USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)'s S-5 division was awarded top honors April 14 with the Dorie P. Miller Memorial Award for Food Service.
This is the second time in the past three years that Truman's S-5 division has taken the cake and won the prestigious award - the last time being 2001.
"This award recognizes excellence in wardroom service onboard aircraft carriers," said Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Tawanda Giles, S-5 leading chief. "That includes food, hotel, VIP and flag services. This award means we have the best wardroom on the Atlantic waterfront for 2003. It's an outstanding award, but we couldn't have done it without the crew we have."
Miller was a mess attendant aboard the battleship USS West Virginia (BB 48), Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. According to history, Miller pulled a shipmate to safety and manned a machine gun until ordered to abandon ship. He is credited with downing at least two Japanese airplanes.
Not only has S-5 proven their merit in wardroom service, they also passed their ASMAT [AIRLANT Supply Management Assist Team] inspection with flying colors.
Both the ASMAT and Miller Award inspections are rigorous, each with their own criteria. According to Giles, for the Miller Award, S-5 is inspected by Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet four times a year.
The criteria are set forth in a 23-page booklet, comprised of nearly 600 different questions pertaining to everything from general management and safety, to sanitation.
"The biggest parts of the inspection are sanitation and food service," said Giles.
But S-5 does more than just food service for the wardroom.
"A lot of times, we're behind the scenes, but there's not a function on this ship S-5 isn't a part of," said Giles. "When distinguished visitors arrive, we go to the Air Transfer Office to pick up their bags, then take their bags to one of seven DV [distinguished visitor] rooms, which have been prepared in a manner no other carrier can compete with. After that, we entertain them in the wardroom with a black-tie dinner and gourmet meal. We've had two black-tie dinners already this under way."
Miller Award aside, when S-5 isn't hosting a gourmet dinner or a group of distinguished visitors, they continue to prepare for the next inspection.
"I think winning the Miller Award shows a lot of hard work that S-5 has put into preparing for the inspection. We need some kind of recognition for the junior people to show how much hard work they've done," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Michael Bardroff, S-5's leading petty officer. "We still need to make sure we continue to do the things that have gotten us this award, which means training and keeping the same high standards so we can win next year."
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