Feb. 7, 2015 –
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. - Steam from freshly washed pots and pans filled the air Saturday morning as Soldiers from the 254th Quartermaster Company (Laundry & Bath) prepared to compete for a Phillip A. Connelly Award, in a food service contest for the title of the best mess section in the U.S. Army Reserve.
The Connelly award was established in 1968 and is designed to encourage professionalism in Army food service teams and recognize excellent performance.
"The Connelly competition is a way to let these food service personnel showcase their talent and ability in a field environment," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Langille from Fort Lee, Virginia, an operations director at the culinary center of excellence and a judge in the competition.
"These soldiers have had to compete at several levels to get to this point of our competition and at this stage they are competing for first prize," he added.
According to Langille contestants are judged on headcount operations, transportation and storage of rations, field food handling procedures and food sanitation as well as participating troop morale, organization and presentation.
"I'm new to the unit as their food service noncommissioned officer, however I'm familiar with the hard work that they have put in to prepare for this event," said Staff Sgt. Russell Hailey from Pittsburgh, a food service NCO with the 254th.
"These Soldiers have practiced this menu and routine for the past six months. They came here ready to compete and provide an outstanding meal," Hailey added.
"I feel like their mission was a huge success."
According to competition participants the success of this mission and the possibility of a Connelly award hinges on their ability to perform all of their food service personnel duties as a team.
"These soldiers are awesome," said Pfc. Elizabeth Nissley from Columbia, Pennsylvania, a food service specialist with the 254th.
"We are an amazing team, this was a team effort and I’m very proud of our success this far," added Nissley.
According to Brig. Gen. Richard C. Staats, the commanding general of the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Napoleon Bonaparte once said 'An Army marches on its stomach.'
"The morale that our food service professionals provide is a key element to the success of any mission,” added. “These Soldiers are the future of our Army and I’m proud to say that our Army is in good hands."