322 Recruiting Squadron in Farragut holds special Critics’ Choice Award taste-testing

  • Joining in at the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Office’s inaugural chili cook-off Friday, March 15, at its office near Farragut were, from left, TSgt David Greenway (kneeling), TSgt Spencer Smyser (standing in blues), Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, Gideon Smyser (young boy), Farragut Mayor Ron Williams, Alexa Aguirre, Amber Greenway, Lt Col. Mike Wilson, MSgt. Curtis Jones, CMSgt. Aaron Akridge, Amelia Greenway (girl) and Avery Greenway (boy). - Photo submitted

  • Area residents, potential enlistees and others gathered around the chili for some tasting before voting for the Critics’ Choice Award during the inaugural Knoxville Air Force Recruiting Chili Cook Off at its 322 Recruiting Squadron headquarters, 10820 Kingston Pike, Friday, March 15. Among the tasters, from left, were William Seals, Georgia Lowe and Jason Seals. - Photo submitted

The first Knoxville U.S. Air Force Recruiting Chili Cook Off was hosted at its 322 Recruiting Squadron headquarters, 10820 Kingston Pike in Farragut, Friday, March 15.

“It’s a fantastic grassroots effort,” said Lt. Col. Mike Wilson, commander of 332 Recruiting Squadron.

“We’re trying to make it an annual event,” Master Sgt. Curtis Jones added.

Amber Greenway of Knoxville won the Critics Choice Award, while the Air Force Headquarters Award went to Alexa Agguire of Knoxville.

With about 30 people attending, there were about 12 chili entries. Judges from the Recruiting office decided on the Headquarters Award while attendees chose the best chili for Critic’s Choice Award.

The Air Force also presented Air Force Salute plaques to Farragut Mayor Ron Williams and Knox County

Mayor Glenn Jacobs “ for exceptional support for the Air Force recruiting efforts,” Jones said.

The recruiting office hosted the event “for more than just recruiting,” desiring to “get involved with the local community and community involved with us,” said David Greenway, Knoxville Air Force recruiter.

“It’s about changing lives,” he added.

Wilson added the event also is “an opportunity to serve something better than ourselves.”

“We’re really just looking to get involved with the Farragut community,” Greenway said.

“What better way to do this than free food, healthy competition to see who has the best chili (people’s choice) and mingling with everyone to create relationships and community connections,” he added.