For more than 100 years, the Navy has included roast turkey in its Thanksgiving menu. This year, operating in a COVID environment, Culinary Specialists across the globe are getting ready with an estimated 79,000 pounds of Roast Turkey, 23,000 pounds of stuffing, 38,000 pounds of mashed potatoes, 18,000 pounds of sweet potatoes, 5,400 pounds of cranberry sauce, and 4,800 gallons of gravy to feed our service members.
In 1905, the USS Raleigh’s Thanksgiving menu listed: creamed asparagus bouillon; celery; creamed potatoes, young onions a la hollandaise, steamed cabbage and white sauce; oyster dressing; cranberry sauce; assorted nuts; and—of course—roast turkey.
No feast would be complete without dessert. In 1905, pumpkin pie, mince pie, and fruit cake topped off the holiday meal. This year, the Navy estimates 8,092 assorted pies, including cheesecake, pumpkin, sweet potato, cherry and apple.
Today, there are about 349,000 Navy active duty personnel and 4,500 mobilized Reservists serving in the U.S. Navy.
There are about 8,700 Culinary Specialists (CS) serving our Navy today. CSs receive extensive training in culinary arts, hotel management and other areas within the hospitality industry. CSs provide food service catering and hospitality services for Admirals, senior government executives, and within the White House Mess for the President of the United States. This rating is responsible for all aspects of the dining (shipboard mess decks) and shore duty living areas.
“Navy Culinary Specialists feed on average more than 78 million wholesome and nutritious meals per year, supporting 294 galleys afloat and ashore. Their unwavering support of the Navy and joint warfighter ensures our fighting forces operate at peak performance, ready to respond to threats worldwide,” said NAVSUP Navy Food Service Director Cmdr. Leanne Riley. “Our culinary professionals are the backbone of Sailor readiness; nothing impacts Sailors on a day-to-day basis more than the food our Culinary Specialists prepare for them.”
NAVSUP’s mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP oversees logistics programs in the areas of supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, and security assistance.