National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation honors military members as part of commitment to the Armed Forces & veterans across all branches of the military

JUST IN TIME FOR ARMED FORCES DAY: MILITARY TEAMS HONORED FOR EXCELLENCE IN FOODSERVICE AT NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION SHOWThe National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Military Foodservice Awards (see full list below). The awards program aligns with the NRAEF’s commitment to support America’s armed forces and veterans through training and post-duty employment.

During the 2017 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, individuals and teams were honored at the Military Foodservice Awards gala dinner and ceremony for their commitment to foodservice excellence in management effectiveness, force readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, resource conservation, training, and safety awareness.

In addition to the Awards ceremony, the honorees participate in a multi-day foodservice training program at Kendall College and attend industry sessions hosted at the NRA Show.

“Foodservice members are oftentimes the unsung heroes of the military, and we are honored to annually celebrate individuals who do so much for our country and their installations every day,” said Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President of the NRAEF. “The NRA, NRA Show and NRAEF have a decades-long partnership to honor excellence in military foodservice, which began in 1957 with the Air Force Hennessy Trophy Awards program. I speak for all of us when I say we are proud to carry on this tradition. To all of the 2017 award recipients, we salute you.”

The following installations were recognized as the 2017 Military Foodservice Awards winners:

Winners of the Philip A. Connelly awards:

  • Winner for the best garrison food operation: Arm Field Support Brigade
  • Winner for the best active army field kitchen: Echo Troop, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
  • Winner for the best Army Reserve Field Kitchen: Headquarters and Headquarters Company 391st Military Police Battalion
  • Winner for the best Army National Guard: Echo Company 1/169th Aviation Battalion

 Winners of the Marines W.P.T. Hill awards:

  • Winner for the best military/contractor garrison mess hall: Mess Hall 4417
  • Winner for the best full food service contracted garrison mess hall: Mess Hall 227
  • Winner for the best active field mess: II MEF Headquarters Group
  • Winner for the best reserve field mess: 4th Combat Engineer Battalion


Winners of the Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Awards:

  • Award for best aircraft carrier: USS Ronald Regan (CVN 76)
  • Award for the best small/medium afloat: USS Ashland (LSD 48)
  • Award for the best large afloat: USS America (LHA 6)
  • Award for the best large ashore: Mercer Hall Galley
  • Award for the best small ashore: Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Fort Story
  • Award for the best submarine: USS Missouri (SSN 780)

Winners of the Captain David M. Cook food service excellence awards:

  • Award for the best food service operation small category: USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO 193)
  • Award for the best food service operation medium category: USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4)
  • Award for the best food service operation large category: USS Emory S. Land (AS-39)

Winners of the 2017 John L Hennessey awards:

  • Air Force region 1 category winner: Little Rock AFB
  • Air Force region 2 category winner: Peterson AFP
  • Winner of the 2017 John L. Hennessey awards for Air Force Reserves: 512 Memorial Affairs Squadron

Winner of the Senior Master Sergeant Kenneth W. Disney food service award:

  • 123rd Force Support Squadron

The John L. Hennessy Award recognizes excellence in foodservice for the Air Force; the W.P.T. Hill Award honors Marine Corps foodservice operations; the Kenneth Disney Award recognizes Air National Guard; the Captain Edward F. Ney honors the Navy; the Philip A. Connelly Foodservice Awards honors the Army; and the Captain David Cook award recognizes the Military Sealift Command. In order to choose the winners for these prestigious awards, representatives from the NRA, NRAEF, and the Society for Foodservice and Hospitality Management travel with senior military officers to installations around the globe on a yearly basis to evaluate foodservice operations.

The Military Foodservice Awards dinner gala and ceremony, as well as the Kendall College training program, are sponsored by Sodexo, Aramark, Ecolab, Hobart, BJ’s Restaurants, New Chef, Rose Packing, Sysco, Hormel, Butterball, Acosta, Ventura Foods, Skip and Gayle Sack, Kitchens to Go and several others.

In addition to recognizing foodservice excellence within the armed forces, the NRA and NRAEF support military hospitality programs and opportunities for veterans through the Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence and training programs at The Culinary Institute of America, as well as through virtual platforms that connect employers in the industry with veteran job seekers.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce.  NRAEF programs include:  ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide “opportunity youth” with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a  hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.