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Serving up success: dining facility Airmen win Hennessey award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Grace Nichols
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Hercules Dining Facility Airmen won the 2017 U.S. Air Force Hennessy award against five Major Command-nominated bases March 24, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.

The John L. Hennessy trophy is an annual award presented to the best food service program in the U.S.  Air Force across the globe. The Hennessy award is based on the entire scope of an installation's food service program.

“The Airmen have secured the recognition at the MAJCOM level three years running through dedication to top-notch customer service,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Danielle Joe, 19th Force Support Squadron assistant dining facility manager. “Winning at the Air Force level shows that commitment at a new level.”

Airmen from military installations compete against each other at the MAJCOM level to determine who is worthy of being sent to the finals. After three years of winning at the MAJCOM level, the team’s efforts paid off by being recognized at the U.S. Air Force level.

“It was an amazing team effort. Winning isn’t a single accomplishment, it’s a daily task of serving and training,” Joe said. “Keeping up with the needs of the base starts from day one, so when it’s inspection day, it’s just fine-tuning.”

The support of dining facility Airmen to the populace of Little Rock AFB doesn’t happen overnight, it requires training, said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Austin Ballinger, 19th FSS Food services journeyman.

“A lot of hours go into training,” Ballinger said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a Sunday or a Saturday, we’re going to try harder year after year.”

The Airmen weren’t aiming to win an award, rather, they were striving to perfect their customer service, their food production, preparation and serving to the best of their ability.

“Winning the award justifies all the hard work we put in, but it doesn’t stop there,” Ballinger said. “We have to be prepared for next year; winning the award is nice, but we have to do it for our customers.”

Receiving the trophy doesn’t end the staff’s commitment to excellence, as every day is a new opportunity to succeed.

“We showed what we are working toward daily, and the Hennessey award judges saw that. Every day you have to strive for success and you can’t get complacent,” Joe said. “The goal is to deliver improved customer service and become better. It’s not just about the award: this is what we do.”