Improving Morale, One Plate at a Time

Improving Morale, One Plate at a Time

by Sgt. Maj. Randy Randolph
U.S. Army

YONGIN, South Korea -- When Staff Sgt. Frank Dunbar joined the Army in 2008, he wanted to try something new, but he chose his job based on something he already knew.

Dunbar, a native of Aiken, South Carolina, fed his passion for cooking and grilling by enlisting as a culinary specialist. Now, as an advanced culinary Non-commissioned officer assigned to I Corps' Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, he has found a calling where he can share that passion with others.

"Cooking in the Army is something that you can really put your heart into," Dunbar said. "It helps boost morale. If me and my team fail, it makes it harder for other Soldiers to complete their mission, and we're all a piece in the puzzle."

After numerous deployments and combat tours to locations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Jordan, to name a few; Dunbar fully understands how a hot meal can boost spirits, and he relishes the opportunity to do so.

"Our goal is always to put out good meals that troops are excited to eat," Dunbar said. "To see the joy in Soldiers faces while they smile and think about home-cooked meals is great, I think it's something that gives them a motivational push out there."

Dunbar's enthusiasm for providing top-notch service to his fellow Soldiers, earned him recognition during the recent Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) exercise at Camp Yongin, South Korea. During UFG, I Corps partnered with Soldiers from the Third Republic of Korea Army to train and enhance readiness in order to defend the Republic of Korea. Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, I Corps commanding general, presented the "Hero of the Day" award to Dunbar for he and his team's efforts in operating a mobile kitchen trailer that provided hot meals to hundreds of Soldiers daily.

"It's just the type of person that he is," Chief Warrant Officer 4, Sharnta Adams, I Corps command food advisor said of Dunbar. "He's going to get the job done no matter how difficult it is and no matter what it takes."

Dunbar's experience and commitment to taking care of Soldiers as an advanced culinary NCO has heightened his ambitions. He will attend drill sergeant school in the near future and plans to also attend warrant officer school to play a bigger role in his profession.

"I just want to make sure I continue to strive to do the best that I can while I'm able," Dunbar said.

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