The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation honors Military teams for excellence in foodservice during armed forces day weekend

Headlined by former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, 2022 Military Foodservice Awards recognized winners from installations across the globe

WASHINGTON, DC – May 23, 2022 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) honored the winners of the 2022 Military Foodservice Awards on Friday, May 20, in conjunction with the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. Headlined by former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the ceremony kicked off a weekend of events around Armed Forces Day – part of the NRAEF’s commitment to support America’s armed forces, veterans and military spouses through training and post-duty opportunities.

The 2022 Military Foodservice Awards were held Friday evening at Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton and sponsored by Anheuser-Busch to recognize individuals and teams for their distinction in foodservice management effectiveness, force readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, resource conservation, training, and safety awareness. In addition to the Awards ceremony, winners participated in the Advanced Restaurant Management training program and tours of the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago in honor of Armed Forces Day on May 21.

“We are pleased to once again honor the men and women of the U.S. military for their outstanding commitment to excellence in foodservice,” said Rob Gifford, President of the NRAEF. “These awards represent the NRAEF’s decades-long commitment to helping the military maintain foodservice distinction across all branches and to serving veterans and their family members as they transition to civilian opportunities in the restaurant and foodservice industry.” 

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta keynoted the award ceremony, where he shared his perspective honed from his decades at the forefront of military and national security. His experience includes time as Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, as well as director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Secretary of Defense under President Barack Obama. Secretary Panetta remains involved in the public policy arena as Chairman of The Panetta Institute for Public Policy, which he co-founded with his wife, Sylvia, in 1997. 

The Military Foodservice Awards dinner gala and ceremony are sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, Aramark, Brinker, Computrition, Ecolab, HMSHost, Hobart, Hormel, Kitchens to Go, PenFed, Sodexo, Sysco, and Whataburger.

The following installations were recognized as 2022 Military Foodservice Award winners.

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

  • Best Garrison Food Operation: Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment, 3rd Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • Best Active Army Field Kitchen: Echo Company, 29th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
  • Best Army Reserve Field Kitchen: 716th Quartermaster Company, 77th Sustainment Brigade, 316th Sustainment Command Expeditionary, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Best Army National Guard Field Kitchen: Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 192nd Military Police Battalion, 143rd Military Police Company, Hartford, Connecticut

Winners of the Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Afloat General Mess Awards, honoring the Navy’s undersea enterprise, Surface Warfare enterprise and Naval Aviation enterprise:

  • Winner of the Submarine Category: USS Kentucky (SSBN 737), Naval Base Bremerton, WA
  • Winner of the Small-Medium Afloat Category: USS McFaul (DDG 74), Naval Base Norfolk, VA
  • Winner of the Large Ship Afloat Category: USS Makin Island (LHD 8), Naval Base San Diego, CA
  • Winner of the Aircraft Carrier Category: USS Carl Vinson (CVN 76), Naval Base San Diego, CA

Winners of the Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Ashore General Mess Awards, honoring Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC):

  • Winner of the West Coast General Mess Category: Joint Base Pearl Harbor Silver Dolphin Bistro, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Winner of the East Coast General Mess Category: Naval Station Mayport Oasis Galley, Naval Base Mayport, Florida
  • Winner of the OCONUS (Outside Continental United States) General Mess Category: Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Blue Jacket Bistro, Bahrain, Bahrain

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

  • Award for the Best Foodservice Operation Small Ship Category: USNS Burlington, T-EPF 10
  • Award for the Best Foodservice Operation Medium Ship Category: USNS Joshua Humphreys, T-AO 188
  • Award for the Best Foodservice Operation Large Ship Category: USNS Richard E. Byrd, T-AKE 4
  • Award for the Best Foodservice Operation Hybrid Ship Category: USS Frank Cable, AS-40

Winners of the John L. Hennessey Awards, honoring the Air Force:

  • Air Force Active Duty Foodservice Operations Region 1 Winner: 19th Force Support Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas
  • Air Force Active Duty Foodservice Operations Region 2 Winner: 374th Force Support Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan
  • Winner of the 2022 John L. Hennessey Award for the Air Force Reserves: 419th Force Support Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah
  • Winner of the Senior Master Sergeant Kenneth W. Disney Food Service Award, honoring the Air National Guard: 184th Airlift Wing, Wichita, Kansas 

Winners of these prestigious annual Military Foodservice Awards are chosen by representatives from the National Restaurant Association, NRAEF and the Society for Foodservice and Hospitality Management, who travel with senior military officers to installations around the globe on a yearly basis to evaluate foodservice operations.

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


The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation 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 “opportunity 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 Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center (RHLC) – accredited apprenticeship programs designed to build the careers of service professionals. For more information on the NRAEF, visit 

Click here for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s 2021 Annual Impact Report. 


Hannah Oliver
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

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