Military Chef

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Joined Aug 23, 2008
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Bullsh*t.

Armies are mobile. Prisons and old folks homes are not.
Army cooking presents a ton of logistical problems that no prison or institution will ever have. Its the Chefs job to deal with it.

I suggest putting on a uniform and experiencing it for yourself.
He's right @foodpump ... yes, armies are mobile, and as such, the logistics aspect of the job is multiplied. But the services have that all figured out. The cook doesn't have to re-invent Class I resupply in the field. All he has to do is to learn the logistics system, the field kitchen equipment and the different field rations (A rats, B rats, MREs, UGRs, T rats, etc. (I'm dating myself now!)). I think what he's saying is army cooking best compares to institutional cooking (prisons, hospitals, schools, etc.) rather than restaurant cooking. When I worked for the California prison system, we had a high percentage of retired US military cooks, including myself.
 
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Monthly basic pay amounts are rounded to the nearest U.S. dollar and are for the active components of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

E-9 w/ 20-years makes $5805 / month. ... $69,660 / year.

E-9 w/ 30-years makes $6968 / month. ... $83,661 / year. 

That does NOT include cost of personal travel reimbursement if needed.

That does NOT include monthly housing assistance of +/- $1,550 / month.

That does NOT include NO FREAKIN' PAYMENTS for healthcare.

Don Rich ... You don't have CLUE #1 about what you're talking about. 

If you've got any brains whatsoever ... you CAN learn LOTS of good culinary stuff in the military service to your country. If however ... you're a freakin' idiot ... you'll be peeling potatoes, scraping pans and stacking boxes of MREs.  
 
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Chill IceMan.  I was only in the kitchen as a KP.  I'm no idiot but I did a lot of peeling potatoes, scraping pans and stacking boxes of C rations.  I made the first Sargent made at the beginning of  Basic and did lots of KP.  I did this for about $80.00 peI  month as I remember.  The military is something you can't really understand until you have been there.  O by the way do any sous you know of carry a rifle?  
 
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Nah, no rifle. The Swiss being Swiss, all of us kitchen guys HAD to have a s.i.g. 9mm pistol on us at all times, I mean they'd do snap weapon inspections while we were making breakfast. 'Course, they'd only issue us ammunition at target practice.....
 
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OK iceman let it go jeez.how long does it take in the civilian sector to make 69,000 versus in the military and what skills are transferrable to your next job to make more? I know military cooks(speaking from experience) get out and find they have to start all over again as far as cooking goes if you want to keep cooking. Military cooking is equivalent to institutional cooking in the private sector
 
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Iceman remember I did twenty. OK I didn't know how much a E-9 makes. Yea I know I and anyone married or living off post gets separate rations, housing allowance medical and dental treatment he works. We can go on and on about pay. How long and when were you in the military? What makes you think any Culinary school can teach you everything you need to know. That's ridiculous. How many countries and cultures and styles of cooking there are out there. You would have to go to school for ever to learn so much. It's an unending learning process. I was taught in the army cooking school to be a cook. They taught me how to make biscuits, meatloaf ,brown gravy and what they called white gravy. So in a fine dining I would be screwed except for learning quick breads and brown rue. No sauces, stocks, ratios, meat cutting, short dough's, polish or biggas, fumes, the list goes on. Their baking recipes once I got to regular duty stations were good. But they were fazed out. Alit of things when I retired were already made for us. Bake chicken, pot roast, baked fish precut and frozen, bagged fries, premade burgers, breads, once in a while we would have s mess sergeant that would have us cut up bottom rounds and do stir fry on the griddle, or make double layer sheet cakes( premade cake mix), premade frostings, a diluted version of butter cream frosting maybe. Maybe hot rolls from scratch or sheet pies with canned filling,i can go on forever with the simplified versions of food we made in garrison. I deployed to Iraq two times. Each for 18 months, the first time the first three months special forces did security on ATVs for us for three months eating MREs and having to piss and shit in a hanger too many snipers.
 
