National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Honors U.S. Military Branches for Foodservice Excellence

Leon Panetta Congratulates 2020 Military Foodservice Award Winners on Facebook Live, NRAEF Announces Restaurants Recruit for Military Service Members

WASHINGTON, DC – September 17, 2020 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) honored the winners of the 2020 Military Foodservice Awards virtually with a Facebook Live event presented by Computrition on Wednesday, September 16. The event, hosted annually by the NRAEF, is part of the Foundation’s commitment to help members of the military, military spouses and veterans through training and post-duty opportunities.

This year’s keynote speaker was Leon Panetta, Former Director of the CIA, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Chairman of The Panetta Institute for Public Policy. “As Secretary and Director of the CIA, I’ve been to the war zones,” said Panetta, speaking directly to the winners. “I’ve seen your work… You are the ones who provide that support – essential support – in making sure that our men and women in uniform have the sustenance and strength to do a very tough job.” The winning teams were also congratulated by Tom Bené, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and CEO of the NRAEF.

Leon Panetta

This year’s keynote speaker was Leon Panetta, Former Director of the CIA, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Chairman of The Panetta Institute for Public Policy. 


“We were thrilled to celebrate and recognize the best of the best in military foodservice,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “This year’s awardees represent service members from 30 bases and ships at sea, in the U.S. and abroad. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to each of our sponsors for their support in honoring our military foodservice professionals."
 
The NRAEF also kicked off Restaurants Recruit, a new resource to help connect military service members to restaurant and foodservice companies for career opportunities.

Each year, representatives from the National Restaurant Association, NRAEF, and the Society for Foodservice and Hospitality Management team up with senior military personnel and travel to installations around the globe to evaluate their military foodservice operations. Together, these military and civilian travelers select the best military food service operations for the awards. 

The 2020 Military Foodservice Award winners:

Winners of The Philip A. Connelly Awards, honoring the Army:

BEST ACTIVE ARMY GARRISON
Camp Humphrey’s (581st Quartermaster Company 2ID SBDE) 
South Korea 
Unit Commander:
James A. Hogshead
CPT, Commander

BEST ACTIVE ARMY FIELD KITCHEN
Fort Bragg (3rd Special Forces Group AIRBOURNE) 
Fort Bragg, NC
Unit Commander: David Park, CPT, Commander

BEST ARMY RESERVE FIELD KITCHEN 
Fort Irwin (645th Transportation Company)
Barstow, CA
Unit Commander: Victor Ferrer, CPT, Commander

BEST ARMY NATIONAL GUARD FIELD KITCHEN
109th THMMB
Iowa City, IA
Unit Commander: Mollie J. Marken, CPT, Commander
 
Winners of the Major General W.P.T. Hill Memorial Awards, honoring the Marine Corps:

BEST MILITARY/CONTRACTOR GARRISON MESS HALL
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni
Iwakuni, Japan
Unit Commander: Col F.J. Lewis, Colonel/Commanding Officer  

BEST FULL FOODSERVICE CONTRACTED GARRISON MESS HALL
Mess Hall 2204, Marine Corps Installations West - Camp Pendleton
Camp Pendleton, CA
Unit Commander: Brigadier General Daniel B. Conley, Commanding General Installations West  

BEST RESERVE FIELD MESS
25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division - Fort Devens
Devens, MA 
Unit Commander: Col Edward J. Healey Jr., Colonel/Commanding Officer

Winners of the Captain Edwards F. Ney Memorial Awards, honoring the Navy:

BEST AIRCRAFT CARRIER
USS NIMITZ (CVN 68)
Bangor, WA
Unit Commander: Maximillian Clark, Captain, Commanding Officer

BEST SMALL/MEDIUM AFLOAT 
USS PORTER (DDG 78)
Naval Station Rota, Spain
Unit Commander: Craig M. Trent, Captain, Commanding Officer

BEST LARGE AFLOAT 
USS AMERICA (LHA 6)
Sasebo, Japan 
Unit Commander: Luke Frost, Captain, Commanding Officer

BEST EAST COAST ASHORE 
Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek 
Little Creek, VA 
Unit Commander: Joey L. Frantzen, Captain, Commanding Officer

