Culinary warriors compete in Army-wide competition

| March 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
The Soldier on the Field Feeding Team with 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, stand for a photo with the evaluators from the Department of the Army during the Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program competition, here. The Field Feeding Team participated in the Department of the Army level Phillip A. Connelly Competition against three other teams from around the world. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs/Released).

The  Field Feeding Team with 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, stand for a photo with the evaluators from the Department of the Army during the Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program competition, here. The FFT participated in the Department of the Army level Phillip A. Connelly Competition against three other teams from around the world.

 

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

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — After more than a year of training for countless hours with rare opportunities for time-off, Soldiers on the Field Feeding Team (FFT) with 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, finally had the chance to show off what they have been prepping for Feb. 25.

The Soldiers competed for a chance to be named the best FFT in the Army through the 48th Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program.

“We are looking for excellence,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Princido Texidor, Army food advisor and one of three evaluators. “We are looking to see who is providing the best chow possible to our Soldiers in a field environment.”

Pvt. Fei Fakaua, a culinary specialist, with the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Field Feeding Team, serves breakfast to a Soldier during the Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program competition, here. The Field Feeding Team participated in the Department of the Army level Phillip A. Connelly Competition against three other teams from around the world. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs/Released)

Pvt. Fei Fakaua, culinary specialist, serves breakfast during the Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program competition, here.

The competition began early last year for 2-11th FA Reg.’s FFT when they competed at the brigade level. The FFT won the U.S. Army-Pacific level of the Connelly, last September.

“After the team won the USARPAC level of the Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program competition, they went right back into garrison without much recovery time,” said 1st Lt. Isaac Goodin, officer in charge of the 2-11th’s FFT. “To begin training for the Department of the Army competition, they skipped Christmas block leave.”

Dedicated and armed with knowledge of mistakes made in earlier levels of the competition, Soldiers of the FFT confidently displayed their abilities to the evaluators at their well-constructed field feeding site on East Range.

“There is a little bit of pressure being in the competition,” said Sgt. Jonathan C. Valles, 2-11th FA FFT. “It has been a learning experience, and now that we have made it to the Department of the Army level, we are all very knowledgeable in food service techniques and regulations, so I feel very confident about winning.”

Staff Sgt. Derek Lewellen, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Field Feeding Team, briefs evaluators from the Department of the Army during the Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program competition, here. The Field Feeding Team participated in the Department of the Army level Phillip A. Connelly Competition against three other teams from around the world. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs/Released)

Staff Sgt. Derek Lewellen, NCOIC of the FFT, briefs evaluators from the Department of the Army during the Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program competition,

Valles proved his dedication to the competition by participating in the Connelly, despite his wife possibly going into labor that day. Valles said that he’d be at the competition until it ends, unless his wife actually goes into labor.

The entire team shared Valles’ dedication, which showed how much blood, sweat and tears have gone into this competition. Winning may mean the world to the team.

Regardless of the outcome, they will not come out empty-handed.

“I don’t want my Soldiers to be discouraged if we lose,” said Valles. “I want them to remember what they have accomplished, so they can carry everything they have learned through their careers.”

The winner of the competition will be announced in April. Until then, the 2-11th FA Reg. FFT can finally begin to relax and enjoy their victories in the competition thus far.

Connelly Award

The Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program, commonly referred to as the Connelly, was established in 1968 to recognize culinary service specialists who provide the best possible food service for Soldiers.

This year, four teams from across the world will be evaluated on cooking skills, cooking knowledge, equipment maintenance, sanitation and site layout.

The winner of the competition will be presented an award by the National Restaurant Association in Chicago, in May. Two Soldiers from the winning unit will be sent to the Culinary Institute of America for two weeks of training with some of the top chefs in the country.

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *