Seaman Armoni White

by James Bolinger
Stars and Stripes

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — A Navy cook who helps feed hundreds of servicemembers aboard the USS Ashland recently received high honors in a culinary contest back in the States.

Seaman Kelija Rheubottom — the grandson of a Navy cook — placed third out of 132 junior chefs in a “student skills” competition during this spring’s 43rd Annual Joint Culinary Training Exercise at Fort Lee and Fort Picket in Virginia.

The event pitted some of the best cooks from each military branch against one another for six weeks of training and eight days of competition where participants prepared up to 12 meals a day.

The servicemembers trained with top White House and Pentagon chefs ahead of the contest, which was judged by civilian executive chefs from the U.S., France, Germany and Japan.

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Photo Caption:

Seaman Armoni White, an engineman assigned to the USS Ashland, fills her plate last month aboard the dock landing ship in Sasebo, Japan.


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