NEWS | July 28, 2021

Illinois Army National Guard Unit Cooks Up Culinary Win in Army Food Service Award Competition

By Barbara Wilson, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office

Army Culinary Specialists with Company D, 634th Brigade Support Battalion, based in Galva, Illinois, have cooked up a win in the Department of the Army’s 53rd annual Philip A. Connelly Award for Excellence in Army Food Service in the National Guard Field Kitchen category.

“I’d like to congratulate Staff Sergeant Andrew Trigg and the field feeding section. You all blew it away,” said Capt. Michael Kamys, of Elmhurst, Illinois, who was the commander of Company D during the award period. “I am very proud of each of you. I just can’t say enough about your accomplishments.”

Company D competed in the national competition in November after advancing through the regional competition in August.

            They competed against National Guard units from other regions across the country and were evaluated in several categories that ranged from field food safety to food preparation and quality.

Kamys said the win is about teamwork.

“It takes a team to win the Connelly Award. Many members of Company D had a hand in winning this competition,” he said.

            The awards were presented virtually July 22 and unit leaders joined online to congratulate the Soldiers on a job well done.

            “Congratulations to Company D for your efforts,” said Col. Michael Eastridge, Commander, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. “I’m proud of your accomplishments. I know you had a great time participating in the award competition. We are looking forward to next year and winning this award again.”

            Each category winner will receive the Philip A. Connelly trophy for their respective category.  This is not the first Philip A. Connelly Award for the Illinois National Guard, but it has been a few years since the ILNG culinary specialists served up a victory.

            Established in 1968, the Connelly program aims to recognize excellence in Army food service and is named for the late Phillip A. Connelly, a leader in food service management. He worked diligently throughout his life to promote professionalism in food service, in both the civilian industry and military services.

            The Phillip A. Connelly award is co-sponsored by National Restaurant Association (NRA) / National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) and the Department of the Army.

            Company D, 634th BSB, traces its lineage to Company D, 17th Illinois Volunteer Infantry which served in the Civil War from 1861-1864. From 1865 to 1937, no National Guard presence existed in Galva until Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery Regiment was formed. Since 1953, the Galva Armory has been home to infantry, field artillery, transportation, air defense and chemical units.