USS O’Kane Sailors to Showcase Culinary Talents at Prestigious Joint Culinary Training Exercise Competition

Photo By Lt. Zachary Anderson | Culinary Specialist Third Class Jamal Brown is one of two Sailors from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) selected to participate in the 48th Annual Joint Culinary Training Exercise.

SAN DIEGO, CA, UNITED STATES

11.09.2023

Courtesy Story

Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet  

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In an impressive feat of culinary prowess, two Sailors from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG 77) have been selected to participate in the 48th Annual Joint Culinary Training Exercise (JCTE), slated to take place at Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia.

Culinary Specialist Second Class (CS2) Rey Vincent Martinez from Galveston, Texas, and Culinary Specialist Third Class (CS3) Jamal Brown from Atlanta, Georgia, will represent O’Kane and the Navy in this prestigious competition.

This year’s competition at Fort Gregg-Adams provides an invaluable platform for participants to showcase their culinary talents, all while engaging in a spirit of camaraderie and healthy competition. It serves as a testament to the Navy’s commitment to fostering professional development and recognizing the hard work and dedication of its service members.

The selection process for the competition was rigorous and highly competitive. The Navy Food Management Team (NFMT) in San Diego held tryouts, ultimately recommending candidates from the West Coast Area of Responsibility (AOR) to the Naval Supply Systems Command Headquarters (NAVSUP HQ). Following a comprehensive review of all nominations, including those from the East Coast, NAVSUP HQ announced the official team member selections. Martinez and Brown were among the 11 individuals chosen, which included one team manager, five professional team members, and five student team members.

This recognition is not just a personal achievement for Martinez and Brown, but also an honor for the entire crew of O’Kane, showcasing the exceptional talent and professionalism present within the ranks of the United States Navy. As the culinary world turns its eyes to Fort Gregg-Adams this March, O’Kane’s representatives are poised to make a significant impact, raising the bar for culinary excellence and professionalism in the military.

The JCTE, recognized as the largest military culinary competition in North America, has been fostering culinary excellence since 1973. The competition brings together military chefs from across the globe, representing all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. The event is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation and aims to promote growth in the culinary profession, emphasizing modern culinary tenets such as ability, practicality, nutrition, workmanship, economy, presentation, creativity, and concept.

An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s role across the full spectrum of military operations – from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, and other principles that underpin security for the Indo-Pacific region.

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