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National Restaurant Association - NRA military foundation honors Marine corporal’s excellence

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NRA military foundation honors Marine corporal’s excellence

A U.S. marine corporal currently deployed in Afghanistan recently was honored at the Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence for his culinary achievements in military foodservice.

Cpl. Daniel Russo was named the 2013 Food Service Specialist of the Year at the Major General Hill Awards program, hosted by the National Restaurant Association Military Foundation Nov. 21 at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif.

Russo, of Watertown, Mass., and assigned to the 25th Marine Regiment, HQ CO Mess Chief, supervises the preparation of more than 13,800 meals for all drill and annual events. Also, during his unit’s annual training exercise, the corporal established a field mess and led 15 marines in support of 8,400 meals for all elements of the operation during the July 4 holiday.

The ceremony took place via Skype, with Cpl. Russo accepting his award from Afghanistan.

“The National Restaurant Association is proud to support our active servicemen and women and military veterans and help shape them into future restaurant industry leaders,” said NRAMF board member Art Myers. “The military community is a vital part of our industry and the Major Gen. W.P.T. Hill Awards is our way of honoring Cpl. Russo and the men and women before him who have served as shining examples of excellence in foodservice.”

As part of the Armed Forces Forum event, 30 military personnel including Airmen, Marines and Navy personnel, attended a weeklong program of culinary training at Greystone that will further enhance their expertise in military foodservice as well as their future civilian careers in the restaurant industry.

The National Restaurant Association Military Foundation grew from the NRA’s decades-long partnership with the Hennessy Travelers Awards program. Established in 1956, the program honors the dedication, pride and fellowship of the military foodservice personnel.

More than 250,000 military veterans are now employed in the restaurant industry and, according to NRA research, that number is expected to increase by 25,000 over the next five years.

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