WILSON, N.C. –
The 375th Field Feeding Company (FFC) made history during an activation ceremony that marked the beginning of an era for the United States Army Reserve’s (USAR) first-ever FFC. The outdoor ceremony took place Oct. 16, 2021, in Wilson, North Carolina. With this activation, the USAR established its first FFC under a remodeled field feeding capability.
This capability is based on the Army’s directive to establish a FFC Force Design to support units in the field, garrison, or in forward-deployed environments.
“The 375th FFC will be a beacon and an example for future field feeding companies to look up to,” said Lt. Col. Chiquita Matthews, 518th Special Troops Battalion commander. “This activation signifies a great change for culinary specialists.”
Currently, field feeding section operations vary considerably amongst Army units. The traditional method is to assign field feeding personnel and equipment to units based on the number of Soldiers in the Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE) and operational employment.
The FFC Force Design Update (FDU) consolidates culinary specialists and field feeding equipment into companies and teams assigned on an as-needed basis to Echelon Above Brigade (EAB) units during field training/exercises or forward deploying requiring field support.
According to Matthews, the activation will generate new opportunities for soldiers seeking promotion.
In previous practice, the primary issue with this was that larger organizations needed to absorb increased feeding requirements because they were gaining more Soldiers. As a result, those units were eventually under-resourced. With the implementation of the FFC, field feeding responsibilities shift from an internal support mission to an external support mission at the EAB level.
This function will now be treated similarly to other services, such as mortuary affairs, shower and laundry specialists.
This field feeding capability would improve unit readiness for wartime missions while also providing area support to USAR units in the contiguous United States and Puerto Rico.
“For the first time, our company will allow cooks to be at the center of the mission,” said Capt. Elizabeth Mamay, 375th FFC commander. “This will truly highlight their talent and culinary skills.”
Before implementation of the FFC, each organization would bring its field feeding assets to the battlefield.
A significant deficiency was that many elements arriving in theater were added to support larger organizations that did not have their own Army Food Service Specialists or field feeding equipment.
Mamay says there are plans to establish seven future FFCs in the USAR. Her company is the first to be activated, and she considers it to be the spearhead to that mission.
The Soldiers stood in formation and listened as their commander delivered a message to them.
“Soldiers of the 375th,” said Mamay. “Hold your head high, and be proud of the legacy which you are a part of creating.”