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A food service specialist with Food Service Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group stacks trays in preparation of a meal served during a training exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 3, 2012. The entire company supported the Battle Skills Training School for two days in order to practice their efficiency in the field and proficiency of skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano)

Photo by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano

Aspiring for excellence in Food Service Company

3 May 2012 | Cpl. Katherine M. Solano

All of Food Service Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group spent a combined two days supporting Marines drilling at the Battle Skills Training School aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 2-3.

It is uncommon for the entire company to support a single training operation, as they did with this evolution.

Working with the entire company allowed the Marines to get experience with each other in an expeditionary environment, said Cpl. Shane Young, a food service specialist with the company. 

“When I went on my deployment, some of these people weren’t in [the Marine Corps yet], some have gotten out since then, and there were plenty of people I didn’t work with,” he continued.  “So this is about unit cohesion as well as getting to see people’s different styles.”

The Marines constantly enforce correct procedures despite their different cooking and operating styles.  A heavy significance is placed on cleanliness and thoroughness in the preparation of the food, erecting of field sites and proper conduct in the training exercises.

“We try to get on some kind of common ground so the basics are known throughout the whole entire company,” continued Young.  “Of course some people are going to excel in different areas versus others, but that’s in any company. But when it comes to this kind of thing, we try to at least make sure the basics are done so if one of us is called upon, there’s no question about how to do the job or if the job is going to get done correctly.”

Young emphasized, “it’s going to get done correctly because that’s what we train for.”

Training isn’t just about teaching these Marines, though.  Continuation of knowledge, mentoring and proficiency is a goal, too.  They not only focus on learning new things from each other; they stress reinforcement of standard procedures.

“Everyone new and old can show their experience behind the scenes,” Young explained.  “We’ve got people who are getting out [of the Marine Corps], all the way down to the brand new Marines who came in less than a month ago, and we all came together. Some learn new things, some are refreshing their skills and everything is going smoothly.

“The war isn’t going to go on forever so we at least have to make sure our skills are up to par.  We aren’t a company that does slacking. This company tries to excel through everything,” Young stated.

Other participants felt the exercise was not only going well, but it was beneficial to all involved.  At the field site, there was an obvious level of cohesion as well as a sense of fun with everything the Marines were doing.

“I liked that I saw the Marines from the mess hall, whether or not they’ve done before, how often they’ve done them or how much knowledge they have on it … go in as if they were still in the mess hall,” said Sgt. Karam Hawkins, the logistics and embark chief for Field Mess, Food Service Co.

Hawkins said he was impressed with the proficiency of the mess hall Marines because many of them were unfamiliar with the expeditionary side of the occupation.  He explained the cross-over training was another benefit to field exercises like this one.

"The way the Marines did it, you would think they do this a lot," Hawkins said.  "They came in and did exactly what they needed to do and I think everyone honestly got some training and learned a lot from these two days."

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