238th Quartermaster Company Supports 451/103 ESC Best Warrior Competition

Photo By Capt. Derek Cobb | Brig. Gen. Brandi Peasley, commanding general of the 451st ESC checks on Soldiers during the joint 451/103 ESC Best Warrior Competition in Camp Dodge, Iowa, March 28, 2024. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Capt. Derek Cobb)



Story by Capt. Derek Cobb 

451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command  

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CAMP DODGE, Iowa—The 238th Quartermaster Company (QM CO), Field Feeding Team (FFT), provided quality nourishment to Soldiers that were pushing themselves to the limit during the joint 451/103 ESC Best Warrior Competition held from 25 – 29 March in Camp Dodge, Iowa, and they deserve recognition.

Soldiers can end up working long hours to complete a mission in garrison or in the field. Depending on the mission requirements, Soldiers can return beaten, sore, and even a little depressed. However, a good meal can really change that dynamic and improve morale immediately. That quality meal does not just appear out of nowhere. A lot of preparation must go into getting the meals out to the Soldiers wherever they may be.

Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 92G, culinary specialists or more commonly thought of as cooks, play a vital role in the military, providing energy and fuel to Soldiers through their culinary skills. Processes and attention to detail are big parts of running a kitchen for the Army.

“We usually arrive four hours prior to serving time, that way we have enough time to prep and organize our kitchen to make sure we have peak cleanliness and order,” said Staff Sgt. Kai Mesa, Advanced Culinary NCO for the 238th QM CO, FFT, “We organize our kitchen however we see fit that would work best for the team.”

When you go into an Army kitchen, it is going to look clean and orderly. Culinary specialists ensure their team’s hygiene is in order. They take meticulous measures to ensure there is no cross contamination to avoid any unknown bacteria entering the kitchen.

“For this specific mission, I took it upon myself to purchase these ball caps for my team,” said Staff Sgt. Mesa, “Reason being is because we wear our PCs everywhere and we want to be sure that the headgear we’re wearing while working are not going to have any bacteria on them.”

92Gs can end up working 16-hour days depending on the mission, but there are rewards for the work put in. For those interested in a career in the civilian food service industry the Army Reserve provides experience as a cook that is always going to help you when it comes to the civilian food service industry. There are also opportunities to earn certification and training that translates well into the civilian food service industry.

“The military can send you to the Person In Charge Course, that’s a weeklong,” said Staff Sgt. Mesa, “in which you can be ServSafe certified.”

ServSafe certification shows that you have sufficient food safety knowledge to protect the public from foodborne illness. Having ServSafe Certification on your resume can help greatly when applying for positions in the food industry. Being a culinary specialist in the Army Reserve also opens a lot of venues.

“I know plenty of guys who are cooks, who are airborne and get to go to jump school,” said Staff Sgt. Stephon Barksdale, Advanced Culinary NCO for the 238th QM CO, FFT, “Who take a lot of deployments to places like Puerto Rico, Spain, and Germany, so you have a plethora of things that you can do.”

Sgt. Christian Roundtree, Culinary NCO with the 238th QM CO, FFT, has been able to take advantage of some of these opportunities. When asked about his experience as a 92G he had this to say.

“Over my last five and a half or so years, I’ve really learned to recognize the importance of the role that I have,” he said, “And recognize that it is really just about caring about everyone who comes through your line.”

For more information on becoming a Culinary Specialist with the Army Reserve visit the URL below:


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