National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Honors U.S. Military Branches for Excellence in Catering Operations


WASHINGTON, June 10, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) virtually announced the winners of the 2021 Military Catering Awards at a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, June 9. The event, organized each year by the NRAEF, is part of the Foundation’s commitment. to support members of the military, military spouses and veterans with training opportunities to hone their skills and provide pathways to meaningful jobs and careers in the restaurant industry.

The winning teams were congratulated by Tom Bené, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and CEO of the NRAEF; Rob gifford, President of the NRAEF; and Brett Ladd, CEO of Sodexo Universités et Gouvernement.

“We are delighted to celebrate this year’s best of the best in military catering,” said Rob gifford, president of the NRAEF. “For more than 65 years, the National Restaurant Association and the NRAEF have recognized excellence in military food service to mark these momentous achievements. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to each of our industry sponsors for their support in honoring our military restoration professionals. ”

Typically, representatives of the National Restaurant Association and the NRAEF team up with senior military personnel and travel to facilities around the world to assess military catering operations. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 assessments have taken place virtually, with volunteer assessors spending time at night, early mornings and on weekends to conduct assessments and select the best military catering operations for the awards.

Watch the full rewards program on Facebook Live here.

The 2021 Military Food Service Award winners:

Winners of the Philip A. Connelly Awards, honoring the military:

Best active army garrison
Headquarters and Company Headquarters, 10th Group Support Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, Airborne
Fort Carson, CO
Company Commander: Captain Notarianni

Best Field Kitchen in the Active Army
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Group Support Battalion, 7th Airborne Special Forces Group
Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Company Commander: Captain Zaldivar

Best Country Kitchen in the Army Reserve
Company Headquarters and Headquarters, 368th Engineer Battalion, 302nd Maneuver Improvement Brigade
Londonberry, New Hampshire
Company Commander: Captain Lapenna

Best Army National Guard Country Kitchen
Delta Company, 634th Brigade Support Battalion
33rd IBCT, Illinois
Company Commander: 1st Lieutenant (LT) Kamys

Major General Laureates WPT Hill Memorial awards, honoring the Marine Corps:

Active Duty Personnel NCO of the Year
Gunnery Sergeant Jonathan A. Denhem
II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Division
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Deputy Commander: Colonel Todd W. Ferry

Active Duty NCO of the Year
Sergeant Gabriel C. Justice
I Marine Expeditionary Force, 13th Marine Expeditionary Force Unit
Camp Pendleton, California
Commander: Colonel Andrew T. Priddy

Reserve NCO of the Year
Sergeant Mouhammed Cisse
4th Maritime Logistics Group, Combat Regiment 45
Marietta, Georgia
Commanding officer: Michael C. Varicak

Winners of the Captain Edwards F. Ney Memorial Awards, honoring the Navy:

Best aircraft carrier
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
Norfolk, Virginia
Commander: Captain Paul Campagna

Best small / medium afloat
USS McFaul
Norfolk, Virginia
Commander: Commander Bobby rowden

Best big afloat
USS Iwo Kima
Mayport, Florida
Commander: Captain David Loo

Best East Coast
Gator Inn, Joint Expeditionary Base
Little Creek, Virginia
Commander: Captain Michael L. Witherspoon

Best west coast on land
Trident Inn, Kitsap Naval Base
Kitsap, WA
Commander: Captain Richard G. Rhinehart

Best OCONUS – Outside the Contiguous United States
Ristorante Bella Etna, Naval Air Station Sigonella
Sigonelle, Italy
Commander: Captain Kevin Pickard Jr.

Best Sub
USS Jimmy Carter
Kitsap, WA
Commander: Commander Brian Elkowitz

Winners of the John L. Hennessey Awards, honoring the Air Force:

Region A winner
96th Force Support Squadron
Eglin AFB
Fort Walden Beach, Florida
Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Hilary hedberg

Winner of region two
374th Force Support Squadron
Yokota Air Base
Fussa, Japan
Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Jennifer chang

Winner of the small USAFE site
702nd Ammunition Support Squadron
Buchel Air Base
Buchel, Germany
Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Brent McCraney

Best AFGSC Missile Refueling Operation
5th Bomb Squadron
Minot Air force base
Minot, North Dakota
Commanding Officer: Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Weeks

Air Force Reserve winner
512th Commemorative Affairs Squadron
Dover Air force base
Dover, DE
Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Elenah kelly

Winner of the Kenneth W. Disney Food Service Senior Staff Sergeant Award
179th sustainment flight
Mansfield, Ohio
Commander: Major Maegan Sutton

The winners of Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Award, honoring the United States Coast Guard:

Best large dining room afloat
USCGC Harriet Lane
Portsmouth, Virginia
Commander: Benjamin F. Goff Jr.

Best Large Dining Room on Earth
Coast Guard Base Los Angeles / Long Beach
Commander: William “Brian” Winburn

Best dining room afloat
Resolved USCGC
St. Petersburg, Florida
Commander: Justin vandel

Best dining room on average earth
Northern New England Coast Guard Area
South Portland, ME
Commander: Mark R. Neeland

Best small dining room afloat
USCGC Sockeye Salmon
Bodega Bay, California
Master chef: R. Shane Hooker

Best Small Dining Room on Earth
Coast Guard Station Burlington
Burlington, VT
Principal chef: Charles Northcott

Winners of the Captain David M. Cook Foodservice Excellence Awards, honoring the Military Sealift Command:

Best small ship catering operation
Norfolk, Virginia
Captain, USMM: Andrew Lindey

Best Medium-Sized Catering Operation Vessel
San diego, california
Captain, USMM: Euceif C. Balafas

Best Food Service Operation Large Ship
Captain, USMM: Lee A. Apsley

Best Hybrid Catering Operation Vessel
Captain, US Navy and Captain, USMM: Albert Alaron and Dale P. Cramer

The 2021 Military Foodservice Awards were sponsored by Sodexo, Ecolab, Brinker International, HMSHost Foundation, Aramark, Sysco Corporation, Computrition, Whataburger Restaurants, BJ’s Restaurant, Seaboard Foods and Kitchens to Go.

In addition to recognizing catering excellence within the armed forces, the NRAEF offers military catering training on established industry standards for restaurant management and culinary training, connects military personnel in transition with opportunities learning, supports military spouses and offers scholarship opportunities.

Visit to find out how to get involved with the NRAEF and its work to give people from all walks of life the training and education they need to ensure a better future.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation – NRAEF
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s public service mission is to enhance the industry’s training and education, career development, and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs aim to attract, empower and advance the restaurant and catering workforce of today and tomorrow.

NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a vocational and technical education program at the secondary level; Restaurant Ready – in partnership with community organizations to provide young people and those involved in justice with vocational training and employment opportunities; Military – helping servicemen and women transfer skills to careers in catering and catering; Scholarships – financial aid for students pursuing degrees in catering, catering and hospitality; and the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association offering a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. To learn more about the NRAEF and its work, visit

SOURCE Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association

Related links

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.