8/26/21, 4:08 PM
Sgt. Laurissa Hodges
Photo by Staff Sgt. Joel Salgado
Spc. Christian Roman, a culinary specialist with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, grills steaks during the culminating meal of the 3rd ID’s Back to Basics course, Aug. 6 here.
Enforcers get ‘back to basics’ during culinary course
Soldiers assigned to the 287th Quartermaster Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade held a “Back to Basics” for food service course on Fort Stewart, Aug 6.
Culinarians attend such courses as the “back to basics course,” to build on their entry-level knowledge of food preparation as well as expand upon their culinary skills to best provide quality nutritious meals to Soldiers and diners.
The initiative helps experienced noncommissioned officers directly develop junior food service specialists from throughout the entire installation.
“The back to basics teaches culinary skills in a two-week course to improve the overall quality of our food service program and to take back what the Soldiers have learned to their dining facilities,” said Sgt. Maj. Marion Wilson, the 3rd Infantry Division chief culinary sergeant major.
The initiative hosts insist that the 3rd ID culinarians stand apart from their peers in the food service military occupation at other duty stations.
“I’ve been in the military a while and this is the first time I am seeing this program,” Spartan Dining Facility manager Sgt. 1st Class Stanley Smith said. “I think they have a great program here and I wish every installation had it.”
Leadership benefits from the program by providing the Soldiers with the necessarily training to be able to enhance their mission of ‘feeding the Rock’.
“This program would have definitely helped me become more well-rounded if it was around when I coming up in the military,” Smith said. “It would have also helped a lot of DFAC managers.”
Shift leaders and first cooks also benefit from the course by being trained in a more complex environment than they’re used to, in order to provide taste excellence for meals made from scratch instead of from a can or a bag.
“I felt like I learned more than at [Advanced Initial Training],” said Sgt. Jordan Mulleitner-Nguyen, a food service specialist assigned to 287th QM Co. “AIT was more like a dry run, but here it was more in-depth, like how to clean chicken or making the sauces from scratch.”
Diners also benefit from culinarians attending the courses.
“Diners will receive a better quality of food, more variety and blended nutrition,” Wilson said.
NCOs attest that courses such as these provide a domino effect of distinction where Soldiers pass the “serving spoon of knowledge” on to their peers within their own dining facilities.
“I am hoping that the Soldiers bring the knowledge and share it with the Soldiers on shift, so we can better the quality of the food on the menu and provide better options,” Smith said.