When Spc. Tyquail Dargan walked into the Fort Bragg Club, the entry was crowded with servicemembers in dress uniform, ladies in extravagant gowns and men in smart suits. All were gathered for the Fort Bragg Food Service Ball, Sept. 20.

As Dargan, a food service specialist with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, made his way through the crowd he ran into Spc. Eriquon Colson, a food service specialist with 20th Engineer Brigade. The last time Dargan had seen Colson was three years ago when they were both graduating from Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee, Va.

“It has been a long time. We are just catching up,” said Dargan as he talked with Colson.

More than 450 Soldiers and their spouses came out to celebrate the occasion. Food service professionals from across Fort Bragg enjoyed a night of food, music and esprit de corps. The evening started with a social hour; Soldiers used the time to find old friends.

As Dargan made his way into the dining room he ran into more Soldiers he knew. While assigned to 2nd BCT, Dargan has worked in four different dining facilities.

“I walked around a little bit talking to guys I had worked with at other DFACs,” he said.

To start off the ceremonies, Sgt. Maj. Scott Dugan, XVIII Airborne Corps food service sergeant major, spoke to attendees about the history of food service in the Army and the accomplishments made by food service specialist on Fort Bragg.

“The heart and soul (of the Army’s food service mission) has always been the food service specialist,” said Dugan.

Cooks work holidays, weekends, early morning preparing breakfast and late in the evening cleaning up after dinner. That shared experience brings food service specialists together, said Dargan.

“You have to feed the troops,” he said.

Dargan sat down to a table with the food service specialists he currently works with at the 4th BCT dining facility. The cooks were treated to a three-course meal, provided by the staff at the Fort Bragg Club.

“Sitting down to a meal together with the cooks you work with, it gives you a different perspective because you really don’t hang out (outside of work) so you get to see how they are, laid back,” said Dargan.

As a cook, Dargan explained, “I think you have a different look (at the meal). You critique it. The meal was fine. You could tell the green beans had been frozen; they should have cooked them better, but it was fine.”

Soon after the meal, troops hit the dance floor dancing until late in the evening.

“I am glad that I went (and) the fact that I got to see Colson. I didn’t know it was every cook on post. I was able to get back in contact with people I haven’t seen in a while, that was what I liked best,” said Dargan.