A sign of success in the campaign to raise nutritional awareness in the military is that the message appears to be influencing the options dining facilities make available, as well as the choices made by service members.
Even beverages and desserts, two categories more commonly associated with empty calories and fat, are evolving to better fulfill changing military dietary guidelines and goals for improved nutrition, which help soldiers to perform optimally, recover rapidly from stress, illness and injury, and remain healthy and alert for the long term.
Beverages available for consumption in military dining facilities are becoming a significant source of the vital nutrients that contribute to a service members’ balanced daily diet.
With more of the beverages available to service members containing critical vitamins and minerals, or having reduced levels of fat and sugar, the military considers the category a means to correct under consumption and improve nutrition.
“Reformulating products, or making alternative choices, also provides an opportunity to moderate the total intake of sugars and other ingredients of concern,” said Ray Hosey, food service systems analyst, Joint Culinary Center of Excellence (JCCoE) Concepts, Systems and Policy Division. “Better food and beverage choices mean better bodies, better performance and quicker recovery from injury or stress; readiness and resilience matter.” ...
Government Food Service: In 2012, three formerly independent field operating agencies (FOAs) were consolidated under a single, integrated unit: the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC). Last year, the “new” Air Force Personnel Center was in the process of being designed. Is this completed? If so, describe the efficiencies created in the past year and what this has meant for dining facilities, the Air Force community and airmen’s quality of life.
Col. Thomas Joyce: The Air Force Personnel Center has taken a very deliberate and methodical approach to transforming the AFPC. Our five-phased approach included developing our future servicesdelivery model, taking a complete inventory of the processes performed in the consolidated field-operating agency, and redesigning the processes to be more efficient. We are currently in phase IV, where we are building out the divisions and branches of the “new” integrated organization. Once we have transitioned into the new AFPC, we will enter into Phase V, Continuous Process Improvement.
We believe integration of the FOA will allow the Manpower, Services and Personnel communities to streamline processes, identify efficiencies and reduce overhead in their enterprise.
Streamlining processes, identifying efficiencies and reducing overhead will allow us to best utilize limited resources to the fullest extent possible on programs and services to benefit our airmen and their families’ quality of life. This mindset regarding efficiencies has allowed us to focus our efforts on our future feeding platforms at our installations. ...
Government Food Service:Last May you became director of subsistence at Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support and paid a short visit to Afghanistan to assist with the transition to a new subsistence prime vendor. Please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be at DLA Troop Support. Also, talk about how your experience has prepared you for the challenges ahead.
Col. Robert King: I received my commission as a U.S. Army quartermaster officer and have been working as a multi-functional logistician for my entire career, much of it at the tactical level. So I’ve been a customer of DLA most of my career, either at the division or corps level. I got a taste of what it takes to get food and materials from the U.S. to the foxhole when I worked for the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), which is the Army’s subordinate command to USTRANSCOM (U.S. Transportation Command). This assignment gave me valuable experience in the world of strategic transportation and logistics. When I saw this assignment at Troop Support, I jumped at it. I was very interested in the supply chain side of the equation. As a quartermaster and logistics officer, I was directly responsible for getting soldiers fed, so now as the director of DLA Troop Support Subsistence, my career has come full circle and I am back in the business of feeding troops. As far as how that experience has prepared me for the challenges ahead, throughout my career I’ve been either a commander or a staff officer. Those are jobs that require you to develop your leadership abilities to overcome a myriad of challenges. The folks here at Subsistence are the best in the world at what they do, so my role is to ensure they are resourced and moving in the right direction; ensure that direction is within the Troop Support commander’s and the DLA director’s guidance, and then let them work their magic. ...
In an effort to connect foodservice professionals, as well as prime vendor distributors, with the brokers representing specific product lines, Government Food Service is publishing its first Broker Directory.
The following sales and marketing firms specialize in representing food product lines across the spectrum of government food service, from the military on through federal buildings, facilities and services.
FOOD FOCUS: POTATOES, VEGETABLES AND PASTA
The Whole Meal is Made Greater by the Sum of its Sides
Potatoes, Vegetables and Pasta Add Variety and Nutrition
Side dishes served in military dining facilities combine with corresponding center-of-the-plate entrée menu options to satisfy the high-octane nutritional goals recommended by dietitians to fuel soldiers for the desired physical energy and mental performance.
As military menus and recipes change to comply with nutritional requirements, greater emphasis goes to the parts that make up a meal, as well as the sequence and presentation on the serving line, to help diners select the most healthful, appealing options.
“The creative combination of the side dishes provides interesting aromas, textures, flavors, colors and essential nutrients,” said Priscilla Dolloff-Crane, food service specialist, Joint Culinary Center of Excellence (JCCoE). “Happy and healthy diners are the intended outcome.” ...