FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (February 27, 2024) — With the Army’s investments in recent years toward improving Soldier readiness and lethality through what is called holistic health and fitness, or H2F, experts managing Army Warrior Restaurants at initial military training installations — including Fort Leonard Wood — have worked to update menu options, removing some items and adding others, in an effort to provide the fuel to meet the physical and non-physical demands placed upon service members.

According to Fort Leonard Wood Food Program Manager Beverly Leggett, the menu updates follow guidelines in what is called the Soldier Fueling Initiative, an Army program developed to establish a feeding standard for IMT Soldiers. It encompasses Department of Defense nutrition standards, nutritional education, menu development, product selection, and preparation and serving standards.

“The SFI includes prescribed standardized menus, recipes, preparation methods and portion sizes, along with nutrition education, emphasizing the links between diet, performance and long-term health,” Leggett said.

The latest updates, which went into effect in 2024, were developed in conjunction with U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command diet and nutrition experts, with the goal to include choices “that are appealing, nutritious and nutrient dense, so that it is easy to put together a meal that supports health,” said Denise Laursen, an Army Dietician at Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia — the installation is home to the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, which serves as the focal point for the Army’s food program.

“We have tried to include some new recipes and items,” Laursen said. “Our TRADOC food program and nutrition community had an opportunity to review the menus and provide feedback based on their observations and experience.”

Laursen added appealing to “the current demographic of Generation Z” went into the planning of the new SFI, with more “plant-forward items and whole-grain options” available — new vegan and vegetarian options can be found on the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus at all Fort Leonard Wood Army Warrior restaurants, Leggett confirmed.

“Something new on the menu has been to include a lower fat breakfast item choice: lean hamburger patty, grilled chicken breast, pork chop or salmon and salmon patty,” Laursen said. “Not to worry, bacon is still on the menu.”

The standards, Laursen said, are based on research, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans — updated and released every five years by the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services — and are adjusted for the special needs of the military community.

“Not all of the choices are green,” Laursen said, referring to the DOD’s Go-For-Green initiative that helps service members and their families plan healthier meals, with color-coded categories — red, yellow and green — for foods to eat rarely, occasionally and often, respectively. “Red and yellow items are also included as options. These standards were overdue for an update, and the goal was to make certain that plenty of choices were available that support nutritional health.”

And for those who may be mourning the loss of certain menu items at Fort Leonard Wood Army Warrior restaurants, such as biscuits and gravy, Leggett said units can still request these items for special occasions, such as a Warrior Super Supper meal for a graduating class.

Constructive feedback on Fort Leonard Wood’s SFI-based Army Warrior restaurants menu is always welcome as well, Leggett said, either via the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, system, or by emailing

Tonica Todd (left) and Candido Calcano serve breakfast to service members Feb. 27 at the Army Warrior Restaurant in Bldg. 1784. In an effort to better align with the Army’s holistic health and fitness goals, nutrition experts have worked to update menu options in 2024, removing some items and adding others, to better provide the fuel to meet the physical and non-physical demands placed upon service members. (Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)














About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.