Written By: Capt. Kate Luttrell
When one thinks of the key to an American soldier’s success, the first things that may come to mind are strong leadership, discipline, knowledge in training, or physical fitness. But a well-balanced meal is one of the most overlooked aspects of a soldier’s success.
The 153rd Quartermaster Field Feeding Company ensures that all Soldiers receive this and more: a sense of camaraderie and pride in their unit and serving in the United States Army.
The 153rd Quartermaster Field Feeding Company has only existed since 2018, but its impact on the entire Fort Bliss installation and beyond is immeasurable. One may assume that being a cook is an easy task, but there are countless aspects of the job that the average person would never consider. Only a portion of their time is spent at the Muleskinner Warrior Restaurant building, while the rest is fulfilling their mission of providing a source of strength and nutrition for Soldiers from countless units.
The 153rd Quartermaster Field Feeding Company of Fort Bliss, Texas, is the second Army unit activated to support the division and echelons above the brigade level. The company was established to move culinary specialists across the battlefield to plan, prepare, and feed the warfighters in every location: the garrison, the field, deployed environments, and austere conditions. Culinary specialists must become more than ordinary food service specialists; they must be highly knowledgeable and versatile enough to prepare and support military operations worldwide.
Beyond their everyday responsibilities, the Soldiers of the 153rd Quartermaster Field Feeding Company have also taken on another task: renovating the Warrior Restaurant. In February of 2023, the entire 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade relocated to a new footprint. The workload for this was quite intense and included the movement of Army vehicles, weapons relocation to the new arms room, loading and unloading conex boxes of equipment and supplies, and finding their place in an entirely new facility, all while continuing to provide meals for Soldiers in garrison and in the field. The relocation process began in December 2022 and completed in February 2023.
During this transition, the long days and additional tasks were sometimes overwhelming.
“It felt like a fight for survival each day to continue serving meals for Soldiers in a new place while meeting all the requirements for the footprint move,” said Capt. Kate Lutrell, battalion adjutant of the Division Sustainment Troops Battalion. “But the Soldiers of 153rd QM FFC exceeded expectations in every way, rose to the challenge, and overcame it all, which became their motto: Iron Phoenix! Rise from the Ashes!”
Once settled into the new footprint, they challenged themselves further by renovating the entire facility and creating an inviting dining hall where Soldiers could enjoy themselves and find peace while nourishing their bodies.
“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them,” said Spc. Daiquon Roberts, a culinary specialist assigned to 153rd QM FFC.
They transitioned from surviving to thriving and taking pride and ownership of their new facility. They took the hollow shell of a building and transformed the dining hall into a place where Soldiers can feel at home. One of the most memorable features of the facility is the Fallen Soldier Table that is meant to honor the courageous sacrifice of those who have laid down their life in service to their country.
“As leaders, we always strive to cultivate a culture of continuous improvement,” said Ltc. Mario Rosario, the battalion commander of the DSTB. “The 153rd Field Feeding Company was not satisfied with a simple place to dine. They transformed the Muleskinner Restaurant and rejuvenated the dining experience while showcasing the rich history of the 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade. I am immensely proud of the Soldiers and leadership of the 153rd Field Feeding Company and their remarkable accomplishment. Their dedication, hard work, and collective effort have truly exceeded expectations and made a significant impact. Well done, team!”
To celebrate the completion of the renovation and recognize the tireless hard work of the Iron Phoenix and Muleskinner Soldiers, the Muleskinner Warrior Restaurant will host a Thanksgiving Meal on Tuesday, Nov. 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This celebration will allow Soldiers and their families to enjoy a delicious meal and spend quality time together. The facility will feature an ice sculpture, several decorated cakes and desserts, a true cornucopia, cotton candy, gift bags for each person, and much more. All family members and children are encouraged to attend to celebrate Thanksgiving as a part of the Army family.
“The most substantial effort we can contribute to our organization is improving our unit more than our predecessors,” said Maj. Nathan T. Miller, the executive officer of DSTB. “The holidays have boosted our desire to cultivate ownership in our footprint in anticipation of the Thanksgiving meal at our newly renovated Muleskinner Warrior Restaurant. Soldiers have bloomed across the formation with collaborative talents that have aided the facility’s improvements. This capstone event will honor the talented [military occupational specialties] across our brigade, thank the families that support them, and Esprit de Corps for our Culinary Specialists in the 153rd Quartermaster Field Feeding Company.”
The soldiers of 153rd QM FFC should be recognized and remembered for their hard work beyond their soldierly obligations and the excellent service they provide to the Sustainment Brigade and other units deployed worldwide. They have transformed the Muleskinner Warrior Restaurant into a welcoming place where, three times a day,
Soldiers from every MOS and rank can find refuge from the constant stresses of everyday life. They can always go to the dining facility to connect with others and leave feeling refreshed, ready to continue their training and responsibilities.
“The 153rd Field Feeding Company has some of the most hard-working and professional soldiers and leaders that you will find across the Army,” said Capt. Braxton Wimbish, the Commander of 153rd QM FFC. “They go above and beyond every day to provide world-class food service in both field and garrison environments to improve the morale and welfare of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, Texas. We are excited to welcome all Iron Soldiers, their families, and the El Paso community to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday and showcase the improvements we are constantly making to the dining experience on Fort Bliss.”
|FORT BLISS, TX, US
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