Guided-missile frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46) was awarded the 2014 Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award for Food Service Excellence (Small Afloat Category) April 29, marking the second time Rentz has won the prestigious award in the last three years.
The Ney Award is co-sponsored by the secretary of the U.S. Navy and the International Food Service Executives Association and recognizes excellence in Navy food service programs.
As the ship’s leadership will attest, it is not easy to please a crew of more than 200 Sailors.
“Taking care of the crew is our number one priority and our culinary specialists always cook with a passion for providing great service,” said Lt. Steven Mannila, Rentz supply officer. “It is an honor just to be nominated for the Ney, but to win is an overwhelming achievement for the ship.”
Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Peterdennis Ramos, Rentz food service division leading chief petty officer, said the award had to do with a lot of preparation, devotion to excellence and a will to excel everyday.
“I would like to thank all the previous and current food service attendants and the mess decks masters-at-arms who helped make this happen,” said Ramos. “They are the definitely the ones who helped us set the standard for Ney excellence on board Rentz.”
Ramos also expressed great appreciation for those outside of the food service division for their help in winning the award.
Maintaining high standards is a team effort that crosses departmental lines. They may not be in the galley preparing for the daily meals, but the engineers on board Rentz take their role in food service very seriously.
“We depend on the cooks to properly operate their galley equipment and they depend on us daily to maintain and repair it,” said Engineman 1st Class Alfonso Gomez. “The galley cannot operate to any level of standards without the scullery or the reefers that keep the ship’s food fresh.”
Cmdr. Lance Lantier, the commanding officer of Rentz, said he was excited but not surprised to hear his food services team had won the Ney Award again for the second time in three years.
“This award is a testament to the hard work and commitment to each other that my Sailors exemplify,” said Lantier. “On board Rentz, we are a tight team and a close family. We succeed or fail together, and I could not be more proud of this crew or more grateful for the Sailors that have made Rentz a shining example for food service excellence.”
The award is named in honor of Capt. Edward F. Ney, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy, head of the Subsistence Division of the Bureau of Supplies and Account from 1940-1945. It is the highest honor a food services division can attain and a maximum of two frigates in the Navy inventory can be nominated each year for the award. This year, Rentz was the only frigate in the Navy to be nominated.
Rentz recently returned from a seven-month deployment in support of counter-narcotics operations in the 4th Fleet area of operations. While deployed, the ship’s food service team provided the crew with over 148,000 nutritious meals. The Rentz crew is now preparing for the ship’s decommissioning at a ceremony currently scheduled for May 9.
Press Release, May 5, 2014; Image: US Navy