BEST WEST COAST ASHORE 
Naval Air Base Coronado
Coronado, CA
Unit Commander: Timothy J. Slentz, Captain, Commanding Officer

BEST OCONUS ASHORE 
Naval Air Station Ristorante Bella Etna
Sigonella, Italy 
Unit Commander: Kevin Pickard Jr., Captain, Commanding Officer 

BEST SUBMARINE 
USS SCRANTON (SSN 756)    
Point Loma, San Diego, CA
Unit Commander: David J. Latta, Commander, Commanding Officer
  
Winners of the John L. Hennessey awards, honoring the Air Force:

REGION ONE WINNER
45th Force Support Squadron 
Patrick Air Force Base
Cocoa Beach, FL
Unit Commander: 45th FSS, Maj Cherry Padilla

REGION TWO WINNER
673rd Force Support Squadron
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson  
Anchorage, AK
Unit Commander: 673rd FSS, Lt Col Diamond D. Cookson

USAFE SMALL SITE WINNER
703rd Mission Support Squadron
Volkel Air Base 
Volkel, Netherlands 
Unit Commander: 703rd MSS, Lt Col Arron J. Tulick

AFGSC BEST MISSILE FEEDING OPERATION
341st Force Support Squadron
Malmstrom Air Force Base
Great Falls, MT 
Unit Commander: Maj Kristina B. Eclevia

AIR FORCE RESERVE WINNER
916th Force Support Squadron
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base 
Goldsboro, NC
Unit Commander: 916th FSS, Maj Kelly L. Morrison

SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT KENNETH W. DISNEY FOOD SERVICE AWARD WINNER
139th Force Support Squadron
St. Joseph Missouri Air National Guard 
St. Joseph, MO 
Unit Commander: Lt Col Michael A. Donaldson

Winners of the Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Award, honoring the United States Coast Guard:

LARGE AFLOAT DINING FACILITY WINNER
CGC Bear
Portsmouth, VA
Unit Commander: CDR Donald M. Terkanian Jr.

LARGE ASHORE DINING FACILITY WINNER
CSA Yorktown
Yorktown, VA
Unit Commander: CPT Hammond

MEDIUM AFLOAT DINING FACILITY WINNER
CGC Aspen
San Francisco, CA
Unit Commander: LCDR Jeffrey West

SMALL AFLOAT DINING FACILITY WINNER
CGC Richard Etheridge
Miami Beach, FL
Unit Commander: LT Jane Sarnecky

SMALL ASHORE DINING FACILITY WNNER
CG Station Grand Isle
Grand Isle, LA
Unit Commander: LT Brian Water

Winners of the Captain David M. Cook Foodservice Excellence Awards, honoring the Military Sealift Command:

BEST FOODSERVICE OPERATION SMALL SHIP 
USNS MERCY (T-AH 19)
San Diego, CA
Unit Commander: Jonathan Olmsted, Captain, USMM

BEST FOODSERVICE OPERATION MEDIUM SHIP 
USNS YUKON (T-AO 202)
San Diego, CA
Unit Commander: Daniel A. Glazier, Captain, USMM

BEST FOODSERVICE OPERATION LARGE SHIP 
USNS RICHARD E. BYRD (T-AKE 4)
Guam 
Unit Commander: Steven Santos, Captain, USMM

BEST FOODSERVICE OPERATION HYBRID SHIP 
USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20)
Gaeta, Italy
Unit Commander: Cassidy C. Norman, Captain, U.S. Navy

The Military Foodservice Awards were sponsored by Sodexo, Ecolab, Hormel, HMSHost Foundation, Aramark, Sysco, BJ’s Restaurant, Butterball, Seaboard, PenFed Credit Union, SHFM Foundation, Sack Family Foundation, Hobart and Trinchero Family Estates.

In addition to recognizing foodservice excellence within the armed forces, the NRAEF provides military foodservice training on established industry standards of restaurant management and culinary training, connects transitioning military to apprenticeship opportunities, supports military spouses and provides scholarship opportunities.

Visit ChooseRestaurants.org to learn how to get involved with the NRAEF and its work to build pathways to meaningful jobs and careers in restaurants and foodservice.

 
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About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:  As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide justice-involved youth with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.

CONTACT:
Jasmine Jones – NRAEF
jajones@nraef.org
240-723-5198

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