Ft. Cavazos (Hood) mess hall woes

| August 10, 2023

Mess Hall Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Military.com reports that soldiers on Ft. Hood Cavazos are having a tough time getting fed. Yeah, fed.

The situation at Fort Cavazos, Texas — previously known as Fort Hood — has left some junior enlisted with few options for meals, as top officials on base struggle to juggle logistics while most of its cooks are on deployments, missions or serving field training and other events.

The base had only two of its 10 major dining options open every day for much of the summer, with three others open only during limited times. The closures forced many soldiers to drive long distances across base, sometimes an hour round trip for their meals.

But not all junior soldiers have vehicles, and the base provides only a limited shuttle service, with none dedicated to dining facilities. The service is so limited that some service members interviewed by Military.com didn’t even know it exists.

The article goes on to report some facilities are closed, some open only for some meals – one had a sign which said “Closed for Dinner” – you live in Texas, you’d better define whether you mean dinner (in Texas served at mid-day) or dinner (many places interchangeable with supper, a sundownish meal.)  Then we get to the meat of the matter:

At the heart of the issue is the dining facilities not having enough Army cooks to run them. A rotation to the National Training Center, or NTC, and support for a cadet training exercise at Fort Knox, Kentucky, took many cooks off base.

Dining facilities have been a key focus in the Army’s discussions on boosting the quality of life for soldiers.

That has included access to healthier foods and staffing those facilities with civilians so Army cooks can focus on feeding troops in the field.

However, the service has made no notable progress on those efforts.

Army officials are eyeing allowing soldiers to use their meal cards at non-military restaurants on base, such as Panera and Qdoba, an idea that is currently being piloted at Fort Drum, New York.  Military.com

“and support for a cadet training exercise at Fort Knox” – we just wrote about that recently, that the kay-dets were also bitching about not getting fed. So where are the damn cooks and food actually going?

This is a rampant leadership fail at so many levels – the Pentagon, the Army, the post – all are showing themselves to be inept and bluntly, not giving a shit about the troops at any level. Remember when leaders, enlisted and officers, only ate AFTER all their men were fed? How about “an Army travels on its stomach”, an expression so old they aren’t even sure if it predates Napoleon or Frederick the Great.

Maybe some of that base renaming money should be spent on basics, like three squares a day?

This really is inexcusable. At least in an older army they may have had the excuse of a shooting war. This? Lot of folks in the chain of command should be out of a job and some money about now.

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Army, Morale, None

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Sounds like a job for KBR. Maybe the Cheney’s can get more money. But seriously, it’s nice to see we are so focused on Woke shit that we can’t even do the basic job o feeding the troops.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

Word of this type of morale problems gets around.
And Big Military wonders why they have problems with recruiting and retention?


This is a plan to starve the soldiers into PT standards.




Think the troops get refunded for missed meals/ rations unavailable as the REGS state? NOPE!

OIP (31).jpg

Check out the Stars and Stripes article from 2 years ago…😆😉😎

‘Warrior Restaurants?’ How The Army Hopes To Boost DFAC Usage


“Base cafeterias will always be “chow halls” for many, while others call them DFACs. But the Army is trying to add a new term to the lexicon: warrior restaurant.”

“In an effort to change how and what soldiers eat, the service has begun rebranding its dining facilities, modernizing them and upgrading their offerings to prioritize fresh or frozen ingredients over heavily processed foods.”

“Warrior restaurant” is the preferred nomenclature, Sgt. Maj. Ken Fauska of the Army’s Joint Culinary Center of Excellence said in a statement in January. Use of the term has been percolating on social media, mostly through the facilities’ official accounts and by Army leaders promoting them.”
I miss just calling it a DFAC,” Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Towns said in a recent tweet. “It’s still a challenge to remember to call it a Warrior Restaurant.”

“The dining facility overhaul comes as the Army looks to combat obesity and boost soldier fitness, and after Army and Air Force officials began exploring a university campus-style dining plan that would let soldiers use meal cards outside DFACs, at places where they’ve been paying out of pocket.”

“To lure customers, some DFACs have begun experimenting with more meatless meals, some of which were offered last week to troops at Fort Hood, Texas, during a “Taste Fest” at the Always Ready Warrior Restaurant.”

“After a four-day training event with a Florida-based chef, Fort Hood culinary specialists served up samples of vegan breakfast burritos with scrambled tofu, vegan spelt pancakes topped with fresh berries, stuffed avocados with quinoa salad, and pan-seared teriyaki tofu steak with couscous and grilled asparagus.”




