By Seaman (SW/AW) Christopher A. Pratt, USS Boxer Public Affairs
USS BOXER, At Sea - Amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) has been nominated as the Pacific Fleet finalist for the prestigious Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Food Service Award for outstanding food service for fiscal year 2013.
Boxer Food Service Division was notified Sept. 26 that they were chosen to compete against the USS Wasp (LHD 1) in the Large Afloat category of the 2013 Ney Awards.
"Being nominated means a lot to me and my division," said Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Nakia Bynum, food service leading chief petty officer. "The Food Service Division works hard to make sure the crew receives quality and nutritional meals daily which in turn promote good morale," he added.
To earn the nomination, the Boxer competed against four other ships in its class including last year's Ney Large Afloat winner, USS Makin Island (LHD 8).
According to Boxer's Food Service Officer, Chief Warrant Officer Carey A. Worsham, a Type Commander inspector accompanied by a civilian certified chef will come aboard and audit the Boxer's food service records and financial returns, as well as, inspect the galley for proper sanitation.
"They also evaluate how the cooks and Food Service Attendants prepare meals and clean up afterwards," he continued. "Maintaining a high sanitary environment is a very important part of the evaluations."
The Ney Memorial Food Service Award, co-sponsored by the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA), encourages excellence in Navy Food Service programs with the objective of improving the quality of life for Navy personnel.
"We believe a happy and well-fed Sailor is a productive Sailor," said Bynum.
If the Boxer wins the award, the crew can expect to see creative changes added to the menu. The ship that wins the award will send a select team of its culinary specialists to receive advanced culinary training from certified chefs.
"We send cooks to get certified so they can bring those skills back to the Boxer in support of the food service team and crew as a whole," said Worsham.