97 AMW Member Wins Air Force Food Service Excellence Award

  • Published
  • By SrA Cody Dowell
  • 97 AMW/PA


A member of the 97th Air Mobility Wing has taken home an award, not only for skills in her job, but her ability to share her knowledge with others.

Managed by the Air Force Services Activity and named after one of the most influential members of the services career field, the Arthur J. Myers Food Service Excellence Award honors junior enlisted Airmen for their excellence and achievements in food service.

The region two winner is none other than a member of Altus AFB, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michelle Vi Torculas, a food services specialist assigned to the 97th Force Support Squadron.

The award is given to two dedicated Airmen in food services every year. Region one represents the U.S. East Coast and Europe installations and region two represents the West Coast and Pacific Command installations.

“I was surprised that I received this award,” said Torculas. “I wasn’t even aware that I was put in to receive it.”

Airmen are nominated by their local leadership based on duty performance, dedication, base and community involvement, leadership abilities, sharing knowledge with their peers, professionalism and attitude.

“For the entire time I’ve known her, she has been a hard working person, but it’s been amazing seeing her grow as an Airman,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matt Jones, a food services specialist assigned to the 97th FSS. “Since she arrived, she was great at her job, but since then she has learned the ropes and goes above and beyond whenever she does anything. She is an outstanding Airman and I look forward to her becoming an NCO because we need more Airmen like her.”

As a winner of the award, Torculas will receive a week of formal training from Nov. 10-17, 2018 at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus at St. Helena, Cali. This is an opportunity to learn side by side with elite members from the food services industry.

“It’s going to be an honor working with highly qualified members,” said Torculas. “It’s great to know that I’ll be representing my facility and furthering my career knowledge. It’s great that I can take back everything I learned to the workplace and everyone can improve from that.”

Torculas was nominated for this award by her leadership who noticed the hard work that she has done for the facility and the installation.

“Each base has to send in a package for one of their Airmen to win this award,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Alaina Baldowski, 97th FSS food services section chief. “Out of everybody, she really stood out with the work she does and she has a great work ethic. I wasn’t sure if she was going to win or not because our words couldn’t do justice for the things that she has done for this facility. I’m glad to see she won the award. We are proud to have her here.”

“I’ve always wanted to get the job done as fast as possible,” said Torculas. “There really isn’t a reason to slack or get distracted. We have a job to do and we have to make sure it gets done. I always try to motivate my co-workers to be positive because they affect our customers and hopefully when people leave they will feel positive as well.”

Getting recognized for accomplishing the mission in a timely positive manner is just another example of the quality of the Airmen stationed at the 97th Air Mobility Wing.