04 May 2008

Division in the Spotlight - S2

Napoleon once remarked that an army travels on its stomach. The same can be said of a Navy, and as a result, ships at sea have a long logistical “tail” that keeps food flowing to sea so the ships can stay on station. Probably the most important part of that “tail” from the Sailors’ perspective, though, is the division that puts meals on the table four times per day (breakfast, lunch, supper and midnights rations, or “midrats”) - “S2” or Food Service Division.


With a cadre of Culinary Specialists running the show, S2 is primarily made up of junior Sailors from other divisions called “Food Service Attendants”. These Sailors are sent for one or two 90-day periods in their first enlistment to bear a hand with the hardest jobs in food service – the hours of preparation and clean up required to run a galley and keep the operation sanitary around the clock. In addition, S2 is responsible for ordering and stocking all the stores required to keep food on our tables.

Perhaps the greatest challenge is not in cooking and serving the 900 or so meals per day it takes to feed the crew, but making those meals the best they can be. In this regard, RUSSELL’s Food Service Division is definitely at the top of their class. And it’s not just the crew that thinks so. RUSSELL’s S2 Division was recognized in 2007 as the Pacific Fleet runner up for the Captain Edward F. Ney Award for food service excellence.

8 comments:

mb said...

Our son describes his 90 days in food service as "they never stop working","or everything has to be so clean". It was a great experience for him and all new Sailors. He has also gained 25 lbs since his enlistment,great job Food Service Division and congratulation on your award you deserve it. God bless you all.mb

cat said...

Oo-rah to S2!
Nothing as great as good grub to keep one going, and going, and going. Congrats on the Captain Edward F. Ney Award for food service excellence. :)
Cat

outdoorspro said...

Repeat these words: "Deep, deep clean."

I sure hope your mess is better than ours when i was on the Antietam. Oh sure, they could win all kinds of awards, but after the inspectors left they couldn't even be bothered to cook a potato all the way through.

It's sad, but in my shipboard experience, S2 division is the only one on the ship that routinely gets away with "gun-decking" their jobs.

Danielle said...

I hope you update soon. I'm anxious for what you have been up to since arriving. Sometimes I'm not sure my emails get through to my sailor. This blog helps when I feel overwhelmed. Thanks.

vet66 said...

Having spent a month in the scullery upon my arrival at Adak, Alaska, in 1967, I can attest to the hard work of the cooks who did the best they could with what they had. I learned the meaning of the old saying; "The further you were from the Admirals flag the more the quality declined."

I learned to appreciate the enormous burden it places on cooks to make the meals as appealing as possible in an environment of extreme cleanliness.

Hats off to Cookies everywhere. Speaking of everywhere, I still encounter them occasionally at a Mom and Pop diner on a highway in the middle of nowhere.

GOD Bless them and you!

Sam said...

Great Job you culinary artists, YOU! I know what it feels like to be runner-up(38th Bat. 139th Field Artillery 1986). During "Nam" I was a MMFN Evaps/WaterKing aboard a destroyer, went Ind.Natl Guard for 8 yrs as 1st Cook, then 9 1/2 years USNR----Ret. Again, I say great job and God Bless You All!

ELP said...

Very under-rated. One of the most important weapons on the ship.

Great work all.

a79xvt7 said...

I served my 4 year deployment on USS Juneau lpd10 out of Sasebo ( no longer in service )..this blog reminds me of all the good times I had while on board. It looks like you guys got to visit Thailand too. We visited Pattya beach a few times.