CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Camp Pendleton’s 31 Area Edson Range Mess Hall held a ceremony in recognition of winning the Maj. Gen. William Pendleton Thompson Hill Award for best full food service mess hall in the Marine Corps, May 31.
The W.P.T. Hill Award was established in 1985 to improve food service operation and recognize the best messes in the Marine Corps. The award is presented annually during the Military Foodservice Awards.
The 31 Area Mess Hall competed against over 50 Marine Corps mess halls, with more than 24 cooks and 80 mess attendants participating.
“The award is a symbol of overall food service excellence and it represents that the staff of the 31 Area Mess Hall are absolutely the best of the best,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Todd A. Young, Food Service Technician, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Installations – West.
The 31 Area Mess Hall provides food to an average of 3,000 recruits and 250 Marines every meal.
“The Marines that come there are going to know that they will get high quality meals and that the customer service will be next to none,” said Young. “It increases morale and it provides an oasis for the Marines and Sailors so that they can have a moment of time away from work, get some good food and get back to the grind once they’re done.”
Representatives from the 31 Area Mess Hall officially received the award May 20th. Today’s ceremony was held to share the award with all employees of the 31 area mess hall.
“I get slightly emotional every time I think of what they accomplished,” said Jackie Murphy, 31 Area Mess Hall General Manager. “They took a challenge a couple years back. They chose to become a Mess Hall of excellence, and they achieved it.”
The mess halls were judged on factors such as cleanliness, recipe compliance, quality of food, teamwork, execution and training.
“This is an everyday thing for us,” said Murphy. “We ensure that we uphold our standards of excellence daily. It’s not a competition for us, but a way of life.”
The Hill Award also recognized Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Foster for best field mess and Mess Hall 5500 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for best management and mess attendant mess hall.