The Army is rolling out programs to modernize aspects of lethality, including shooting, moving, communicating, training and sustaining. Part of that sustainment piece focuses on food operations by implementing Culinary Outpost Kiosks in installations, starting with a pilot program at Ft. Stewart, Ga.
On Feb. 4, 2019, the Culinary Outpost Kiosk was opened to the public and marked the first attempt at modernizing garrison food operations. It featured food trucks staged in different areas throughout post and a Grab-n-Go kiosk similar to shoppettes.
“I think it’s cool because the Kiosk has things that we can get at the shoppette but with our meal cards,” said Pfc. Jah-Amor Brito, a culinary specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “It is something quick so if you don’t have time to sit down at the dining facility (DFAC) you can pick up salads, chips or whatever.”
Ft. Stewart is the first instillation to have Kiosks due to its lack of easily accessible DFACs within a large geographic footprint, its high operational tempo and its mix of various units from the National Guard, Reserve and various maneuver units. The Joint Culinary Center of Excellence (JCCoE) is continuing to test the Kiosks effectiveness and troubleshoot any issues thanks to the amount of diverse units using it.
“We look at the army food program and providing Soldiers with great and healthy foods,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kenneth Hicks, the Army food advisor with the Sustainment Center of Excellence. “We’re trying to look at new ways of delivering that service to a Soldier in a footprint that is convenient to them.”
The JCCoE looked at practices used by civilian industries to determine the best options for new types of dining facilities. Food trucks bring convenience by moving to different parts of the base where Soldiers can’t easily access a DFAC and the Kiosk gives Soldiers an option for prepackaged, healthy food to take back their barracks or work places.
“We’re always in competition with industry so we looked at how they change their strategies at drawing customers in and took a page out of their book,” said Hicks. “If we are going to retain our Soldiers, keep them healthy and keep them in our facilities then we need to change our ways.”
Through innovative dining practices that cater to high operational tempos, new physical fitness standards and a nutritional diet that help foster lethal and fit Soldiers, Culinary Outpost Kiosks fuel the Army’s dedication to tomorrow’s modern fighting force.