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Friday, November 11, 2005 

Happy Chef Blogging Friday!

Veterans' Day Edition.

Meet the Chef's "Adopt a Ship" Program participant, Chef Steve Mannion

The USS Hopper (DDG 70), home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, recently set sail for Tarawa, Kiribati, to take part in the commemoration ceremony of the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Tarawa. Hopper didn't leave alone. With the help of Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Corporate Chef, Chef Michael Harants, and his Adopt-a-Ship Program. Chef Harants arranged for Chef Steve Mannion to embark Hopper for the 14-day trip as part of the Adopt-a-Ship Program.

Chef Mannion has more than 29 years of culinary expertise and he is the Director of the Culinary Academy of Austin, in Austin, Texas. He is a Certified Executive Chef (CEC), Certified Executive Pasty Chef (CEPC) and he has competed in numerous cooking competitions around the world.

Chef Mannion became an integral part of the Food Service Division (S-2) throughout his visit. He provided culinary training to the Culinary Specialists (CSs) and Food Service Attendants (FSAs) in a variety of areas. He has been a tremendous asset to Hopper throughout his stay. The training he provided was invaluable to our operation and he undoubtedly left a lasting impression on our CSs, FSAs and the ship. Just having him around boosted crew morale. There was a buzz throughout the ship when our crew saw we had an actual Chef on board providing training to our CSs. I think that sent a strong message to our crew that the Navy is taking food service seriously.

Adopt-a-Ship provides measurable results to all participants. The MSs directly benefit from the culinary knowledge and work experiences of the visiting chef. This informal education results in American Culinary Federation (ACF) Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) for both the CS and participating Chef. CEHs are a beneficial award used toward industry professional certification. ACF culinary and management certification is a powerful statement demonstrating valuable experience and the value a certified chef and cook places on continuing education. To say Steve was well received by the CSs and the crew would be an understatement. Not only did he provide training, he also dazzled the crew with his entrees, baked goods, pastries, desserts, and hors d'oeuvres. While in Tarawa, Steve and the Food Service Division had the opportunity to put their talents on display as Hopper hosted a flight deck reception for 250 Distinguished Visitors, including the President and First Lady of Kiribati, on behalf of the U.S. Ambassador to Tarawa.

...When asked what he thought of the experience, Steve replied, "When I volunteered to come on this trip I really had no way of knowing what to expect or how I would be received. I now know that it was an honor for me to have been able to come aboard and to have served each and everyone of you." Steve also said, "What amazed me most, and still does, is how young each and every one is. Not having served in the military myself, I was truly amazed that such important responsibilities have been bestowed on such young Americans. I have always felt and known that our country is in good hands when it comes to our defense, but now I can say I know it first hand." This experience was undoubtedly a success for all parties involved. Not only did Hopper receive outstanding culinary instruction, they also made a lasting friendship.

The Adopt-a-Ship program began as a partnership between NAVSUP and the ACF to provide training to CSs who may otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience industry practices. Adopt-a-Ship is actively recruiting chefs and cooks from the ACF and will expand the search into other professional food service organizations including the Research Chefs Association (RCA), the Retailer's Bakers Association (RBA), the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA), reaching out to all culinary professionals to support Navy Culinary Training. This voluntary program provides chefs and cooks the opportunity to spend time shipboard with CSs by sharing their culinary knowledge and industry experience. - Navy Supply Corps Newsletter

The guided missile destroyer Hopper (DDG 70) was commissioned in San Francisco, Calif., during an 11 a.m. ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 6, 1997. The USS Hopper was named for Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, whose pioneering spirit in the field of computer technology led the Navy into the age of computers. During her career, she was know as the “Grand Lady of Software,” “Amazing Grace” and “Grandma Cobol” after co-inventing COBOL (common business-oriented language). COBOL made it possible for computers to respond to words instead of just numbers, thus enabling computers to “talk to each other.”

Rear Adm. Hopper retired from the Naval Reserve in January 1967, but was recalled to active duty in August 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson because of her much-needed expertise in applied computer science. Rear Adm. Hopper retired a second time in August 1986. She passed away on Jan. 1, 1992. This is the first time since World War II, and only the second time in Naval history, that a warship has been named for a woman from the Navy’s own ranks. - US Navy

Great post Jill, and a fitting tribute. A lot of us, myself included tend to take Veteran's Day for granted.

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