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Staff Sgt. Rodell Terry, a section staff noncommissioned officer with Food Service Company, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, checks his schedule in his office before beginning his work day aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 23, 2012. Terry was recently recognized as the Active Duty Staff NCO Food Service Specialist of the Year as part of the 2012 Maj. Gen. W.P.T. Hill Memorial Awards Program for Food Service Excellence. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano)

Photo by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano

Long hours, ample pride builds food service excellence

21 Apr 2012 | Cpl. Katherine M. Solano

There are few things more comforting than a hot meal after a long day in the field, or a holiday feast when Marines are far from family.  Food service Marines exemplify the term hard workers, providing a vital service to the masses during every aspect of training, down-time and fighting. 

In recognition for their demanding standards and relentless schedule, once a year a few are selected by the Maj. Gen. W.P.T. Hill Memorial Awards Program for Food Service Excellence.  This year, Staff Sgt. Rodell Terry, a section staff noncommissioned officer with Food Service Company, 2nd Marine Logistics Group was recognized as the Active Duty Staff NCO Food Service Specialist of the Year.

“The job we do is the biggest morale booster to all Marines consuming chow within the facilities,” said Terry.

The food service Marines’ attention to detail, high sanitation standards and unmatched schedules are rewarded daily by the gratitude of the Marines served.

“Despite all those hours you will still always see the Marines taking a lot of pride in their work,” stated Cpl. Emma Stanfield, a food mess clerk with Food Svc. Co., 2nd MLG.

Stanfield elaborated on the importance of their job, saying “we make sure the Marines are fed and ready for whatever mission is put in their way.”

“The Food Service Specialist of The Year Award means that all the long hours and hard work paid off in the long run,” Terry explained.

Stanfield went on to further explain the award, to her, meant a Marine was skilled, proficient and very knowledgeable in their MOS.

When Terry’s Marines were asked why they believed he was chosen for the award, she was quick with a response.  The Palestine, Ill., native described Terry as being well-rounded, but more importantly, as exemplifying Marine Corps leadership.

“He holds Marines accountable but is very fair,” she said.

Terry was a little more humble and slower to articulate why he thought he received the award.

“The leadership quality [I have] that sticks out in my mind is I'm always willing to learn new information from senior leadership and junior Marines,” said the Henderson, N.C., native.  “My favorite part of my job is that I'm in a position now to train and pass on all the knowledge I gained throughout the years to junior Marines and have a positive impact on someone else's career.”

While Terry is proud of receiving the award, he still wants people to recognize the larger impact of his MOS.

“I want the American public to know that when they think about the Marine Corps, [they shouldn’t] just think all we have is trigger pullers,” Terry concluded.  “We also have many supporting occupations that provide support 24 hours a day, sustaining the infantry men.”

Terry will travel to Chicago in early May for the 2012 Joint John L. Hennessy and Maj. Gen. W.P.T. Hill Award Ceremony.

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