BUCKLEY SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo.- U.S. Army Food Specialists of Headquarters-Headquarters Company, 193rd Military Police Battalion, Colorado National Guard held a food service exercise at the Denver Armory, Denver, June 4, 2022.
The Phillip Connelly Cup, is a competition, where U.S. Army Food Specialists can be recognized for their excellence in food services. A competition based on their training and culinary expertise learned through their army career.
“It's a real chance for them to showcase their skills”, said Warrant Officer 1 Matthew Glenny, food service warrant officer, Colorado National Guard, said. “It's an awesome competition, it requires you to do every single logistical and food service task that you have, you can enter it all into DTMS (digital training management system) that requires the units to plan their menu, plan the food that they're going to buy, plan their staffing and how they actually use their equipment. They have to set it all up, tear it all down.”
The Phillip Connelly Program was established, for cooks to be able to execute food services to the army with expertise and professionalism. In doing so, supplying soldiers with not only nutritional nourishments, but also adding to morale in both professional and austere environments.
“So the most challenging today was possibly not knowing what to expect with the whole Connelly Cup,” U.S. Army Sergeant Michelle Deese, Army food service specialist, HHC 193rd, said. “I've only heard rumors of what it was, but I'm that type where I don't really go off and rumors I kind of have to experience myself.”
The Army Food Service Specialists, commonly called cooks, were given a battery of tasks in a competitive environment. Tasks such as set-up, food prep and services are executed to time and then judged on their performance.
“None of my cooks have gone through this new thing,” Deese said.”So this was actually a really good experience and I love the teamwork. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for my other five sergeants that I'm working with. And we are all just pretty much a good moving machine.”
Soldiers in the event, stated the importance of the event being crucial to their occupation. Giving them the necessary edge, to not only better perform, but hone their skills as well.
Akin to their normal settings, they utilized a Military Kitchen Trailer, a mobile set-up used to cook meals out in field environments.
“Improving soldiers morale is amazing, and food is probably, for most people, straight to their heart,” U.S. Army Capt. Zachary Thompson, HHC commander, said. “So I'm getting soldiers fed, getting them all that nutrients and having it taste amazing, this is definitely improving morale and improving the readiness of HHC.”
Following the success of the event, Colorado State’s Food Warrant Officer stated how he hopes to create a competition cup for the state’s National Guard. He welcomingly expands his invitation to Food Specialist Units within the Colorado National Guard.