Zero Dark Thirty

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Sean Evans
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing

0700 may seem like an early start to the day for some Reserve Citizen Airmen serving on their monthly drill weekends, but some Airmen clock in even earlier.

The Airmen of the Freedom Wing’s Force Support Squadron, who help operate the McGuire Air Force Base dining facility (DFAC), start their day at 0500.

The early start is necessary for having breakfast ready in time for the rest of the wing and a lot of preparation is involved.

“We help the 87th [Air Base Wing] prepare breakfast items such as bacon, biscuits, and everything along the lines of breakfast,” said Staff Sgt. Marquis Stout, a dining facility supervisor with the 514th FSS.

Stout’s Airmen occupy several roles that keep DFAC operations running smoothly.

“We do everything, we usually start our Airmen off with the grill, then the serving line,” said Stout. “There is also the shift lead, when you take control over breakfast and supervise.”

The Reservists operate in a total force integration environment, working alongside active duty and civilian personnel.

“Active duty and civilian side [are] really great to work with, they're very helpful,” said Stout. “Whenever we have an issue or we're not very familiar with [something], they never give us a problem and they always direct us in the right direction.”

Stout takes pride in the supervisory role he upholds at the DFAC.

“What I love about my job is working with my troops, as well as customer service,” Stout said. “That's a big part of FSS services; supporting our troops, feeding them, and making sure that they're maintained and ready for their day.”