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'Old Guard' Dining Facility Supports Army's Health, Readiness Strategy

By Jack Skelly and Army Col. Jason Garkey 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2017 — The Army's oldest active-duty infantry unit is supporting the service's efforts to upgrade its dining facilities and improve soldiers' health and readiness.

The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) is now providing soldiers with healthier food options and greatly increasing the use of its dining facility at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia.

Under the leadership of Army Col. Jason Garkey and Army Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Beeson, the facility is now used seven days a week by all members of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's community, including Honor Guard elements serving at nearby Arlington National Cemetery.

Dramatic Results

The dining facility provides an outlet for young soldiers to relax and get a quality meal while also giving leaders a place to engage their soldiers in a comfortable setting. The Old Guard is using the dining facility to conduct newcomers' briefings, host leader development meals, and celebrate key events such as the recent Army birthday.

By promoting and establishing innovative ways to use the dining facility and reach out to junior soldiers, The Old Guard has seen dramatic results in morale and dining facility usage.

Nutritious, Appealing Food

A key influence, and probably the most easily overlooked, is the advertisement of calendar events, specialty meals and daily menus. Across The Old Guard, appealing, nutritious menus are posted in high-traffic areas such as in the barracks and company areas, and are also emailed out to leadership to ensure maximum use.

The Old Guard is taking these steps because of a review of food services conducted by the Army's logistics leadership and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's Joint Culinary Center of Excellence at Fort Lee, Virginia. The review, part of the Army's health initiative, is geared toward giving soldiers healthy and convenient food choices to increase individual health, fitness and readiness.

Enhancing Soldiers' Performance

This new strategy ensures that menus and recipes are designed to enhance soldiers' cognitive and physical performance through consistency, reliability and quality food products at the right time, location, and providing convenience to enhance readiness.

Ultimately, the dining facility provides a key location that serves as the heart of communication and camaraderie between leaders and soldiers.
Distribution channels: Military Industry

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