144th Transportation Company competes in Connelly competition

Written by  //  November 22, 2011  //  Feature Stories, News

By Capt. Daisy Bueno, 50th Regional Support Group

STARKE, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2011) – The scent of Salisbury steak, potatoes and vegetables filled the air as Soldiers from the Florida National Guard’s 144th Transportation Company busily prepared and crafted an evening meal in the field at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Fla., Nov. 19, 2011.

Pfc. Tyrone Price and Sgt. Derrick Powe, food service specialists with the 144th Transportation Company, serve dinner to Soldiers during the Department of the Army-level Philip A. Connelly Award Field Kitchen category competition Nov. 19, 2011, at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Daisy Bueno, 50th Regional Support Group)

It may have appeared like any other day in the field for these Soldiers, but in actuality it was very different. Everything they did was being assessed for the 44th Annual Philip A. Connelly Reserve Component Field Kitchen Competition.

“This competition is excellent training for the troops,” said Charles Selvidge, a retired warrant officer and the Food Service Coordinator for Joint Task Force Headquarters J4 (Logistics). “They will learn from any mistakes and it helps them be more proficient at their jobs. It also gives them a sense of pride and camaraderie.”

The 144th Transportation Company competed earlier in the year and won in their region and is now competing against the six other regions. Some of the areas that the company is evaluated on during the competition are proper sanitation, use and care of their equipment, location of the site, proper handling and preparation of the food, taste and nutrition.

According to the Phillip A. Connelly Awards Program, the objective of the competition is to improve the professionalism of food service personnel, provide high quality food service to Soldiers and to recognize excellence in preparation and serving during field kitchen operations.

Practicing proper field hygiene, Soldiers wash their hands prior to receiving their evening meal in the field, during the 144th Transportation Company's evaluation in the DA Level Philip A. Connelly Award Field Kitchen category competition. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Daisy Bueno, 50th Regional Support Group)

“I am so proud of this company,” said Capt. Jeanette Kingsley, commander of the 144th Transportation Company. “These Soldiers go above and beyond. They take a lot of pride in what they do and are super motivated. The last time this unit won was in 1979. We hope to change that this year.”

The Philip A. Connelly Program recognizes premier culinary teams from across the Army for excellence in the preparation and serving of food in Army dining facilities and field kitchen operations. The program is co-sponsored by the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA) and the Department of the Army.