BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) was presented the Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award, July 19 at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, for earning runner up in the Submarine Category.
The prestigious Ney Award is annually awarded to the highest-performing food service operations throughout the fleet.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced this year's winners March 25.
"Winning a Ney award ranks you as one of the best galleys and CS divisions out there," said Chief Culinary Specialist Kelly Mathis, Maine Gold Food Service Division leading chief petty officer. "It validates that you're doing things right across the board, and it means your cooks are outstanding and they know it."
The Ney Memorial Awards Program is co-sponsored by the International Food Service Executives Association to encourage and recognize excellence in Navy Food Service programs. The goal of the award is to improve the quality of life for Navy personnel.
"A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into winning this award, and my guys have come so far over the past year to get to this point," said Mathis. "Even though our food preparation was already top notch, we did a lot of training, like getting our CSs advanced culinary training out in town, to bring us up to that next level."
The award is named for Capt. Edward F. Ney, an enlisted Sailor during World War I who later earned his commission as a supply officer. His work resolving problems within the military's food service industry during World War II contributed to a higher standard of food service in the Navy.
"High quality food prepared fresh daily by culinary specialists is one of the biggest morale boosters the Navy provides," said Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command, Rear Adm. Mark Heinrich. "More scratch cooking, updated menus and increased on-the-job training for culinary specialists are defining the future of Navy food service."
"I am extremely proud of my exceptional Food Service Division, and I'm pleased that they are being recognized with this unique honor," said Maine Gold Commanding Officer Cmdr. Rich Massie. "Lt. [Melissa] Gonzales, CSC Mathis, and the entire team bring an impressive combination of experience, pride and motivation that benefits the entire crew. Of course I am biased, but this team serves the best, most consistently high quality food I've had on any submarine."
For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 9, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg9/.