“To promote healthier eating, facilities are also placing salad bars more prominently, deep-sixing deep fat fryers and switching to air frying ovens.”

“On social media, chow halls boast about meals with more whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables — sometimes pitting them against fast food joints or other competitors.”

“Don’t waste your money at Burger King … hmmmm!” said a recent 3rd Infantry Division Food Service post on Facebook with photos of fruits, vegetables and what looked like baked fish filet.”

“DFAC meals are subsidized through food allowances, which let soldiers who live in the barracks use meal cards to pay for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But many soldiers fail to use about half that entitlement.”

“That means each soldier leaves about $170 a month “on the table,” partly because of difficulty getting to DFACs at meal times for various reasons, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said during a committee hearing last year.”

“There is a “lack of participation in large volumes in the chow halls,” former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told lawmakers at the hearing.”

“Soldiers know about them, but “the million-dollar question” is how to get them eating there, said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael Barnes, a food service adviser at Fort Polk, La.”

“While some DFACs have been stressing their value and menu variety, bases are also launching food trucks, in-barracks kiosks and late-night or extended meal times to better serve the troops.”

“Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston touted the “transition to the warrior restaurant” at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting and expo in October, saying the mess hall makeover aims to create “someplace you’d be proud to eat with your squad.”




“They’re adding ID card scanners to cut down on wait times, starting to allow credit card payments and working to improve the food quality.”

“Installations are partnering with chefs off-base to improve kitchen staff mentorship and training. The service has recruited Food Network chef Robert Irvine, a fixture at holiday USO shows downrange in recent years, to help find ways to attract younger troops to the DFACs.”

“If you give soldiers what they want, they will eat there,” Irvine said in August.”


“Dining facilities have been a key focus in the Army’s discussions on boosting the quality of life for soldiers.”

“That has included access to healthier foods and staffing those facilities with civilians so Army cooks can focus on feeding troops in the field.”

“However, the service has made no notable progress on those efforts.”



From the Ft Lewis Ranger newspaper:

In addition to automation of dining facilities, the Army will also soon roll out a “culinary outpost” for soldiers. Food trucks with menu items prepared at Army dining facilities will service some soldiers in garrison.
“Soldiers can’t always get back to their dining facility,” Skelly said. “So we’re taking (the dining facility) to them.”
With the food trucks, soldiers will enjoy a menu of healthy options. Healthy options might include an “Asian bowl,” with an option to choose white or brown rice, for instance, Skelly said. The menus will also feature sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit and lean beef burgers.
“All menus are designed to be healthier,” Skelly said. “It’s extending our feeding options.”
The food trucks will be manned by three to four soldiers and will feature a standardized menu, Skelly said. The location of food trucks and their status will be updated on an installation’s social media pages, and unit commanders will also have the option to specially request mobilization of a food truck.
Skelly said the program is currently in the pilot stage and the Army has been testing food trucks at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and Fort Carson, Colorado. Also this month, food kiosks are scheduled to open at Fort Stewart’s Marne reception station and at Fort Carson.
Skelly said more of the kiosks are expected to open in indoor, high-traffic areas that have high concentrations of troops. These could include headquarters buildings, reception stations and locations that formerly housed dining facilities.
The kiosks will be manned by one to two soldiers who will serve hot food and frozen entrees. The kiosks will also include a beverage station.


“Soldiers can’t always get back to their dining facility,” Skelly said. “So we’re taking (the dining facility) to them.”

No shit, Sherlock. That’s why the Army has, or used to have, mermite cans and vehicles to transport them. And even stoves, etc. and trucks to carry them so they can actually cook and bake in the field.


We had a CK on our COP in Agur Quf.

Some of those Spoons where fucking magicians.

Nothing kills morale quicker than bad, or dangerous chow.

They keep this up they might just ‘Hood’ somebody.


They had this thing called an MKT, mobile kitchen trailer. Had some Army cooks put out some outstanding chow out of those!


It ain’t rocket science! And you don’t need Michelin stars on your MESS HALL. Whoever is in charge of the Army needs to be replaced.

I have spent a number of years in the “hospitality industry”, as well as my time in mess halls, and this whole thread infuriates me. I repeat–IT AIN’T ROCKET SCIENCE, Particularly when you have a captive, predictable customer base and don’t have to worry about costs or finding reliable suppliers.


Meal Team Six on-station.


