Policies Governing Military Food Service Contracts Effect Soldier Readiness

Policies Governing Military Food Service Contracts Effect Soldier Readiness


Barnes Jr, Robert L.

01 MAR 2011

Abstract : Policies providing food service contracts within Iraq and Afghanistan and other combat areas allow for the utilization of food service personnel in non field feeding duties. These contracts employ a variety of personnel to perform key tasks from ordering, preparation to serving. Aiding these contracts are food products provided by industry which potentially use less or inexperienced personnel for preparation. Often Soldiers providing these functions serve in alternative roles as truck drivers, guards or guardians in the form of contracting officer technical representatives of these outsourced facilities. Commanders endorse these temporary increases of capability, because of the personnel surge capacity despite the potential long-term impacts to Soldiers. Additionally, industry partners currently create more self-efficient food products will simplifying the preparation process. This reduces both the need for certified personnel for preparation and questions the significance for food service personnel. Overall, this potentially impact Service members, particularly Soldiers, long term due to significant degradation of skill. Army readiness is the ultimate effect from these practices. Without periodic employment, Soldiers are in danger of becoming extinct. This paper considers how the use of contractors and current industry practices degrade Service members’ ability to maintain their professional skills, which ultimately impacts Army readiness.

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