Nearly two dozen of our Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) inspectors received the prestigious Colonel Rohland A. Isker Award for support of military food operations today. I am tremendously proud of each of them, and tremendously proud of the vital role they play in ensuring that every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine who opens a meal during battle conditions can rely on it to taste good, be nutritious, and provide the energy he or she needs.
The inspectors honored by the Research and Development Associates for Military Food and Packaging Systems for their contributions to improvements in military rations with new inspection procedures are: Eugene Brouillard, James Milligan and Michael Remmel, operating out of Evansville, Indiana; Alejandrita Lasaleta, Todd Wingate, Luke Smith and Darlene Hockin in Cincinnati, Ohio; Marvin Alford, LaTonya McLaughlin, Dorethea McDuffie, Stanley Hodge, Henry Stanfield, Takisha Decessard, Elaine Atkinson, Benita Belk, LaShawn Lewis, Laurie Rogers, (led by James Delmaine) out of Bennettsville, South Carolina; and Richard Boyd, Donna Burke-Fonda and Michael Lynch in Washington, D.C.
The Colonel Isker award is presented annually to civilian employees of the Federal government or military personnel for outstanding contributions to national preparedness. The USDA staff listed above are being recognized for their work over several years to put improved inspection procedures into place and enhance reporting of inspection data. Their efforts have helped advance the combat rations program, reduce costs to the government, and have allowed new food items to be included.
The inspectors are stationed in processing plants where food items for the U.S. Department of Defense’s combat rations are produced. Every day the inspectors check food processing operations for sanitation and proper practices, and examine finished products for food quality and packaging integrity. Their inspections ensure that only top quality products enter into the military’s combat rations supply chain on which U.S. troops depend.