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After that Kellogg brown and root committed piracy hiring Goan Indians to cook for everyone and we did jobs like filling water tanks ,pulling gate guard duty, inside security duty, please prison guard duty, mounted patrol duty, body and wreckage recovery. Once the civilian ran dining facilities were up and running we supervised operations there and began cooking for our assignef or attached units. From team to battalion size. We would drive with them outside the wire. Rotate in and out the wire cooking unitized group rations, t rations and ugrA rations. A is real food supplementing canned food. That usually meant rice, fruit, or salad MN if you wanted to cook real food for them you had to get to know where to get it on other bases or make deals with the cavillians to get it. Sometimes you get to use it and sometimes you can't because of missions the soldiers you support don't have time for it. If you have three cooks and 159 people to feed and you get your food, download it, prep it and cook it and an hour after you get the food your told to serve in 30 minutes. That's half an hour to prep and cook enough food for 150. I don't think so. Hence MREs, trays or ugrA. If you get your food in the middle of the night you push your self and your cooks 1/12 days straight to give the guys some real food. You don't get fresh herbs fresh meat(frozen) time or equipment for stocks, you don't have saute pans, you use half and third pans. You buy out if your pocket sent from home spices and equipment.
 
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Second time in Iraq was crazy, improvised explosive devices that was either buried beside the roads or in the roads. Half the time we cooked in Iraqi towns feeding our infantry guys,the us infantry. We had a new expandable trailer to cook out of. Week out cooking week in the perimeter to drive trucks outside the perimeter to give sheiks in Iraqi towns barriers to protect their markets from being blown up. Then back and forth cooking and driving for 18 months straight. Sometimes 1 1/2 days straight driving sometimes only 12-14 hours , the back to cooking. Down time was get on the phone maybe get to hang out for 3 or 4 hours before you have to start prepping for your next mission outside, when you don't have to pull guard duty or drive pallets of water to concrete pads for the the soldiers in side the wire. Either sleep for 8-9 hours between missions eat MREs or sleep 2-5 hours and try to act like you have a life and find your buddy's play cards and bulshit and eat at the civilian ran dining facilities. Before you start prepping for you next mission. Hope this gives you an idea of military life deployed. Non deployed decompress, readjust to the tempo being slower, get back into school and save your money, cause unless you make sergeant major or more or go at it as a officer, if you don't get an education alit of military jobs don't transfer well into the private sector. Sure there are some but cooks is not one of them. If you make a career if the military get you house before you get out and invest wisely to supplement your military retirement. Go back to work unless you can milk the military on disability. But then you have to play the disabled game. You lose your disability pay if you violate you profiles. I know iceman is going to beat me up on that one[emoji]128514[/emoji] some of your disabilities they can't touch and some they can. You can write a book about that one. Dont do the I'm crippled pay me game.
 
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Take care of you body while your in take vitamins for your joints like msm ,glucosamine. Work out your back to minimize the damage from road marches. Wearing body armor and back packs or rucks or mollies. Whatever they call backpacks now. You may depending on your assigned duty may have to carry from 35 LDS to 110 plus. Motormen got it the worst. You get I don't remember but like every three years you get paid to buy new uniforms. It covers enough to get a uniform socks underwear t-shirts and a few other things and the rest you pay out of pocket. If you single an e-4 or below you live in the barracks. Some places treat them like apartments others treat them like military barracks. You get assigned cleaning duties pull charge of quarters duty in the middle of the night. Not allowed sleepovers, over certain amounts of alcohol, outside cleanup details. If or when you make sergeant or staff Sergeant if in the contiguous US you MAY live off post and will get sesperate rations(you get paid to feed your self), and housing g allowance based on your rate of pay, like what iceman was talking about.
 
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If you read the o.p.'s original post, he said he's a Brit, and wants to go in the (British) navy.......
 
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