Thunder Inn sees no competition, awarded DFAC of the year
CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- No matter how well-trained or prepared a Soldier is, to excel at their job or complete a mission they must be provided with the proper nutrients and sources of energy. For most Soldiers, the key location to obtain those nutrients is the nearest dining facility.
On October 22, 2014, the Thunder Inn, a dining facility run and managed by Soldiers of the 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, earned the Commanding General's Dining Facility of the Year Award for fiscal year 2014 for their high quality of meals and excellent service.
Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Spano, the senior enlisted advisor for the 2nd Inf. Div., mentioned how the food service members have a direct impact on operations.
"They are truly a force multiplier to our units and they help us make the most out of our mission here," said Spano.
Although the Thunder Inn team won the award, their victory was not without its challenges. Renovations from March until May, closed the Thunder Inn DFAC for two months of the competition.
The life of an Army food service specialist is not an easy one. The Soldiers of the Thunder Inn are particularly dedicated. Reporting for duty as early as 4 a.m. and finishing their day long after the average Soldier at 8 p.m., that extra training made all the difference.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael T. Reid, the dining facility manager for Thunder Inn, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 70th Brigade Support Battalion, 210th FA Bde., spoke about how the Soldiers dedication led them to win the award.
"It's a great accomplishment for our team. We actually put in a lot of hours and a lot of hard work with the Soldiers," said Reid, a native of Augusta, Georgia. "Just to see the hard work pay off is very gratifying."
According to Reid, the team consisted of very young Soldiers, many of whom were new to their jobs. However, Sgt. First Class Reid assured them that if they believed in their leadership and followed the guidelines that had been set, they could win.
"I knew the challenge would be hard but we set some goals in place and I told the Soldiers that we would win and they believed in me," said Reid. "All the hard work, time, effort and training, besides learning all the techniques, is what really pushed us and motivated us to win this award."
For Pvt. Danielle Howard, a food service specialist assigned to the 579th Forward Support Company, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th FA Bde., winning the award was possible because they all shared a goal that they wanted to reach.
"I think everyone in the DFAC had a goal that they wanted to meet," said Howard, native of Thomasville, Georgia. "That makes it so much easier because everyone is putting their efforts to meeting their goals."
Pvt. Howard won the Commanding General's Junior Chef of the quarter award, bringing home another trophy for the team as well as recognition for her personal excellence.
According to both chefs, the ultimate goal for the Thunder Inn team is to provide great meals to the Soldiers and make sure they get what they deserve.
"Our ultimate goal is to provide three quality meals, the best meals we possibly can for the Soldiers here in 2nd Infantry Division," said Reid.