FORT CAVAZOS, Texas (FOX 44) – Fort Cavazos has responded to an online report suggesting the post was barely able to keep its food services up and running for months.
According to Military.com, these findings are from soldiers stationed there, plus dining facility schedules. The report says the situation has left few options for meals as top officials on base struggle to juggle logistics while most of its cooks are on deployments, missions, or serving field training and other events.
According to the website, the base had only two of its ten major dining options open every day for most of the summer, with three others open only during limited times. The closures forced many soldiers to drive long distances across base – sometimes for an hour-round trip for their meals.
According to Military.com, Ft. Cavazos posted conflicting schedules or confusing guidance in some situations on what meals were being provided at each dining facility. One soldier told the website a facility had a sign on the door stating that it was “closed for dinner,” but it didn’t note which specific days it was closed or days when other meals were not available.
The article says Ft. Cavazos officials also did not post updated dining facility schedules on social media, although two of the post’s dining facilities, Iron Horse and Patriot, were reopened in the past week – which should start alleviating traffic jams and logistical hurdles in providing more accessible meals for soldiers.
The website says the heart of the issue is the dining facilities not having enough Army cooks to run them. A rotation to the National Training Center, or NTC, and support for a cadet training exercise at Fort Knox, Kentucky, took many cooks off post.
According to FOX News, many junior enlisted soldiers do not have vehicles. There has also been limited shuttle service options available to get these members to the facilities.
Army officials are debating on allowing soldiers to use their meal cards at non-military restaurants on base, such as Panera and Qdoba. This idea is currently being implemented at Fort Drum, New York.
FOX 44 News reached out to Fort Cavazos for comment about the report. The post confirmed that only two Warrior Restaurants were open in July because of multiple training center operations, operational deployments, facility renovations, and support to Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox.
Fort Cavazos says that neither of the restaurants reached capacity during the month and were well stocked. The post says three other Warrior Restaurants opened at the start of August, and more will follow suit as soldiers on missions return.
FOX News says this report comes as the military continues to battle its worst recruiting crisis in over 50 years. The Army branch has been hit hardest by this shortfall, falling 15,000 recruits short of its fiscal year 2022 goal. The branch is still expected to come well short of meeting its goals again ahead of September 30, which is the last day of fiscal year 2023.