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Military Food Service: Committed to Success


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Highlights of the November 2014 Issue


NUTRITION: QUESTIONING THE CALORIES

 

HBI Weighs the Advantage of Quality Over Quantity

Familiar entrées and other options approved for military dining facilities rotate according to a regular cycle to avoid frequent repetition and occasionally reflect service member preferences with substitutions added in response to menu board meetings.

Now, that reliable lineup is undergoing some reconsideration. Under the Healthy Base Initiative (HBI), strategies are being evaluated in tests at 14 pilot installations that aim to refresh the military menu with options that have fewer calories and are more appealing to young service members.

HBI uses calorie count per plate as the reference point. The Department of Defense’s (DoD) strategy is that reducing this key measure likely contributes to lower fat, salt and cholesterol content in meals as well.

Consultants working with the DoD, including the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, N.Y., and the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, however, insist a better measure is to understand where the calories contained in a meal come from.

“Everybody started out hammering ‘you’ve got to tell us how to reduce calories,’ and I simply wouldn’t address it,” said Brad Barnes, director of consulting and industry programs at the CIA. “I don’t believe that’s much of an answer. Much more for me, it’s about where the calories come from than how many you get. Everybody out there, walking around on a base, has a different need.” ...

Read more QUESTIONING THE CALORIES: HBI WEIGHS THE ADVANTAGE OF QUALITY OVER QUANTITY ...

 

ANNIVERSARY REVIEW — 20 YEARS IN FOOD SERVICE

20 YEARS IN FOOD SERVICE Government Food Service Witnesses the ChangesGovernment Food Service Witnesses the Changes

 

Throughout the long history of military food service, the mission has been to ensure that service members receive steady and reliable access to the nutrition required to perform optimally, as well as remain healthy and alert for the long term.

How military food service acquires the supplies needed to accomplish that mission has evolved over the years. Food procurement and distribution transitioned to more centralized management following recommendations of a 1950s congressional commission, known as the second Hoover Commission, chaired by former president Herbert Hoover.

The result was a “single manager” system in which specific categories of supplies in common use by all services were assigned to a single military department for purchase, storage and distribution. The first single manager, established in 1955, was the Army-operated Military Subsistence Supply Center.

This system of partially centralized procurement, which achieved lower costs and simplified the supply chain, was consolidated in 1961 into one agency, the Defense Supply Agency, which later became the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

A 1993 General Accounting Office (GAO) report analyzing Department of Defense food storage and distribution practices stimulated development of DLA’s Subsistence Prime Vendor program, which further reduced inventory and overhead costs.

Budget tightening since 2008 has increased emphasis on cost management and steps to streamline catalogs, reduce expenses and cut the acquisition price of items. DLA Troop Support and the Joint Services Prime Vendor Program (JSPVP) recently began reducing costs on annual purchases by consolidating contracting into only a few suppliers selected for each specific item category.

In recent years, military food service sought to boost dining facility utilization. Front-of- the-house changes that pick up on campus-style dining and other trends popular in national chain fast-food and casual-dining restaurants are being introduced to better satisfy the expectations of a younger generation of service members.

As Government Food Service celebrates its 20th anniversary this month, we review the progress of military food service and the system for supplying it. ...

Read more ANNIVERSARY REVIEW 20 YEARS IN FOOD SERVICE ...


U.S. ARMY CONNELLY AWARDS — RAISING THE STANDARD OF PERFORMANCE

UConnelly Award Program Encourages CompetitionConnelly Award Program Encourages Competition

 

Just four years shy of turning 50, the Philip A. Connelly Award for Excellence in Army Food Service program remains true to its original intent of raising professionalism.

The award continues to encourage competition that raises the standard of culinary performance, professionalism and commitment to quality. It also contributes to the health, morale and readiness of service members.

This year marks the Connelly’s 46th year of recognizing the contribution of staffs at work in Army dining facilities and field kitchen operations to enhancing the quality of food service provided to warfighters.

Headquartered in Fort Lee, Va., the Connelly program is managed through the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence (JCCoE) by the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, which is part of the Combined Arms Support Command. ...

Read more RAISING THE STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE ...