Eighth Army Unveils "Grab and Go" Canteen
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea -- When Eighth Army leaders were thinking of a method to help Soldiers refuel their bodies after morning physical training sessions, there were numerous issues that had to be solved. Among those challenges was the physical distance between Yongsan Garrison's single dining facility to the barracks that many single and unaccompanied Soldiers occupy.
The solution that came from these discussion was a mobile canteen that spares Soldiers the travel time while allowing them to eat from a healthy menu designed by nutritionists. The idea came to fruition on July 1 when the first trailer opened for business on Camp Coiner, an area located in the northernmost area of Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, Korea.
"(Lt. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux and Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens) wanted a way for Soldiers to quickly refuel after PRT," said Sgt. 1st Class Jessica Bezanson, a food services. Champoux and Devens are the commander and former senior-enlisted Soldiers of the U.S. Eighth Army. Bezanson is credited with coming up with the idea for the "Grab and Go" satellite feeding trailers that look much like the popular food trucks found in many U.S. cities.
While the trailer currently used by Soldiers has specially-designed graphics and is specifically crafted for its mission, the "grab and go" aspect has been in use for a few months in Korea. Along with "to go" service windows at many dining facilities in Korea, Yongsan Garrison also provided meals from the rear of a delivery truck.
Food service personnel said the truck was never seen as a long-term solution, but instead a quick solution to help Soldiers.
"It's taken a year for us to fully realize the commanding general's vision, and now here we are," said Bezanson proudly as a line of Soldiers picked up their breakfast from the shiny new food truck behind her.
The trailer is thus far supported by those who are already benefitting from its placement.
"This is great," said a Soldier assigned to Special Operations Command -- Korea, who wished to remain unnamed due to his assignment at SOCKOR. "Right after PT we can get breakfast here instead of having to shower and change then walk all the way over the hill from Camp Coiner for breakfast, saves a lot of time."
The mobile canteen's look also inspires those who provide service from it.