Modern chow halls to replace Camp Lejeune’s WWII chow halls

22 Jul 2010 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Barrera

Marines aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune can now look forward to two new dining facilities that will replace three outdated chow halls.

Currently there are two new mess halls being built in the Hadnot Point area. One will be a two-story building, the first ever in Marine Corps history, while the other will have a drive-through window with an ordering menu.

“One chow hall, 82, is being built by the base theater, the other one, 1212, is under construction on A Street close to Julian C. Smith Road,” said Reggie Rugumamu, a facility planner with Installation Development Division, Installation and Environment Department, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

The two new chow halls will replace dining facilities 9, 122 and 211, which are WWII-era structures with only minor improvements since they were first built, more than fifty years ago.

Mess Hall 82 will be equipped with a kitchen, bakery area, salad bar, two dining areas, four serving lines and elevators leading to the second floor. The second floor will contain two more dining areas and two serving lines as well as a Mongolian style grill.

“The Mongolian style grill will have a variety of meats and other foods. Service members can choose what they want and give it to the chef who will in turn cook it for them,” said Rugumamu.

Both areas will also be equipped with televisions and booth seating.

“We’re trying to move away from the institutionalized-type chow halls; we want to give it a more restaurant-type feel and make it into a state-of-the-art dining place,” said Rugumamu.

Mess Hall 1212 will contain two dining areas and serving lines and will also be equipped with a kitchen, bakery area, salad bar and a drive-through window for fast chow.

 “We’re trying to make it more convenient for Marines. We’ve been thinking of adding smoothies to 82 and making P 1212 a chicken oriented mess hall,” said Charles Cone, the base food service officer with Food Service Division MCB Camp Lejeune. “We’re trying to give them options. This is what their meal card gets them and we’re trying to give them the best for their money.”

Even with all the changes and improvements being made to the dining facilities one thing will remain the same: the POW/MIA remembrance table.

“We will always have a table for them. As soon as anyone enters the mess halls, to their left, there would be a lone table, something to honor the fallen or lost,” said Rugumamu.