Brewton native Floyd training Army cooks
By By Dona Fair
special to the standard
When students filter into the classroom kitchen of a T.R. Miller graduate, he finds there are some who have a hard time boiling water. In a matter of weeks, he transforms them into full-fledged cooks, many of whom will have the responsibility to feed hundreds of their fellow service members at one time.
Army Staff Sgt. Anthony A. Floyd, son of Willa J. Floyd of Brewton, is an instructor with the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence at Fort Lee, responsible for training service members, many straight out of basic training, on the basics of cooking, as well as serving food and operating and maintaining a dining facility and field kitchen.
Floyd is an instructor at the school, taking students beyond the basics of cooking, delving into such areas as menu development, nutritional balance, even cooking for the different demographics that make up the military.
Many of the old stereotypes about the Army cook or mess hall depicted in Beetle Bailey cartoons and in World War II-era songs and cadence calls, have long since lost their relevance. Many of today’s military cooks have civilian cooking experience and are lured to military kitchens because of its quality, as well as quantity reputation.
Being considered a top chef, either in or out of the military, is quite an accomplishment. But to be chosen as an instructor requires a level expertise, and more than a little patience. Qualities that made Floyd a perfect fit.
Many of the students who are trained by Floyd will go on to be accomplished chefs, senior leaders within the military or compete in competitions to showcase their culinary prowess. Floyd says his motivation is somewhat more basic.