|SWCS dining facility opens with healthy options for Special Operations Soldiers|
By Dave Chace
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Dec. 6, 2012) - Fort Bragg Soldiers seeking healthy meals on post now have a new dining option: the new U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School dining facility, focused on special-operations Soldiers' nutrition, will opened Dec. 1 on Fort Bragg, N.C., on Ardennes St. near Bank Hall.
The dining facility, or DFAC, was developed through cooperation between SWCS, its Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning (THOR3) Program, and the 18th Fires Brigade on post.
The DFAC is open to all military, civilian and contractor personnel on Fort Bragg, and its menus will be specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of special-operations Soldiers.
"The new SWCS DFAC will focus on human performance optimization through nutrition for the [special-operations] operator, student, trainee or candidate," said Christi Logan, the SWCS THOR3 Performance Dietitian. "The DFAC will provide a place for the practical application of their performance nutrition education that they receive through THOR3 courses."
Soldiers attending special-operations courses at SWCS, such as the Special Forces, Civil Affairs or Psychological Operations Qualification Course, receive classes on maintaining their bodies' peak physical condition. By eating at the DFAC, Soldiers will be able to learn first-hand what performance foods are and how to improve their selection, Logan said.
"Changing from a culture of quick, convenient foods to a culture where food is focused on human performance optimization is a concept being integrated from the best of the Olympic, professional and collegiate sporting worlds," Logan said.
Unlike professional athletes, special-operations Soldiers do not get an "off-season" to train or recover, and must adapt to ever-changing schedules including deployments, missions and training, Logan said. To help special-operations Soldiers' physical and mental performance, the SWCS DFAC menus are designed to emphasize a variety of deep-colored fruits and vegetables to optimize immune function, quality carbohydrates to enhance endurance and recovery, lean proteins to build muscle, and performance-based fats to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow.
"We will aim to support the patron in optimizing their food choices so that no matter which foods they choose, they will be ensured a nutritious choice," Logan said. "We will prepare foods using healthy cooking techniques such as baking, roasting, broiling, steaming, sautéing and grilling."
This DFAC will blend conventional Army food service with the unique nutritional needs of the special-operations community, Logan said. The 18th Fires Brigade food service team will staff the facility, serving healthy and nutritious items for all patrons while optimizing human performance for the special-operations community, creating what Logan hopes to be a new dining culture for the Army.
"Our goal at the SWCS DFAC is to educate from the plate," Logan said. "The food we serve is the education, it will set the standard for students and operators for the rest of their careers. Their choices today will affect their performance tomorrow, whether that is next week or next year."
The DFAC is scheduled to be open three times a day every weekday: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for dinner, except for Wednesday dinners which will be served from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. On select weekends (in rotation with other Fort Bragg dining facilities), the SWCS DFAC will be open 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Through the remainder of 2012, SWCS DFAC customers will pay $3.45 for breakfast and $4.55 for lunch or dinner.
The 26,850-square-foot facility's construction was completed in April 2012. The SWCS DFAC began serving food Dec. 1 and will officially celebrate its grand opening during the lunch meal Dec. 3, the first weekday it will be open.