The culinary specialists with the 287th Field Feeding Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade, hosted the Enforcer Academy Jan. 24-28 at Fort Stewart, Georgia to build and enhance the skills and capabilities of the Soldiers assigned to Warrior Restaurants.
The first four days of training focused on developing the skillset that culinary specialists receive during their advanced individual training to
better prepare them for both operations in warrior restaurants and field feeding support to Soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division.
“We got an influx of new Soldiers and this is to make sure everybody is on the same page with DFAC procedures,” said 1st Lt. Bailey Pollack, the executive officer of 287th FFC. “They get to learn stuff that they’re not normally learning in a DFAC environment. It’s really just setting the standard for how we operate in the DFAC’s as culinary specialists.”
For the final day of the training event, the three teams of Soldiers were given a set of components and a mystery ingredient and competed in a cooking challenge.
“We had three teams of three Soldiers and they were given a mystery basket with a starter, an entrée and a dessert and a few random ingredients and they had 20 minutes to come up with their menu,” said Pollack. “They had two hours to cook their starter, entrée and dessert.”
The meals were served to a panel of judges who graded the menus based on taste and presentation with the team from first platoon taking the trophy for best overall meal.
“I was very nervous, but my NCO supported me and told me to get out of my comfort zone,” said Pvt. Mayra Dona, a junior member of the winning team. “I’m going to Fort Lee for a competition this March. I’m taking away from this competition that I need to be more relaxed and confident in myself.”
In addition to building on their culinary skillset, the event also focused on building the teamwork and camaraderie needed for success both in and out of the kitchen.
“As culinary specialists they get to participate in all kinds of culinary competitions, so this sets them up for success in the kinds of environments they’re going to be operating in,” said Pollack. “It starts to give them the tools needed to handle the stress and to see what it’s like. It also builds teamwork, which is super necessary the further you go in the military. It gives them better skills with how to work with each other not just in a kitchen, but in a regular work environment.”
The field feeding company will host a similar training event in the coming months with the Soldiers cooking on a mobile assault kitchen to simulate working from a field environment as opposed to inside of a facility. To continue enhancing the culinary skills they are know for as they feed the