Army Food Managers

Derrick Canty

RHM 303

Army Food Service Managers

    The Army Food Service Program is responsible for serving over a million meals per day in military dining facilities and on the frontlines of the battlefield. As an important member of this team, the Food Service Manager oversees the operation to ensure that every soldier has a hearty nutritional meal. Also the Manager has the training and knowledge to supervise and make timely decisions. Like their civilian counterparts, the military food service manager has numerous duties and responsibilities.
      Ever since the U.S. Army drew its first “line in the sand” in the days of the American Revolution, commanders have been responsible for providing their soldiers with quality subsistence in a variety of environments and tactical situations. From establishing the first formal food military program in 1775 by the Continental Congress to a ration breakdown point in Desert Storm, the Army Food Service Program has undergone drastic modifications in an ongoing attempt to adapt to the soldiers needs. Early in our military, the basic ration included a pound of beef, ¾ lb of pork, or one pound of salty fish; a pound of bread or flour; a pint of milk, a quart of cider or spruce beer, and three pints of peas or beans per man per week. Salt was critical during this time because of no means of refrigeration available to the soldiers of this era. After war in Vietnam, during the 1970s the Army introduced the mobile kitchen trailers and in the 1980s the emergence of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs) and Tray Rations (T-Rations) as standard rations for soldiers in the field.   The improvements in both rations have continued and include larger portion sizes, increased variety of meals and better preparation methods. The manager position in today’s Army has the responsibility to take lessons from history and provide the very best food service support to soldiers both in garrison and on the modern battlefield of tomorrow.