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Marine Corps Installations Pacific

Mess hall; first choice for Marines, sailors

By Lance Cpl. Erik S. Brooks Jr. | | October 21, 2011

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Marines and sailors stationed on Camp Foster await their self-created Oki-burrito at the Foster Mess Hall Oct. 14. The new Oki-burrito is part of a new island-wide campaign to encourage Marines and sailors to stop paying out of pocket to eat elsewhere by introducing more appetizing and convenient food options at the mess halls.

Marines and sailors stationed on Camp Foster await their self-created Oki-burrito at the Foster Mess Hall Oct. 14. The new Oki-burrito is part of a new island-wide campaign to encourage Marines and sailors to stop paying out of pocket to eat elsewhere by introducing more appetizing and convenient food options at the mess halls. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Erik S. Brooks Jr.)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Camps Foster and Schwab and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma mess halls introduced new menu items for Marines and sailors to enjoy Oct. 14.

Each mess hall introduced a different food program under the Oki-food initiative, said Master Sgt. Alfred R. Gonzales, operations chief for base food services, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. The Camp Foster Mess Hall introduced the Oki-burrito; MCAS Futenma introduced the Oki-sub, and Camp Schwab started the pizza for a meal card program.

Each program is a new way to bring Marines and sailors to the mess hall, said Gonzales.

The Oki-burrito is a big burrito now being offered for breakfast as well as lunch.

‘Oki’ means big, said Gonzales.

The patrons now have the option to personalize a burrito with all 16 fresh ingredients of their choice. The ingredients include eggs, hash browns, refried beans, sausage, bacon, ham, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, jalapeno peppers and guacamole.

“We gave the Marines and sailors what they asked for,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jony W. Tello, project manager for the Oki-burrito and a quality assurance manager for base food services. “We wanted to provide Marines and sailors with variety and different options to choose from.”

“I like the idea of the burrito,” said Pfc. Ivory K. Mischke, a data network specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Regiment, III MEF. “It’s everything I like to eat for breakfast in one bite.”

To develop Futenma’s Oki-sub, Gunnery Sgt. Mcallan Magloire, the project manager for the Oki-sub and a quality assurance manager for base food services, talked to Marines and sailors to see what they wanted in the sub sandwiches and looked up signature sandwiches for the menu.

He came up with eight subs, including the club, tuna salad, cold cut combo, Italian, beef and chicken fajita, meat ball marinara and grilled chicken bacon ranch sub. The subs come with chips and a beverage.

“We created these menu options to make a greater variety of options for our patrons to choose from,” said Magloire. “Our hope is to beat out the competition. We want to bring the Marines and sailors away from the chain restaurants around base to the (mess hall).”

Camp Schwab’s mess hall introduced the pizza for a meal card initiative.

“With this program, patrons go to the (mess hall), sign in, and receive a fresh made pizza of their choice,” said Gonzales.

The pizza will only be available on Fridays for pick up at the snack line, said Gonzales.

“Our tactic with only on Fridays is that the patrons can grab a pizza after work and head home instead of ordering pizza out of their own pocket,” said Gonzales.

According to Gonzales, the main goal for the program is to bring Marines and sailors to the chow hall.

“We can do the same or better than our competition, which is the food courts,” said Gonzales. “There is no reason for Marines to pay out of pocket when we can provide these new exciting items. We want to make the (mess hall) Marines’ and sailors’ first choice.”



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