MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC -- Aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, more than five thousand Marines and Sailors consume over 18,000 meals daily in the three galleys aboard ship.
Keeping all those warfighters fed and ready to tackle the tasks assigned to them is the responsibility of hard working culinary specialists like Lance Cpl. Tamara J. Moody, cook, Marine Wing Support Squadron 273. Moody left the Air Station mess hall to support Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 during their recent deployment to the Mediterranean.
Working in a self-serve chow hall that is open 24 hours a day was a challenging new experience for Moody.
“People can come up and take as much as they want here,” Moody said. “So you have to estimate and hope you hit your target. You’re constantly moving and preparing one meal after another, because it’s open all day. It’s almost to where a cook can’t sit down and eat, and that’s pretty weird.”
While aboard the Truman, Moody received the Culinary Specialist of the Month Award for July. The award is given to the cook who puts forth the most motivation and effort during the month.
“I’m honored to be given that award, because I’m putting out hard work and it’s being recognized,” Moody said.
Hard work and dedication to duty are the most important parts of her career, according to Moody.
“The Marine Corps has taught me a lot,” Moody said. “For example, no matter what my job is, I’m going to do it my best. I could be assigned to holding a doorknob all day long, and I would be the best door knob holder out there, because it needs to get done.”
When Moody joined the Marine Corps, she signed an open contract, and later received her military occupational specialty.
“I didn’t really care what I was. I just wanted to be a Marine,” Moody said. “I love being a cook, though. Nothing makes me happier than preparing a meal for my Marines.”
The challenge and working atmosphere of the Marine Corps was what drew Moody into joining the Corps.
“It’s expected that women who go into the military will choose the Army, the Navy, the Air Force,” Moody said. “But if you join the Marines, they look at you on a whole other level.”
Working with the Navy was a great experience, according to Moody.
“I enjoyed working with everybody in the Navy,” Moody said. “I’ve only known them for two months, but already it’s like they’re my family. Working with them was like meeting my cousins for the first time.”
Moody will reunite with her Navy cousins in October, when the Silver Eagles return to the Truman. Later in her career, she hopes to become a drill instructor, so that she can teach others the valuable lessons of hard work and dedication that have served her so well.