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News | March 6, 2024

Ohio Army National Guard participates in 56th DA Philip A. Connelly culinary competition

By Sgt. Katelin Uhinck Ohio National Guard

The PAC culinary competition is the personification of food service excellence executed by culinary specialists, presenting extremely gratifying dining experiences across all Army food service platforms in garrison and field environments.

Prior to this event, HHC, 237th SB placed top four in the regional 56th PAC culinary competition in August 2023.

PAC culinary competition units are selected by the state, which then compete at the regional level. The top four units then proceed to compete at the DA level.

Spc. Noah Meehan, a culinary specialist from Company E, 237th SB, was one of the few Soldiers to compete at the regional 56th PAC culinary competition.

“The whole area of cooking is roughly 250 points,” said Meehan. “The bulk of it is paperwork, on how well we do the initial brief, and the convoy over. Those are the bigger points, but they really emphasize safety and paperwork to make sure everything is logged in and tracked.”

Master Sgt. David Hall, the state senior food service non-commissioned officer advisor from Joint Force Headquarters-Ohio, participated in the PAC culinary competition with Support Company, 216th Engineer Battalion in 2011.

“In 2011, we competed and we won the Department of the Army competition, " said Hall. “We were the first unit in Ohio to ever win it. And we’re still today the only unit that ever won it.”

Hall's role during this event was as a PAC advisor and mentor for the team.

“I think people are scared of Philip A. Connelly because of the demand and rigorous pressure that's put on it,” said Hall. “Once they get into it, and they start to realize that they do well, and then they get to move on - it's a force multiplier. The attitude and the moral boosts as they start to get recognized.”

Primarily, the PAC awards program aims to achieve the best quality food service to support Soldier diners.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Don Broe, the food service advisor for the Army National Guard, was one of the evaluators at the competition.

“Everybody thinks it's food service”, said Broe. “It's not just food service. It’s an overall unit assessment. We go through your maintenance records, we go through your driver's licenses. Only 250 points really have anything to do with the food service out of 1,000. So, we go over training records and everything that has to do with the unit being able to operate correctly. it's more than just food service.”

The PAC culinary competition aims to promote and improve Army food service by providing competition, incentives, professional training and media coverage.

Four units compete at the DA level, and only the top two are selected as the winner and the runner-up.

The winners will be announced in summer 2024 and the winners will go to Chicago for the award ceremony.