GOLDSBORO, NC, UNITED STATES
Story by Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (February 9, 2020) — The
916th Force Support Squadron walked away winners of the 2020 John L.
Hennessy Award food service competition at Dobbins Air Force Base,
Georgia, Jan. 23-26, after their first time entering the competition.
John L. Hennessy, a hotel executive, was appointed to the Hoover
Commission; whose task was to improve military food operations. In this
role Hennessy recommended the military services adopt a food
competition, to encourage better management and command support of
the food services.
Hennessy’s recommendation became reality in 1957, when the Hennessy
Awards were established. Although all Major Commands were encouraged
to participate, due to conflicting schedules, the Reserve and Guard were
not always afforded this opportunity.
In the spirit of equal opportunity to their Active-Duty counterparts, the
Reserve and Guard Commands found a way to service their members.
Within recent years the Hennessy Award program adopted a facility at
Dobbins AFB, allowing both components to compete in a neutral territory,
a makeshift kitchen, against each other.
This year the 916 FSS showcased their skills at the award competition and
marked their spot in history.
“We let them know,” said Master Sgt. Danielle K. Downs, 916 FSS unit
deployment manager. “We haven’t have a DFAC (dining facility) in two
years. At the end of the competition they (the judges) were like you can’t
tell that you guys haven’t cooked in two years.”
Despite this challenge, the 916 FSS did not shy away when presented
with the opportunity to compete in the food service competition.
“I didn’t have any concerns because I knew we picked a strong team,”
said Tech Sgt. Royal M. Rowlett, 916 FSS NCO in charge of foods. “As long
as your leadership is good everything else will flow, it starts from the top.”
Turns out the team and the food was good.
Adding a Southern twist on bar-b-que, the 916 FSS wowed the judges
with their Seymour Bar-B-Que chicken, pork chops, coleslaw, gumbo
salad bar and banana pudding.
In the words of Senior Airman LaQesha D. Knox, a 916 FSS sustainment
member, “we brought our ‘A’ game.”