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NRAEF Names 2021 Military Foodservice Award Winners

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation named the winners of the 2021 Military Foodservice Awards. The awards span six different categories.

Following is a list of the 2021 Military Foodservice Awards by category. 

Winners of The Philip A. Connelly Awards, honoring the Army:

  • Best Active Army Garrison: Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 10th Group Support Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, Airborne
    Fort Carson, Colo.; Captain Notarianni, company commander
  • Best Active Army Field Kitchen: Headquarters & Headquarters Company, Group Support Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group Airborne
    Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Captain Zaldivar, company commander
  • Best Army Reserve Field Kitchen: Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 368th Engineer Battalion, 302nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Londonberry, N.H.; Captain Lapenna, company commander
  • Best Army National Guard Field Kitchen: Delta Company, 634th Brigade Support Battalion, 33rd IBCT, Ill.; 1st Lieutenant Kamys, company commander

Winners of the Major General W.P.T. Hill Memorial Awards, honoring the Marine Corps:

  • Active-Duty Staff Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Gunnery Sergeant Jonathan A. Denhem, II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Colonel Todd W. Ferry, deputy commander
  • Active-Duty Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Sergeant Gabriel C. Justice, I Marine Expeditionary Force, 13th Marine Expeditionary Force Unit, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Colonel Andrew T. Priddy, commanding officer
  • Reserve Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Sergeant Mouhammed Cisse, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Combat Regiment 45, Marietta, Ga.; Michael C. Varicak, commanding officer

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

  • Best Aircraft Carrier: USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, Norfolk, Va., Captain Paul Campagna, commanding officer
  • Best Small/Medium Afloat: USS McFaul, Norfolk, Va.; Commander Bobby Rowden, commanding officer
  • Best Large Afloat: USS Iwo Kima, Mayport, Fla.; Captain David Loo, commanding officer
  • Best East Coast Ashore: Gator Inn, Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek, Va.; Captain Michael L. Witherspoon, commanding officer
  • Best West Coast Ashore: Trident Inn, Naval Base Kitsap, Kitsap, Wash.; Captain Richard G. Rhinehart, commanding officer
  • Best OCONUS - Outside the Contiguous U.S Ashore: Ristorante Bella Etna, Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sigonella, Italy; Captain Kevin Pickard Jr., commanding officer
  • Best Submarine: USS Jimmy Carter, Kitsap, Wash.; Commander Brian Elkowitz, commanding officer

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

  • Region One Winner: 96th Force Support Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fort Walden Beach, Fla.; Commander: Lieutenant Colonel Hilary Hedberg
  • Region Two Winner: 374th Force Support Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Fussa, Japan; Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer Chang; commanding officer
  • USAFE Small Site Winner: 702nd Munitions Support Squadron, Buechel Air Base, Buechel, Germany; Lieutenant Colonel Brent McCraney, commanding officer
  • AFGSC Best Missile Feeding Operation: 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, Minot, N.D.; Lieutenant Colonel Michael Weeks, commander
  • Air Force Reserve Winner: 512th Memorial Affairs Squadron, Dover Air Force Base, Dover, Del.; Lieutenant Colonel Elenah Kelly, commander
  • Senior Master Sergeant Kenneth W. Disney Food Service Award Winner: 179th Sustainment Services Flight, Mansfield, Ohio; Major Maegan Sutton, commander

Winners of the Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Award, honoring the United States Coast Guard

  • Best Large Afloat Dining Facility: USCGC Harriet Lane, Portsmouth, Va.; Benjamin F. Goff Jr., commander
  • Best Large Ashore Dining Facility: Coast Guard Base Los Angeles/ Long Beach, San Pedro, Calif.; William Winburn, commander
  • Best Medium Afloat Dining Facility: USCGC Resolute, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Justin Vandel, commander
  • Best Medium Ashore Dining Facility: Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, South Portland, Maine; Mark R. Neeland, commander
  • Best Small Afloat Dining Facility: USCGC Sockeye, Bodega Bay, Calif.; R. Shane Hooker, master chief
  • Best Small Ashore Dining Facility: Coast Guard Station Burlington, Burlington, Vt.; Charles Northcott, senior chief

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

  • Best Foodservice Operation Small Ship: USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20), Norfolk, Va.; Andrew Lindey, captain, USMM
  • Best Foodservice Operation Medium Ship: USNS YUKON (T-AO 202), San Diego; Euceif C. Balafas, captain, USMM
  • Best Foodservice Operation Large Ship: USNS RICHARD E. BYRD (T-AKE 4), San Diego; Lee A. Apsley, captain USMM
  • Best Foodservice Operation Hybrid Ship: FRANK CABLE (AS-40), Guam; Albert Alaron and Dale P. Cramer, captain, U.S. Navy and captain, USMM

Typically, representatives from the National Restaurant Association and NRAEF team up with senior military personnel and travel to installations around the globe to evaluate military foodservice operations. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 evaluations took place virtually, with volunteer evaluators spending time at night, early in the morning, and on weekends to conduct evaluations and select the best military foodservice operations for the awards.

While the awards are normally presented in person, this year they were done via a Facebook Live presentation.