Marine Cook Awarded Navy Cross For ‘Best Instant Eggs The Colonel Has Ever Eaten’ Jake Slager April 30, 2012 Marine Corps 11 Comments Follow Duffel Blog: CAMP MUJUK, KOREA – Some Marines get awarded medals for distinguished service on the battlefield, but one young PFC has been given a Navy Cross for an achievement closer to home. PFC Esteban Rodriguez, a Food Service Specialist with 3rd Combat Logistics Battalion, received the award at the close of Operation Freedom Banner in Korea for improvements made to the archaic cooking service. Life can be tough in the frozen wasteland of Mujuk. The Korean winters are especially harsh and the camp is isolated, with conditions rendered somewhat spartan. Despite the challenges, this motivated young Marine has, according to his award citation, “Made the best damned plate of instant eggs the Colonel has ever eaten.” For years, Marines on deployments around the world have been forced to eat disgusting, slimy, unevenly stirred concoctions served on trays made of broken dreams, all provided in lieu of real rations. Some have said they even prefer MREs to the hot chow. The most infamous examples of these “food items” are the instant eggs served by the pan. While normally uneven and disgusting, PFC Rodriguez has turned stirring fecal matter into an art form. “I ate the ‘eggs’ he made in the makeshift chow hall for the first time yesterday, and amazingly I didn’t shit my pants thirty seconds after I finished. So that was a first for me,” said Lance Corporal Ian Baker, a Motor Transport operator who worked nearby. “I asked him what his secret was the next time I went through the line but he just said ‘Aye aye, Lance Corporal.’ He’s going to go far in his career.” Others expressed skepticism. “Yeah, those were some pretty good eggs,” said GySgt Ronaldo Vasquez. “But I can make a real omelet back home that’s almost as good, with genuine eggs, so I don’t know what the fuss is about. But in the end it’s the Colonel’s decision who gets what awards.” GySgt Vasquez denies his comments were because he did not receive any awards for his time in Korea. But the eggs are only a small part of the miraculous work PFC Rodriguez did in the makeshift chow hall. He also claims to have made the sausages edible, the bacon crispy, removed every bit of E. coli from the vegetables, and swears on his good name the biscuits are nearly palatable. “I did some research on the Internet on how to cook,” he admits. “All we learned in MOS school was how long to microwave pasta. I even took the initiative and started wrapping next week’s food in plastic!” The Navy Cross is normally presented with V to indicate valor in combat situations, but Jenkins’ medal carries a small attached A-for-effort. “I will carry this proudly on my chest,” says PFC Rodriguez. “I only have two ribbons after all. This one means officers have to salute me right?” Beyond just the young cook’s achievement, 384 of the 386 CLB-3 Marines on Operation Freedom Banner received Navy Achievement Medals, and the CO was written a lengthy commendation for introduction into the Legion of Merit. He also threw out some less-than-subtle suggestions concerning his own promotion to Brigadier General. Commanding Officer Colonel Jim Hegrel, when asked about the high amount of awards given to his Marines, said, “It was a good effort out there. Everyone did really great. I was proud of ‘em. I’m just so happy to be in command of such exceptional men and women, as long as I get the credit for it. Go Team on 3!” David Taylor Jaquith Fields says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM shameful to the ones who recieved this medal for actually fighting. Michael Hasbun says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM A lot of you seem to still be unable to grasp that this is a spoof website, none of these are real stories. They are made up =o). Brian Evan Stormtrooper Tunks says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM Fifth paragraph had me cracking up! Joe Losinski says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM During the OIF invasion, the cooks were the only ones who didnt look like they had escaped from an Ethiopian refugee camp. POGs… Troy R. Stull says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM Seems legit as the BSM has basically become the officer equivalent of the Good Conduct Medal. I think isn’t the Air Force giving them out for just showing up on a deployment? Hack Stone says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM No shit, when I was at H&S Compnay 1st Tracks (1984), they sent thirty guys to Bear Hunt. 29 recieved Meritorius Masts. the best part was while we were standing in formation while all 29 citations were read, the camp dogs decided to start humping the XO’s leg. Mike Warden says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM Something like this actually happened at Ft. Polk…around 1988. A Lt. Col. was really impressed with the egg a SP-4 cooked him in the desert (Ft. Irwin, Ca.). She was awarded the Army Achievment medal….seriously. Joel O'Brien says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM After finishing basic with a hip-to-ankle cast on my left leg, I proceeded to AIT at Fort Benjamin Harrison in India-Noplace. First breakfast in the chowhall, the Pvt. serving eggs says to me, “How do you want your eggs?” Shocked into momentary senselessness, I replied, “Oh, any way!” He proceeded to pick up two eggs(still in the shell) and threw them at me. Caught one…missed one. Hilarity ensued. Christopher Brandle says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM Pure Motivation! Antonio G Gonzales says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM Marines in Vietnam had to die before even getting the lowly Bronze Star Medal w/V. I served in several operations with E 2/3 and was forunate to make it home with a Purple Heart. No medals regardless of how much ass we kicked and sometimes got ours kicked as well. Mike Marone says: December 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM any cook who makes Marine ‘hot chow’ reasobaly palatable, or instant eggs that don’t make go right through yuou deseve no less than a BSM. heck, they should get MSM’s just for serving meals that don’t make troops sick.