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(Enlarge) Once again, the Freedom Inn Dining Facility has been nominated to compete for the prestigious Philip A. Connelly Award for Excellence in Army Food Service. The Armywide competition has several categories including large garrison, small garrison and field kitchens. In fiscal year 2011, the Freedom Inn took first place in the Large Garrison Category. (Photo by Phil Grout)

The Freedom Inn Dining Facility is preparing to compete for the prestigious Philip A. Connelly Award for Excellence in Army Food Service.

The Freedom Inn was nominated to represent Installation Management Command's Northeast Region and is one of seven dining facilities competing worldwide for the 45th Annual Connelly Award.

The award, which is presented for excellence in food service, is named after a former president of the International Food Service Executives Association.

This is the DFAC's fifth year competing for the coveted award. In fiscal year 2011, the Freedom Inn won first place in the Large Garrison Category.

This year's competitors in the "Civilian-Operated" Dining Facilities Category are: U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, Germany; DFAC 50, Fort McCoy, Wis.; Presidio of Monterey, Calif.: Army Drill Sergeant School, Fort Jackson, S.C.; and Casey Main Dining Facility, Camp Casey, Korea.

The Freedom Inn will be evaluated Nov. 8 by three judges from the program's co-sponsors: the International Food Service Executives Association and the U.S. Army Quartermaster School.

The dining facility staff is preparing for the evaluation by practicing the "Connelly Meal" for the next three Thursdays: Oct. 18, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. The meals will be served at the facility.

All facets of food service operation will be evaluated within 10 categories, from supervision and training to food preparation.

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