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Gunnery Sgt. Cocheta L. Cavers, the Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 mess chief, serves up shredded beef to Marines and sailors from the Field Food Service System at Camp Wilson Aug. 27. The FFSS was set up for the week to serve hot food to squadron Marines training there.

Photo by Cpl. Nicole A. LaVine

Food service Marines serve hot food, increase morale during training

4 Sep 2009 | Cpl. Nicole A. LaVine

Marines and sailors of Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 killed two birds with one stone at the Combat Center’s Expeditionary Air Field from 24 to 28 Aug. by receiving valuable training while also providing a necessity to fellow Marines.

The MWSS-374 Food Services Office set up an expeditionary kitchen called the Field Food Service System to feed fellow MWSS-374 Marines, and those from MWSS-372.

The kitchen was set up in a white, portable shed complete with heating units, utensils and ovens. This allowed the food to be prepared fresh on-site instead of having it transported from one location to another. Marines lined up in front of the stand, trays in hand, and handed them over to servers.

Staff Sgt. Korey “Donkey Kong” Evans, the squadron’s communication wire chief, agreed.

“Hot chow always tastes better,” said the Detroit native. “MREs [Meals Ready to Eat] just don’t do much for you sometimes when you’re in the field. It’s definitely a morale booster.”

Gunnery Sgt. Cocheta L. Cavers, the MWSS-374 mess chief, said the overall mission of the FFSS was to provide the best quality of food possible to Marines training in a field environment.

MWSS-374 is at the EAF preparing for the Weapons and Tactics Instructors Course at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., where they are scheduled to train from Spet. 21 to the first week of November along side a squadron they will deploy with later this year. Cavers said the FSO group expects to feed at least 500 Marines and sailors twice a day for the month-and-a-half course.

“My Marines work very hard,” said Cavers, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native. “They provide restaurant-quality food and the best service they can. Food is morale out here.”

Lance Cpl. Nicole Yager, an administrative clerk with MWSS-374, said having something as simple as hot chow twice a day made a difference in her daily performance.

“Food is a great motivator to work hard,” said the Muskegon, Mich., native.

Cavers said it’s gratifying for her and her Marines to continue providing quality service when they get as much positive feedback from their Marine consumers as they do.

“It’s nice hearing Marines say ‘thank you’ and ‘that was delicious chow’ or asking what’s on the menu for today,” Cavers said. “We love getting the feedback.”

Gunnery Sgt. David Winners, the MWSS-374 Engineer Company first sergeant, returned to the FFSS window for seconds and said even in the summer heat of Twentynine Palms, hot chow still hits the spot for him.

“I don’t care if it’s 30 degrees or 100 degrees,” said Winners, a Forest Hill, La., native. “Hot chow is satisfying no matter what.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms