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Culinary specialists serve up lunch April 25 outside Clark Hall as the Culinary Outpost Food Truck begins another year of food service operations at Fort Drum. While the meal options change regularly, on the menu that day was a choice of Outpost burger and fries, or a teriyaki bowl (chicken or beef), with drink and fruit included. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)

10th Mountain Division culinary specialists back on the road with Culinary Outpost Food Truck

Mike Strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (May 2, 2023) – A group of culinary specialists are taking their skills on the road this year, working inside the Culinary Outpost Food Truck to provide Soldiers with fast, healthy, and tasty meal options.

“We go where the Soldiers are, and where they don’t have the ability to easily get to a dining facility,” said Staff Sgt. David Tyo, Culinary Outpost Food Truck operations noncommissioned officer. “It’s been exciting for us to do this. We all love it. We’re motivated and thrilled to be doing our jobs this way.”

They travel to places like Clark Hall, Guthrie Ambulatory Health Care Clinic, and the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade Hangar. This week, the team will accommodate Soldiers who are conducting E3B testing to earn the Expert Infantryman Badge, Expert Soldier Badge, and Expert Field Medic Badge.

“When we were at the barracks, there was already a line forming up when we got there,” Tyo said. “And they just kept coming steady for the entire time.”

The team of culinary specialists essentially function as line cooks inside the truck, each maintaining their work station for either prepping, cooking, packaging, or serving the meals in an expedient manner.

Efficiency, speed, and good organizational skills are a must for this team. When selecting the best culinary specialists across the 10th Mountain Division to operate the food truck, Tyo said that they had to be highly motivated and energetic.

“Multitasking – that’s an important skill,” Tyo said. “They have to do be able to do a lot of different things while paying attention to the food orders as they come in.”

Whether it’s a quick croissant or bagel sandwich for breakfast or a grilled teriyaki chicken bowl for lunch, the meals are always enticing and served up hot and fresh.

“There’s a good variety in our menu each day,” Tyo said. “And we’re excited to try new things. It’s like, what can do different today? What can we do today on this item to make it better than before? We’re getting a good system going, finding our rhythm.”

Spc. Franklin Perez, I Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, said he couldn’t imagine ever working inside a food truck when he enlisted as a culinary specialist.

“That is one of the things that the recruiter never mentioned,” he said. “I guess it’s just something new for the Army, but I’m glad they started doing this.”

The U.S. Army Food Service’s food truck program was piloted in 2017 at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and Fort Carson, Colorado.

Fort Drum was among the first several Army installations to field a Culinary Outpost Food Truck. Since the summer of 2019 when the Outpost parked in front of Hays Hall for its grand opening, the food truck has amassed more than 10,400 miles on the road.

While their clientele is mostly Soldiers and Department of the Army civilian employees, Perez said they meet different people every day. At Clark Hall, there could be a line of new Soldiers with their in-processing folders tucked in their arms, then it’s a crowd of medical personnel at Guthrie Ambulatory Health Care Clinic.

“Working in the food truck is just amazing,” Perez said. “You go around all over Fort Drum to different places and serve different customers. It’s a different experience every day.”

The Soldiers all have the same profession in common, but they come from different units, and this is their first time working as a food truck team.

“It’s all about chemistry,” said Pvt. Mahari Saintil, with E Company, 41st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. “We have a system going, and we all work together to make things go smooth.”

They also have another thing in common.

“We’re always happy to serve Soldiers, you know?” Saintil said.

More information about the Culinary Outpost Food Truck and current schedule is available at