|By Lt. Col. Etta J. Phillips, Officer in
Charge/Chief Dietitian, 256th Combat Support Hospital
The 256th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) participated in the 45th annual
Philip A. Connelly Award Program for Excellence in Food Service
competition at the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) level during
training at Fort McCoy June 24. The competition was part of the Badger
Medic Exercise, which was hosted by the Regional Training Site
(RTS)-Medical Fort McCoy.
Members of the 256th Combat
Support Hospital of Columbus, Ohio, competed in the Philip A.
Connelly food service competition during training in Badger
Medic at Fort McCoy.
This is the second of a three-year competition for A Company, 256th
CSH. The company garnered first-place honors at the 807th Medical
Deployment Support Command (MDSC) in 2011.
The Philip A. Connelly Award Program consists of three levels of
competition: division level, USARC level, and the Department of the Army
The top-four finishers at the USARC level will advance to the DA level.
DA-level participants compete against all branches of the Army (National
Guard, Active Duty and Army Reserves).
The criteria for this competition includes: an evaluation of culinary
skills, administrative review, field site set-up, diner feedback,
food-service worker professionalism and communication, time management,
field-sanitation practices and command support. Each level of the
competition requires increased sharpening of skills.
Chief Warrant Officer (CW) 2 William Goebel, the 807th G4 Food Program
Manager, provided guidance and tutoring in preparation for the
USARC-level competition. Preparation for the USARC level takes months of
focused practice and fine-tuning of culinary skills, he said.
An exceptional knowledge of food-service regulations is required.
Precise timing while preparing the meal is the key to attaining the
According to Goebel, “It takes practice, practice and more practice to
win. It is essential to have a food service CW2 or higher to assure all
areas of the competition are covered and well-prepared for a hopeful
Aimee Carrington, an RTS-Medical instructor at Fort McCoy, conducted the
Applied Food Safety and Protection Course (68M) and the Field Sanitation
Team Training several months ago in preparation for this event.
Certifications are required for each group.
All items on the menu were made from scratch.
Some of the menu items included: egg drop soup, sweet and sour chicken,
Lyonnais rice, vegetable stir fry and pineapple upside down-cake. Two
Connelly evaluators enjoyed and commended all of the menu items for
their flavor and quality.
The 256th CSH Connelly Team consisted of: a nutrition and food services
officer in charge (OIC), a noncommissioned OIC; a first cook, kitchen
police (KP) personnel and a field sanitation team.
The Connelly Competition, although focused on food service, is a unit
event. Prior to preparing to cook at the field site, the Preventive
Medicine section completed a thorough inspection. 1st Sgt. Richard
Bryant and Company Commander Maj. John Davis assured the dining tent was
set up, KP personnel were scheduled, a head count was provided, and unit
training schedules were aligned for meal times. The 322nd (sister unit
of the 256th CSH) was supported with meals during this event.
The scoring checklist allows a maximum score of 1,000 points. Points are
deducted during the evaluation for various deficiencies.
Command support is expected and is a major component of the evaluation.
Command presence included 256th CSH Commander Col. Philip R. Good and
Command Sgt. Maj. Donnie Montgomery; 307th Medical Brigade Commander
Col. Donna Hershey and Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Jensen; and from the
807th MDSC, Goebel and Command Sgt. Maj. David Davis.
The 256th CSH falls under the 307th, which is aligned with the 807th
MDSC. The 807th MDSC is the largest of the three medical commands in
USARC. It is comprised of 147 Army Reserve medical units, spanning a
range of 26 states. Its food-service Soldiers include 68M Soldiers
(nutrition care specialists, including clinical nutrition trainers) and
92Gs (food service specialists).
Results of the USARC competition will be available in three to four