By MC2 Amanda E. Brittingham 

Navy Public Affairs Support Element East Detachment Southeast

Before the sunrays peak across the horizon and lines of Naval Station Mayport Sailors begin to pass through the base security gates, crewmembers of the Oasis Galley are already hard at work.

Starting at 5 a.m., they've unlocked the facility doors, flipped on lights and preheated ovens to begin their morning routines.  It's this daily dedication that has led to their having recently been recognized for excellence and awarded a five-star accreditation during an annual assessment from representatives of Navy Region Southeast.

"The award is a testament to the dedication of both the military and civilian employees assigned to this operation," said Chief Culinary Specialist Marnika Ash, the galley's leading Culinary Specialist.  "Our team conducted their duties diligently and professionally, which helped foster an environment that demands success. It illustrated our practices that we do consistently and demonstrated that we are committed to excellence."

The galley's team efforts collectively contributed nearly 85 hours a week following proper procedures and striving for success. 

"We worked hard to receive the accreditation," said Lt. John Harrison, the Oasis Galley food service officer. "We did it by strictly adhering to record keeping, inventory, food service, customer service and proper emphasis on sanitation."

Marking the galley's third consecutive five-star accreditation, the facility's nearly 40 military and civilian personnel endured an intense eight-hour assessment from inspectors and met meticulous criteria that rates overall performances.  

"If there is one way to characterize the personnel involved in receiving the five-star accreditation, I would say teamwork," said Ash. "It was a collective effort of our entire team."

The Oasis Galley now hopes to qualify and compete with other regions Navy-wide as a candidate for a Capt. Edward F. Ney Award, an honor established by the Secretary of the Navy and the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA) in 1958.  The awards encourage excellence in Navy food service programs, with the objective of improving the quality of life for Navy personnel.