Soldiers from the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, represented Fort Hood in the U.S. Army Forces Command’s 46th Annual Philip A. Connelly Award for Food Service Excellence competition July 17-18.

The team was selected in February to represent the Great Place, as they won the garrison-level competition.

“The overall goal of the program is to promote and improve professionalism in Army food service, encourage and recognize excellence in the food service profession and reward individuals for stellar management practices,” said Chief Warrant Officer-3 Jason A. Hicks, the command’s senior food adviser. Teams were inspected on standards in the areas of food preparation and serving, site setup, field sanitation, maintenance, training and administration.

At the FORSCOM level, six installation teams are inspected, with the inspection team traveling to each team’s location, said Sgt. Maj. John T. Womble, a member of the FORSCOM inspection team. So far, the team inspected four teams. The winners will be notified by mid-August, and will then represent FORSCOM at the Department of the Army level of competition, which will take place between October and December.

Soldiers of the Wrangler team prepared for this competition for months.

“Ninety days out, we were pulled out of the dining facility ... and started labeling our equipment and conducted inventories,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Quiles, a food operations manager with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion. “We were making sure that the lower enlisted were aware of what is expected.”

Quiles said that the inconsistent weather posed the biggest challenge for them.

“A week ago, it was a 100-plus (degrees Fahrenheit), and this week the rain made it challenging. They overcame because they are soldiers.”

Spc. Jan Adan, a food service specialist with the 297th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 49th Movement Control Battalion, said the hardest part was putting the camouflage net over the equipment, and setting the equipment up.

“We do the cooking all the time,” he added.

As for tips on how to prep for a competition like this, Quiles said to stick to the basics.

“Stay motivated, drink water,” Adan said.

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