A “warrior restaurant “? After 4 days of training, this is the best culinary specialists could come up with? Or be trained to make?

I’m thinking c rats or mre`s would be preferable to vegan pancakes, vegan breakfast burritos or tofu steak.

Feed them original vegan converters… pig or cow.


Yep. I’m a second-hand vegan. Hey, that has some possibilities…

*Pulls out notebook*

I can be like the next Jimmy Buffett. This’ll be my “Cheeseburger in Paradise”! 🤣🍔🥬🍅🍟🥒🍺


“Warrior” is the new “Ranger”.
Also, it’s a stupid, lame pathetic attempt to re-brand chow halls/DFACs.


Like the sarcastic “He-ro!” for dumbass troops.


I find the lack of planning disturbing.

Where are all the NCOs. Maybe get a few vehicles out of the motor pool to transport the troops or arrange to get the meals to the soldiers instead.



NOT Babylon Bee..

“A Cook Shortage Threatens To Sink U.S. Coast Guard Operations”


“In a reminder that high-tech militaries are only as strong as their weakest supporting link, a long-standing cook shortage threatens to sideline the U.S. Coast Guard.”

“Newly recruited to the high-tech, great-power struggle in the Western Pacific, the Coast Guard is in a struggle for trained workers. But rather than focus solely on waging a bare-knuckle labor fight to keep elite operations specialists, electronics technicians, cyber operators, and other glamorous workers in the fleet, the Coast Guard is also paying big money to recruit and retain cooks, or, in Coast Guard vernacular, “culinary specialists.”

“The Coast Guard’s cook shortage is a full-fledged readiness crisis.”

“Chronically underfunded, the Coast Guard is always struggling to address mission shortfalls. And while military combatant commanders request more Coast Guard help, more cutters are heading to sea without a full complement in the kitchen. Normally a routine matter, kitchen staffing shortfalls have made ship galleys into worrisome “single points of failure.”

“Without cooks, the Coast Guard’s multimillion-dollar ships are effectively “sunk,” and unable to operate effectively.”

“Recognizing the old military adage that “an army travels on its stomach,” the Coast Guard is pushing hard to fill the gap. An enlisted recruit with a culinary degree can get a $50,000 bonus, jumping the recruit and apprentice ratings to enter the Coast Guard as a full-fledged Third-Class Petty Officer. A culinary certificate holder gets $45,000. An untrained Coast Guard recruit with an interest in tending a kitchen can go to culinary school, and, upon completion, get a $40,000 reward.”

“And that’s not all. To keep cooks in the service, the Coast Guard will pay $30,000 as a re-enlistment bonus.”

Skivvy Stacker

They’ve been leaning on anyone in the Coast Guard Auxiliary who has culinary experience or training for the past several years.
It’s getting to the point where they might even have to start PAYING them [but I highly doubt it].


“take all you want but eat all you take”

famous mess hall sign.


The only time I ever had a “take all you want” opportunity was when they gave us literally rotten beef; you could smell it 10 feet away. It’s also the only time I can remember getting “seconds”, since most of the guys declined to partake.

I readily confess to being a gourmand rather than a gourmet.


Maybe if the Military quit trying to feed the troops a ration of woke/dei BS they could concentrate on feeding them, oh I don’t know, some rations of food? Fill the TO&E slots with Navy SEALs, after all, isn’t their Secondary MOS “cook”? And with no major wars going on, the SEALs may be looking for something to do.



F*ck the troops, we got “woke” goals to achieve! (The progressive attitude.)

Green Thumb


More worries about chicks with dicks than feeding troops.

MSG Eric

So odd, at least the whole military isn’t having a recruiting and retention problem right now!

What’s next? The President gonna call up the IRR to fill positions because the army is so low on personnel?

USMC Steve

I think the last time the Army was this hosed up was right before the start of the Korean War. With a democrat president then too.


Interesting comparison with the Chicoms warming up to kick Taiwan’s ass.


I know it was taken from the military (Robert Lord Baden-Powell was military after all) but in the old pre-woke Boy Scouts we leaders *ALWAYS* ate last, and the Scoutmaster or Advisor last of all.
I propose that nobody in the 5-sided puzzle palace gets a meal until every enlisted person has full access to healthy meals at the proper times and places for their stations. All 5SPP personnel should have their pay docked to ensure cooks are paid adequately for their services… etc.
Even the civilian residents of said monstrosity


Every CSM on Cavazos needs to answer for this. Every 1SG that not raise hell with their CSM needs to answer for this. Every PSG that did not beat their 1SG up over this needs to answer. Completely inexcusable. There needs to be a triple shitload of NCO retirement papers hitting S1 about this time yesterday.


