‘We Feed the Rock!’ Culinary specialists train to fuel Marne warriors

Photo by Spc. Pablo Ulloa Spc. Mercedes Kirkwood, human resource specialist, 287th Field Feeding Company, Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, sets up the prep table during the hamburger challenge June 5 on Fort Stewart.

Soldiers from the 287th Field Feeding Company, Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, conducted a field feeding academy June 1-5 on Fort Stewart.

The course provided the culinary specialists from 287th FFC a refresher on commonly used field feeding equipment including the Assault Kitchen, Mobile Kitchen Trailer, Containerized Kitchen and the Matrix.

“We want our warriors to be able to have fuel to fight, whether it is in the garrison environment or if we are deployed,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bernadette Smith, food advisor with 287th FFC. “We want to know that our 92G [culinary specialists] are able to fuel the force, part of that is cooking, ensuring nutrition and preparing quality meals for Soldiers.”

To help ensure that Soldiers are well trained and to boost morale throughout the company, 287th FFC held a hamburger cook-off using their MKT. It was an opportunity to have fun and to also conduct a check on learning to end the week of their field feeding academy.

“Three teams are competing by showing off the best prepared hamburger, fries, dessert and a signature drink,” said Sgt. 1st Class Laron Smith a platoon sergeant with 287th FFC. “Hopefully today’s competition goes well and the Soldiers enjoy it.”

Unique for the competition was the inclusion of non-cook team members from the headquarters platoon as part of the competing teams.

“I am a 42A [human resources specialist], so it was very challenging competing in today’s competition against other 92Gs,” said Spc. Mercedes Kirkwood a human resource specialist with 287th FFC. “I learned a lot, such as how to maintain cleanliness, watching the temperatures on the MKT and also how to prepare food.”

The judges added a challenge to the competition with the inclusion of a special ingredient, pineapple, which needed to be incorporated into the meal.

“I learned that preparation was key in todays’ competition, as well as working together during this mission” said Pfc. Lawrence Fredireck. “Overall I think that the competition went very well, we were the runner ups.”

Judging for the competition was done by the company leadership. After sampling each team’s meal, only one could stand above the rest with the all MOS team, from the headquarters platoon winning the title and trophy. Despite one team winning, all the competitors put in the best efforts and represented their passion for food preparation.

“I think that the competition went amazing, last year they did wings. I was amazed by the creativity that each team brought to the table” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Smith. “I am proud of every Soldier that competed today, I can’t wait to see what our Soldiers come up with next to Feed the Rock!”

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