Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bulkeley's food service department ensuring morale, crew satisfaction

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Wyscaver, Nassau Strike Group Public Affairs

USS BULKELEY, At Sea (NNS) (April 4, 2008) -- As the guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) continues to carry out its mission objectives as part of the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group, the ship's food service department is working to ensure that her Sailors are well-fed and cared for.

Many responsibilities exist for every food service department, but it's how these everyday tasks are handled that separates quality from average.

"Our responsibilities are to provide three square meals a day for the crew. It's essential to morale because in order to carry out everyday tasks, Sailors need nutrients through quality meals," said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Andrew Suzio, automated records keeper, Bulkeley's S-2 division.

Bulkeley's food service personnel explain they are willing to go above and beyond to boost the morale of the crew.

"We do definitely try to take care of the crew by going the extra mile to do the little things such as Mongolian barbecues, ice cream socials, steel beach picnics, providing food for special shipboard occasions and offering made-to-order items," said Suzio.

Aboard Bulkeley, division personnel are supplemented by the ship's food service assistants. Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW) Alvin Edwards, Bulkeley's galley supervisor, noted it is a team effort that is helping to make a difference when it comes to improving the quality and image of the galley.

"The FSA's are definitely a big help," explained Edwards. "Their responsibilities include providing the extra help that cooks need, washing dishes, helping with cleanup and ensuring the galley is sanitary.

"While sometimes overlooked, food service plays a critical role in daily shipboard operations and overall mission readiness."

I feel food service is the backbone of the ship. We brighten people's day by making sure they get the food that they like. In the morning, if a Sailor's eggs are prepared right then they're happy and that carries over throughout the rest of the day," said Edwards.

"Food service plays a very important role not only in nutrition but also with the crew's morale. The crew really appreciates having good meals everyday and if you serve a bad product it affects their outlook on deployment," said Lt. Clay Robertson, Bulkeley's food service officer and supply officer.

In order to execute at a significant level day-in and day-out, it's important for each Sailor to truly enjoy their work and have the opportunity to thrive in their environment.

"Bulkeley gives all of our cooks and FSA's a chance to show what they can really do and provides an environment filled with camaraderie. This is one of the best organizations I've ever been apart of. We have a great bunch of culinary specialists and FSA's who really care about the product they put out and put in the extra effort to make every meal special," explained Edwards.

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