the mobile kitchen trailer and the field sanitation center while also serving as a range safety officer for Soldiers qualifying on the range nearby. “The Soldiers’ motivation and determination to succeed made it easier to transition between my culinary NCO and RSO duties.”
“The challenge 90 days out from our HHC 1st Sgt. Bear was to perform this mission from zero to 100, a major hurdle for this timeframe, which we accomplished thanks to everyone for their support, especially our motor sergeants, Staff Sgt. Watkins and Sgt. Ranasinghe, drivers Sgt. 1st Class Whitesell and Sgt. 1st Class Murphy, and Staff Sgt. Erwin who taught the driver course 30 days out,” said Staff Sgt. Jomar Matias, culinary specialist manager. “With our Culinary Specialists we hit the ground running, and fast, from refresher training and testing to opening the MKT and familiarizing with and utilizing all the equipment.”
“My goal for our team was to begin implementation of all 92G operations, from garrison to field, which is key to our overall readiness of the 311th SC (T),” Matias said. “The opportunity to set up and utilize the field sanitation center and MKT, as well as the generator, water buffalo, LMTV and HUMWV, allows my Soldiers to learn and progress as experts in their field. The more they touch, feel and see the more they will progress.”
“I think what helped prepare the Soldiers for real-world missions the most about this event was our tenacity and demonstrated ability to see any problem through to the end,” Nunn said. “For instance, we couldn’t get the power to work at one point but we never gave up, and we got the power going and accomplished the mission successfully.”
“Even at the beginning of the run phase at the range the Soldiers performed to a very high standard and I’m happy to say the leadership appreciated all the efforts the Soldiers put in from late nights to early mornings,” Matias said. “I told my Soldiers that we would be the first ones up and the last to leave, and they showed up guns hot and ready to perform!”
“I am proud of our Culinary Specialists, and how much motivation we brought to the range,” said Matias, “thanks to the leadership of our NCOs Sgt. Pilar and Sgt. Nunn who support my goals and ideas for implementing field and garrison feeding capabilities.”
According to Matias there are many reasons field feeding is important aside from the practicality of preventing Soldiers from having to use their personal vehicles and funds to purchase food during unit events. By remaining at the training site, they simply have more time to get to know one another and build essential trust.
“I believe that providing amazing cooking will always increase Soldiers’ morale and motivation, because food make us happy!” Matias said. “And our mission is critical as it provides sustenance to fuel Soldiers’ nutrition and performance, and helps maintain accountability of personnel and equipment.”
“We were very successful thanks to many teammates, from the vehicle and equipment pick-ups to rations requested through the 9th Mission Support Command,” said Matias. “Now we can perform our duties and execute our mission, and I have no doubt that these Soldiers will perform amazingly in the near future as NCOs, Warrant Officers or Officers, and they will go on to serve as instructors, and even compete in their field.”
“We have a strong team that is willing to put in the work to progress and be the best,” Matias said. “We still have a few things to work on, and that is our final challenge, to keep improving to be better than we were yesterday.”