By 4th Infantry Division
Standing alongside the field artillerymen of the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, are a group of “heroes” who provide valuable support to the battalion’s efforts — its cooks.
Their services proved invaluable during the 4th Brigade’s fires officer professional development training on Oct. 1 through Oct. 3 as the soldiers of Forward Support Company, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, provided the battalion and other maneuver units with food service support.
During the training, food service personnel took advantage of an opportunity to refine their tactics, techniques and procedures for field feeding their brethren by practicing a relatively new Army doctrine that now places the support units closer than ever to maneuver units.
“The Army’s concept has changed with the integration of forward support companies into the maneuver unit’s formations,” said Cpt. Torrance Cleveland, Golf Company commander. “Operations run continuously, and as the commander, your confidence and sense of pride in the effort and mission accomplishment is amazing.”
The field-feeding platoon provided the artillerymen hot-cooked breakfasts and dinners. Between meals, the platoon furnished extras, such as ice-cold water or Gatorade. To prepare the meals, the cooks kicked off their shifts at 2 a.m.
“Food service soldiers are up early and down late — and they don’t complain, they just make it happen,” Cleveland said. “They understand their part in winning the battle and are normally excited to be able to play a part that puts a smile on another soldier’s face.”
During periods when the mission timeline dictates Meals-Ready-To-Eat, food service personnel supplement the meals with hot soup, sandwiches, pastries, fruit, hot coffee and juice.
The regiment is scheduled for deployment to Iraq in the summer of 2008.