Face of Defense: Marine Becomes Top Cook
By Marine Corps Cpl. Jad Sleiman
Marine Forces Reserve
NEW ORLEANS, Apr. 18, 2011 Marine Corps Sgt. Daniel Evans didn’t see himself working in a kitchen when he first became interested in the Marines, but food service specialist was the only job available.
“I wasn’t exactly thrilled,” he said. “But I thought I might as well make the best of it.”
Eight years later, Evans is the Marine Corps Reserve’s top food service specialist noncommissioned officer. The Portland, Ore., native recently took first place honors in the 2011 Major General W.P.T. Hill Awards Program for Food Service Excellence.
Evans credits his platoon with making the victory possible.
“We’ve got good lance corporals who are good in the kitchen,” he said. “We’ve worked together long enough to work well together. It was a team effort.”
Evans led a 15-member Marine Corps team of food service specialists assigned to the 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group as they prepared chicken a la king for some 200 Marines as competition inspectors evaluated their every move. The Portland, Ore.,-based Marines were judged on their overall appearance and organization as well as whether their food was “edible, tasted good or tasted [awful],” Evans said.
The Marines used a mobile field food service kitchen -- complete with many of the same appliances and equipment found in commercial kitchens -- to prepare the meals and serve them in an adjacent feeding tent.
Marine Corps Sgt. Jamie Doering, Evans’ platoon sergeant, has worked with Evans for seven years.
“He’s just kinda that motivational spark, everyone looks to him for that motivation day-to-day,” Doering said of Evans. “He always sets the example.”
Evans will join the competition’s other winners in Chicago in May to receive his award.