SAN DIEGO — Guided missile frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46) was recently awarded the Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award (Small Afloat Category) by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. It is her first Ney award since 1997.
With the award comes some quality of life bragging rights, but even more exciting is the opportunity to send some of the food service team to seminars offered by the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA) for advanced culinary training.
“I wish that we could send everybody,” remarked Culinary Specialist 1st Class Petty Officer Shawn Ledoux. He is scheduled to attend three of the advanced training sessions, including Cake Decorating, in March.
“It took every single one of us to earn the Ney award. I plan on bringing the training I receive from professional chefs and incorporating it into our divisional training plan so that our junior cooks reap the benefits of their hard work, too,” said Ledoux.
It is not easy to please a crew of over 200 Sailors. “Taking care of the crew is our number one priority and our Culinary Specialists cook like they are family--because they are,” said Lt. Fadi Sacre, USS Rentz Supply Officer. “It is an honor to be nominated for the Ney, but to win is just an extraordinary achievement for us. We are very humbled by this achievement.”
Maintaining high standards is a team effort that crosses departmental lines. They may not be in the galley preparing for the daily meals, but the engineers take their role in food service very seriously.
“We depend on the cooks to properly operate their galley equipment and they depend on us daily to maintain and fix it,” said Engineman 1st Class Petty Officer Ernie Correa. “The galley cannot operate to any level of standards without the scullery or the reefers.”
Cmdr. Mike Davis, USS Rentz Commanding Officer, was excited but not surprised to hear his food services team had won the Ney Award.
“This award is a testament to the hard work and commitment to each other that my Sailors exemplify,” he said. “In Rentz we are a team and a family, we succeed or fail together. I couldn’t be prouder of them or more grateful that each one of them is serving in Rentz.”
The awards are named in honor of Capt. Edward F. Ney, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy, head of the subsistence division of the Bureau of Supplies and Account from 1940-1945. It is the highest honor a food services division can attain and only two frigates in the entire U.S. inventory are nominated each year.
Rentz recently returned from a six-month deployment in support of counter-narcotics operations in the 4th Fleet area of operations. While deployed, her food service team provided the crew with over 100,000 nutritious meals.