By Olivia Rigby
Being a culinary specialist is fairly self-explanatory. Culinary specialists help prepare and make food for DoD personnel. The military offers a culinary specialist job in each branch. There are opportunities to be a Coast GuardNavyMarine Corps, Air Force, and Army culinary specialist. No matter what branch of the military you’re interested in, there are military cook jobs available for you if you’re the chef type. Keep reading to learn more about how to be a cook in the military as well as the salary available for culinary specialists in the military.

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An Overview of Military Culinary Specialist Salary

The salary for military cooks depends on your rank and how long you’ve been serving in the Armed Forces. A culinary specialist in the Army Reserve could make around $60,000 per year. At the same time, in the Navy, a military cook could be making around $61,000 per year. The pay varies, but the national average for a military cook is around $45,000 per year, with the highest being around $82,000 and the lowest being around $24,000. But, like with all other military positions, pay goes up with rank. For example, in the Army, a Private First Class E-3 culinary specialist would make around $2,000/month, but a Sergeant First Class E-7 would make around $3,500/month. This position also offers benefits that increase the outlook for the job. Like with all military positions, these benefits include retirement, vacation days, sick days, and life insurance. Additionally, many military cooks can participate in culinary competitions that can be a creative outlet for many in the field.

Culinary Specialist Requirements

Becoming a culinary specialist in the military is pretty simple.
  • Recruits will need to first pass basic training.
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Must be 18 or older.
  • Must score an 85 or above in the Operators and Food section on the ASVAB test.

Culinary Specialist Duties

The duties of a military chef are pretty straightforward, as you can guess based on the name. Military culinary specialists are expected to prepare and make meals as well as keep kitchen equipment and utensils clean and in working order. Some cooks, like those in the Navy, are also trained as flight attendants for Aircrewmen as well as overseeing the living quarters of the ship and the on-base hotel lodging. Culinary specialists must be attentive to detail as well as fast workers in order to perform their job properly and function well in a kitchen, which is a traditionally fast-paced work environment. Being a culinary specialist in the military is a great job for many people. It can be an awesome opportunity for those wanting to serve their country who also enjoy cooking and want to further develop their skills.

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The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. | Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexander Kubitza | USS Boxer




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