Food service NCO leads his team to USARPAC competition

| September 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

 

Pfc. Willie Wyers a food service specialist with Company F, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, serves Soldiers from 2 SBCT at East Range, here, Sept. 14.

Pfc. Willie Wyers a food service specialist with Company F, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, serves Soldiers from 2nd SBCT at East Range, Sept. 14.

Story and photos by Sgt. Ian Ives
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — In the Army, many jobs are overshadowed by combat arms and Special Forces.

One noncommissioned officer, however, strives to change that notion with his team of food service specialists, to lead his team of nine to the next level of culinary competition, Sept. 29.

“I was told Hawaii had not had a Phillip A. Connelly representative for about five or six years,” said Staff Sgt. Derek Lewellen, food service manager, Company F, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division.

Lewellen has competed in a Garrison Connelly four times and only one Field Connelly in his 14 years of service, but he has never made it farther than the division level. So far, this year, Lewellen and his team have won the brigade, division and I Corps levels of the Connelly competition, and they are preparing for the U.S. Army-Pacific level, which is the 2nd highest level within which they can compete.

In order to train for this competition, Lewellen’s team support the Soldiers of the 25th ID in many of their operations, such as the Expert Infantry Badge competition. In doing this, not only can the team provide a benefit to Soldiers in training, but they can also receive real-time training by testing new ideas to better their food service.

“My team and I have begun making signature food items,” said Lewellen. “This means that we take the items that have been given to us and make our own unique dish.”

However, his team’s creativeness is not the only thing that sets them apart.

“When introducing my team to evaluators, I like to distinguish members of my team and their individual accomplishments,” said Lewellen. “Among my team, I have last year’s winner of the division chef of the year, three chef of the quarter winners and two members who will be advancing to the division chef of the year, this year.”

It is this kind of attitude for his career field and his Soldiers that sets Lewellen aside in competition and within his chain of command.

“His energy and focus on Soldiers and standards has always paved a good platform for the young Soldiers working under him,” said Master Sgt. Nate Conley. “Even though he has been working in a sergeant first class position, he has also shown a great admiration for the position. When I first met him, because of the way that he operated, I thought he had been a staff sergeant for a long time, but it turns out he was still a young staff sergeant.”

Conley, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team supply officer/chief food management NCO, has known Lewellen for three years and helped him to begin participating in the Phillip A. Conley program, this year. Conley has many years of experience with the Phillip A. Connelly program himself and sees potential for Lewellen to continue advancing.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS – Staff Sgt. Derrick Lewellen and Sgt. Janell Pierre food service specialists with Company F, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, set up the serving menu, here, Sept. 14.

Staff Sgt. Derrick Lewellen and Sgt. Janell Pierre food service specialists with Company F, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, set up the field serving menu.

Lewellen always strives to provide the best support for Soldiers through his food services. This quality sets Lewellen apart from others.

“Even though I am in one of the most under-appreciated military occupations, it is the most rewarding,” said Lewellen. “When Soldiers are hot and exhausted from doings missions, we are the ones who get to put the smile back on their face.”

Philip A. Connelly

The Philip A. Connelly Award was created by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps to improve the professionalism and quality of food provided by culinary specialists through competition, with the incentives of reward and media recognition, according to the Quartermaster Corps regulations.

The competition consists of a food service field operation that is graded on site security, field sanitation, hospitality and food quality.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Sgt. Andrew Cannizaro a food service specialist with Company F, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, coaches his Soldier Spc. Gerron Singleton on the proper way to prepare food, here, Sept. 14.

Sgt. Jonathan Valles, a food service specialist with Co. F, 225th BSB, coaches Pfc. Gerald Ayugat on the proper way to prepare food for more than 500 Soldiers of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Sept. 14, while training for the upcoming Field Connelly Competition.

 

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Category: Leadership, News

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