Any reason you didn’t mention ossifers?


Yes. Getting this clusterfuck unfucked starts with the newest CPL and ends with the most senior CSM. Health, welfare, and morale of the troops is the direct responsibility of NCO’s. If your troops aren’t getting fed, you fix it. If they’re not getting paid, you fix it. There may be an officer’s signature required, but the responsibility lies within the NCO Corps.


I see many a MRE in many a GI’s future…….yum.


Heh. When i was at DLI, if they didn’t cook for some reason, they just threw C-rats in a pot with water and heated them up. Yum! Happened pretty often.


Once a week at the mess hall when I was in Germany.


Knowing Hood, cannibalism isn’t completely off the table.

Quite frankly, with the mech mindset and aversion to cardio, maybe this will incentivize them to do more running so as to not be the slowest in the herd.

“Oh shit, Sarge! The raiders got Johnston! That’s what he gets for falling out of the Division run”

Hack Stone

Maybe a bunch of Hollywood celebrities can get together and throw together a benefit concert to “raise awareness” about the plight of the American GI.

Hack Stone

Looking forward to the late night commercials featuring Sally Strothers and Sarah McLaughlin saying that for $2 a day, you can help feed an American service member.



That was a pretty friendly wolf.


and this


It took me a few years, but I finally got my mountain cur to trust me enough to become a 60-pound lap dog. She’s a weird one; likes snuggling under the blankets but wanted nothing to do with me sitting upright until recently.


Cats, too:
comment image


The postcard of the Ft. Lostinthewoods mess hall reminds me of a 1947 photo of my Dad at Ft. Jackson.

That Jackson photo reminds me of the mess hall we went to for a Christma “family day” at Ft. Benning ca. 1957.


Taco truck at the Copeland Soldier Center today.
Oh wait, junior enlisted who live in the barracks don’t get BAS.
Command response? Sucks to be them.

Hack Stone

The Reenlistment NCO’s must be turning troops away. Who wouldn’t want to reup and be placed on the Ethiopian Diet?

A Proud Infidel®™

But are the Chow Halls still running turning out even half decent food? In the past we’ve seen credible accounts of Contractors passing off stuff labeled as “food” that I wouldn’t even feed to a Dog!

Dennis - not chevy

In the USAF the food was usually good; except the hospitals – Hospital chow sucked.
I recall USAF food was good until it was not good at Kim Hae IAP. The ANG food types fed us well; but, when they left we were reduced to C rations. The C rations were not the bad part; the bad part was we had to pay per diem for them.
At Paramaribo we got nothing but MRE’s. We got so tired of them we went to the civilian airline company and asked for airplane food. We ate airplane food until our money ran out. We had no way to get more money since we had no incoming mail service and the nearest ATM was nowhere near where we were.
In one of my next posts I will tell of marching 10 miles each way to school.


Was it uphill both ways?
In the driving snow?
The pouring rain?
The hot sun mercilessly beating down upon you?




The late great General Richard Cavazos must be spinning in his grave. All the billions to corrupt Ukraine, and the US Army can’t feed its troops.


I now feel ancient, as well as confused. Let me get this straight you don’t have cooks, so how do you get the soldiers fed when the unit gets deploy? I thought that was why the military got rid of contractors in the late 70’s outside the training units? Being an old educated grunt, I do remember my meals were prepared by battalion cooks. When in garrison three battalions used one chow hall sharing duties. In the field it was our battalion cooks, enlisted personnel helping with KP, and of course c rations for lunch ( until President gave our stockpile to I think Angola and we were reduced to Baloney sandwiches). I do remember some consternation in the staff when they sent a female, in 1978, as a food specialist to one of the units, who then realized at the time she could not be deployed if the battalions went to a combat zone.


Similar experience. We even had cooks assigned to various off-post ammo dumps, etc. to feed the guard detachments. Mess tent, tables, chairs, stoves, all the comforts of home.


“staffing those facilities with civilians so Army cooks can focus on feeding troops in the field.”

If the troops are in the field, why do they need cooks at the mess hall?

Do I understand the situation? The various layers of “leadership” decided to close mess halls without planning how to feed the troops; where they would eat and how they would get there? How did the mess sergeants order or prepare food without a head count?

“This really is inexcusable.”

Amen. It should be a career (plural) ending situation.