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Sgt. 1st Class Trevin McLeod, Kelly Barracks Dining Facility manager, center, stops to talk to Sgt. Donald Moser and Sgt. Robert Woodring as they prepare ground beef for a Mexican lunch on Tuesday at Kelly Barracks, Germany.

Sgt. 1st Class Trevin McLeod, Kelly Barracks Dining Facility manager, center, stops to talk to Sgt. Donald Moser and Sgt. Robert Woodring as they prepare ground beef for a Mexican lunch on Tuesday at Kelly Barracks, Germany. (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

Sgt. 1st Class Trevin McLeod, Kelly Barracks Dining Facility manager, center, stops to talk to Sgt. Donald Moser and Sgt. Robert Woodring as they prepare ground beef for a Mexican lunch on Tuesday at Kelly Barracks, Germany.

Sgt. 1st Class Trevin McLeod, Kelly Barracks Dining Facility manager, center, stops to talk to Sgt. Donald Moser and Sgt. Robert Woodring as they prepare ground beef for a Mexican lunch on Tuesday at Kelly Barracks, Germany. (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

Lt. Col. Laurie Buckhout, 32nd Signal Battalion Commander, left, congratulates the staff at the Kelly Barracks Dining Facility on Tuesday for awards they’ve won recently, including best dining facility in the brigade, best Thanksgiving decorations and best food. Kelly Barracks also is home to the brigade’s respective noncommissioned officer and cook of the quarter, Sgt. Maram Lopez and Spc. Terrence Powell.

Lt. Col. Laurie Buckhout, 32nd Signal Battalion Commander, left, congratulates the staff at the Kelly Barracks Dining Facility on Tuesday for awards they’ve won recently, including best dining facility in the brigade, best Thanksgiving decorations and best food. Kelly Barracks also is home to the brigade’s respective noncommissioned officer and cook of the quarter, Sgt. Maram Lopez and Spc. Terrence Powell. (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

DARMSTADT, Germany — They had had enough. They resolved to take the mess out of mess hall.

After a four-month effort to beef up the menu and replace battered plates of wars past, the Kelly Barracks Dining Facility is getting its just desserts. The admittedly once-dumpy eatery is now considered tops in the 22nd Signal Brigade.

“We took everything, hands down,” says Sgt. 1st Class Trebin McLeod, dining facility manager.

By everything, he means the place was named best dining facility in the brigade — as well as having the best Thanksgiving decorations and the best food. Kelly Barracks also is home to the brigade’s respective noncommissioned officer and cook of the quarter, Sgt. Maram Lopez and Spc. Terrence Powell.

“We’ve established a sandwich bar, a potato bar, a taco bar,” McLeod said. These days, there are about 300 soldiers dining there for each meal, compared with 200 prior to the overhaul.

But success has its price.

McLeod said the transformation cost $5,000 in soldier donations.

“All the different units that dine in here, all those units got together and they chipped in and we have new dishes, new glasses, new flatware, the whole nine yards,” he said.

A commander said she’s please to bid the old days of the stereotypical “slop house” adieu.

“We turned the place around,” said Lt. Col. Laurie Buckhout, the 22nd’s deputy brigade commander. “We had old dishes that basically had ‘Army Medical Corps’ on them, the stuff the military had used for 50 years.”

Now, “we’ve got a real soldier-friendly facility. It looks like a restaurant. That’s our ultimate goal.”


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