The National Restaurant Association Military Foundation (NRAMF) recognized nearly one hundred service members during its 2015 Armed Forces Foodservice Awards held Friday, May 15 at the 59th Annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.
The National Restaurant Association’s decades-long partnership honoring excellence in foodservice began in 1957 with the Air Force Hennessy Trophy Awards program and has grown to be the only foodservice awards dinner that honors all branches of the military. This year, the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Air National Guard, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Military SeaLift Command and the U.S. Navy were recognized at the event.
“The Armed Forces Foodservice Awards are a way to reward active duty military foodservice professionals for their exceptional work, and offer them additional training that will help them in their current role, and in their future foodservice careers,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “We are proud to honor these men and women for their extraordinary contributions to the military through their work in foodservice.”
The original program, which honored Air Force foodservice personnel, was expanded in 2008 with the sponsorship of the Marine Corps’ Hill Award and the Navy’s Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award. This will be the first year that all branches of the military are represented at the awards ceremony. In order to choose servicemen and women for recognition, NRA board members travel each winter to Air Force, Air National Guard, Navy and Marine Corps bases to evaluate food service operations. Other prestigious members of the traveling teams also include representatives of the International Food Service Executives Association and Society for Foodservice Management.
The following individuals and establishments were honored during the 2015 Military Foodservice Awards:
The Philip A. Connelly Awards Program
- Garrison: 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade – Fort Lewis, Wash.
- Active Army Field Kitchen: 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade – Grafenwoehr, Germany
- S. Army Reserve: 63rd Brigade Support Battalion – Sloan, Nev.
- S. Army National Guard: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 132nd Brigade Support Battalion – Portage, Wisc.
U.S. Air Force
John L. Hennessy Awards for Excellence in Air Force Reserve Food Service Operations
- Air Force Reserve Command: 911th AW – Pittsburgh, Pa.
Best Air Force Food Transformation
- MacDill AFB, Tampa, Fla.
Best Air Force Food Transformation: Region One Winner
- Hurlburt Field, For Walton Beach, Fla.
Best Air Force Food Transformation: Region Two Winner
- Sheppard AFB, Wichita, Texas
U.S. Air National Guard
Senior Master Sergeant Kenneth W. Disney Food Service Award Winner
- 133 Airlift Wing, Force Support Squadron, Sustainment Services Flight – Saint Paul, Minn.
John L. Hennessy Award for Excellence in Foodservice
- Justin Fitzpatrick, A1C, Base 124 Wing, Force Support Squadron, Sustainment Services Flight – State Boise, Idaho
- Taylor Kolu, A1C, Base 133 Airlift Wing, Force Support Squadron, Sustainment Services Flight, State Saint Paul, Minn.
- Michael Wadsworth, SSgt, Base 157 Air Refueling Wing, Force Support Squadron, Sustainment Services Flight – Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire
U.S. Marine Corps
Major General W.P.T. Hill Memorial Awards for Foodservice Excellence
- Best Military / Contractor Garrison Mess Hall: Mess Hall 1104, Marine Corps Installations Pacific – Camp Mujuk, Korea
- Best Full Foodservice Contracted Garrison Mess Hall: Mess Hall 455 – Camp Johnson, Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune, Marine Corps Installations East
- Best Active Field Mess: Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Marine Aircraft Group 29, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing – Cherry Point, N.C.
- Best Reserve Field Mess: Marine Wing Support Squadron 472, Support Company, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing – Wyoming, Pa.
Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Awards Program
- Aircraft Carrier: USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70), Naval Air Station North Island – San Diego, Calif.
- Small/Medium Afloat: USS OAK HILL (LSD 51), Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Norfolk, Va.
- Large Afloat: USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6), Naval Base Sasebo – Sasebo, Japan
- Submarine: USS OKLAHOMA CITY (SSN 723), Naval Base Guam – Guam
- Large Ashore: Fleet Activities, Naval Base Yokosuka – Yokosuka, Japan
- Small Ashore: NAS Whidbey Island – Bremerton, Wash.
U.S. Military Sealift Command
- Medium Category Winner: USS FRANK CABLE (AS 40), Guam
- Large Category Winner: USNS RICHARD E. BYRD (T-AKE4), Sasebo, Japan
- Small Category: USS GUADALUPE (T-AO 200), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Based on its commitment to our armed forces, the NRA established the NRAMF in 2012 to provide training and support to military hospitality programs; promote restaurant/hospitality career opportunities for veterans and their spouses; and provide small-business ownership opportunities for veterans. For more information on the National Restaurant Association Military Foundation, visit www.restaurant.org or click here.
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2015, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to comprise one million outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.