News happening around Little Rock Air Force Base


Little Rock AFB implements new meal card regulation

Changes to the dining facilities meal card regulations are in full affect as of May 2016.

Changes to the dining facilities meal card regulations are in full affect as of May 2016.


Changes to the dining facilities meal card regulations are in full effect as of May 2016, and have sparked an array of questions from meal card holders.

The Air Force Services Agency introduced a new food service operation, referred to as the Food Transformation Initiative, beginning in 2010. Originally, six stateside bases were selected as test bases, with Little Rock AFB being one.

Key differences between FTI operations and legacy food service is Airmen who hold a meal card are now entitled to have the benefits of campus dining and can eat at all FTI force support facilities. FTI dining facilities on base include the Hercules Dining Facility, the Hungry Herc, the Healthy Herc, golf course, bowling center, Hangar 1080 and Wally’s Java.

A Professional Executive Chef has also joined the staff at the Hercules Dining Facility under the FTI contract. The chef provides oversight of menu production and hands-on training to military chefs.

Along with offering healthier menu items, FTI has also increased the hours of operations by providing a Grab-n-Go station that is available in-between normal hours of meal periods. 

The FTI contract has also opened the military dining facilities to be used by all military personal regardless of rank, civilians, and retirees on a daily basis without meal card access.

However, most frequently asked questions come from meal card holders. 

A valid meal card holder is authorized three meals per day; this has not changed from the legacy food service operation. Meals per day are not the same as has how many times a customer is authorized to swipe their card within the same meal period. A meal is considered a reasonable amount of food that can typically be consumed in one sitting, which can be dine-in or carryout.

If the customer finds themselves still hungry after enjoying their meal, they are welcome to go through the line and get “seconds” or “thirds,” and swipe their card again. It is important to remember that all additional items must be enjoyed in the dining facility. 

 “Seconds do not count toward the three meals a day only if the meal card holder decides to dine in at any essential station mess facility on base,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Carter, 19th Airlift Wing command chief.  “Seconds are considered a part of that meal and service members can get seconds at every meal, for a total of six registered transactions; and that is okay.”

The main difference in the new regulation is: meal card holders dining in at any 19th Force Support Squadron dining facility will not be permitted to obtain two entrees within the same transaction anymore.

Airmen are still allowed their second entrée, but will be rung up two separate times in order to meet the ration/portion requirements in accordance with Air Force Instruction 34-239, Food Service Program Management. 

Carry-out meals, on the contrary, will count as part of the three meals a day. In other words if an Airmen gets a carry-out meal and comes back for a second carry out meal within the same meal period, it will not be considered the same meal and will be rung up as such.

The purpose for these new rules is to enforce accountability and better appropriation of funds.

 “We must keep this information fresh and share it with our peers,” Carter said. “Through better messaging, we can help everyone to understand the process for allowing for that second entrée and how they can get more than three swipes when using the dining facility during breakfast, lunch and dinner hours.”

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Photo Gallery: Week in Review

News Search