USA: Sealift Command Ships Get Food Service Excellence Awards

Sealift Command Ships Get Food Service Excellence Awards

Military Sealift Command presented its 2012 annual David M. Cook Food Service Excellence awards at the International Food Service Executives Association’s Joint Military Awards Ceremony in San Diego, Calif, March 31.

This year’s recipients are MSC dry cargo/ammunition ships USNS Sacagawea and USNS Richard Byrd, and fleet replenishment oilers USNS Kanawha and USNS Guadalupe. Byrd received an award for the second consecutive year.

Rear Admiral Brian LaRoche, deputy commander, MSC, and Navy Capt. Sylvester Moore, commander, Military Sealift Command Pacific, attended the event and presented the awards during a ceremony with more than 600 attendees, including commanding officers, food service directors, command representatives and food management team members from the U.S. Army, MSC and other components of the U.S. Navy.

MSC’s Food Service Excellence awards are presented in four categories: East Coast large ship (Sacagawea), West Coast large ship (Byrd), East Coast small ship (Kanawha) and West Coast small ship (Guadalupe).

Guadalupe also received the inaugural Commander’s Outstanding Afloat Nutrition Award, which is based on the promotion of quality, healthy diets. Entries were judged on healthy meal preparation techniques and the incorporation of healthy meal choices into menu cycles. Each of the winning ship crews was represented at the awards banquet by MSC civil service masters, chief stewards and other members of the food service teams.

“This is a great honor for the Richard Byrd,” said Capt. Thomas Guidice, the MSC civil service master representing Guadalupe. “I’m here to receive the award on behalf of the ship, but the honor goes to the Chief Steward and the whole cook staff. Their hard work and dedication to what they do is the reason they won this award and I am honored to represent them here today.”

Accolades also came from MSC’s senior leadership.

I take great pleasure in commanding all of the food service personnel who participated in this year’s awards program,” said Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, commander, MSC, when announcing the award winners earlier this year. “Your exceptional efforts keep morale and quality of life at peak levels. Congratulations and Bravo Zulu for a job well done.”

The award is named for the late Capt. David M. Cook, MSC’s director of logistics from 1995 to 1998. He launched a focused effort to improve all aspects of the food service operations aboard MSC ships.

Since 1992, Military Sealift Command has singled out several of its East and West Coast ships annually for excellence in their food service operations. For the last 14 years, honors for the winning ships have been part of the IFSEA program.

We’re already looking toward next year,” said Frank Porter, Sacagawea’s chief cook. “We’re really focusing on the Healthy Heart Program and continuing to decrease the amount of fat and salt in our menu items. We’re looking at what restaurants do and trying to incorporate those practices into how we prepare and serve our food. We’re really going to have to step up our game if we want to win again next year. This is a very competitive award and there are some really good cooks out there on our ships.”

Contributing food service personnel aboard each winning ship will receive a performance award and a one-week shipboard culinary training session provided by a certified executive chef to further recognize each of the winning food service organizations for their contributions in providing quality meals and service.

MSC operates approximately 110 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.

Naval Today Staff , April 04, 2012; Image: navy