MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Mess Hall 128 was nominated to represent the East coast in a competition to determine the best dining facility in the Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps along with the National Restaurant Association are set to recognize the greatest dining facility in several categories, including Best Military-Contractor Garrison Mess Hall, Best Reserve Field Mess, Best Full-Food Service Contracted Garrison Mess Hall and Best Active Field Mess with the Gen. W.P.T. Award.
“The award is meant to improve our culinary skills through the spirit of competition,” said Charlie E. Cone, the food service officer for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Mess Hall 128 is competing in the category of Best Full-Food Service Contracted Garrison Mess Hall against other mess halls overseas and on both coasts.
Nominees are determined by the score received during frequent inspections.
“They need to have superior service and quality of food,” said Cone.
The dining facility replaced a World War II-era mess hall approximately a year ago and features the Department of Defense’s first drive-thru window.
“Marines are constantly on the go,” said Cone. “(The drive through) is convenient for them. They don’t have to rush through lunch, and they can (conduct physical training) before coming to the mess hall.”
However, the mess hall offers more than a drive through to its Marines.
“(Mess Hall 128) has a relaxing atmosphere, the mess attendants are friendly, and the management really cares about serving Marines,” said Cone.
The award recognizes the hard work of employees who work through all holidays and weekends. They gain the satisfaction of knowing they are the best of all mess halls in the world.
Mess halls are important; they provide a nutritional fare to power the base’s Marines through the day. Competitions keep the staff sharp.
“The competition makes everyone want to do a better job,” said Cone.
Representatives for the nominated mess halls are slated to go to Chicago for an award ceremony.