Thoughts on being a Military Cook + signing bonus offer of $20k

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Joined Mar 24, 2019
Question is: What would stop you from taking a job as a military cook if you were offered a $20k signing bonus 1/2 now the other 1/2 one yr later, a promotion to corporal , back pay for your time in basic training. $60k+ annual salary to start, a full government pension and full benefits. What would stop you from taking this gig? Seriously curious on your thoughts out there!
Cheers!!
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
I haven't been a military cook so this is strictly based on my perceptions of what I imagine being a military cook would be like.

To me the downside would be what I have experienced in my brief times working in a corporate environment and that would be a lack of creativity which hindered the spreading of my culinary wings. To me, the process of spreading my wings was of paramount importance.

On the down side of pursuing the spreading of my wings, I discovered that the chances of financial security, job security, fame, and fortune are significantly lessened.

Looking back, I have no regrets. My path certainly wouldn't work for everybody, but for me the trade offs were worth the rewards.

What is important to you at this particular time in your career?
 
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Joined Mar 24, 2019
Thank you very much for your reply Cheflayne. I can certainly relate to where you are coming from. For me, I am certainly looking for a balance between having control of what I am cooking ( creativity, technique ) and having financial security as well opportunities. I think your words will be important as I present this tomorrow. Dispelling certain notions that are current such as very basic menus etc are something that the gov. could become a lot more flexible with I.e not just healthier eating but better eating! Along with stability, that could be a game changer.
Much appreciated!
Thanks
 
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Joined Mar 24, 2019
Thanks for those links! I am currently a cook in the Canadian military and actually will be attending/ participating in the Ft. Lee culinary event for 2020. Wondering, what got you started as a cook in the military?
See you in Ft.Lee?





QUOTE="carltonb, post: 596763, member: 59287"]If you want to become a cook or a Chef in the military check these links out. I just attended this competition and the military cooks/Chefs have a lot to offer.
https://quartermaster.army.mil/jccoe/Special_Programs_Directorate/Culinary_Arts/Culinary_Arts_main.html
https://www.army.mil/article/217315/joint_culinary_event_set_to_begin_march_9_at_fort_lee
https://www.facebook.com/Army.Culinary/[/QUOTE]
 
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Joined May 11, 2013
I am not a military cook, I am a 45 year member of the American Culinary Federation as a CEC, CEPC, CCE. Though I do work a lot with my local national guard units to get their cooks certified.
I started as an apprentice in 1970 and worked my way up. I just retired last year.
I would recommend that you become a member of the Canadian Chef's.
Here is a facebook link to the current President. https://www.facebook.com/simon.smotkowicz
Best of luck to you.
 
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Joined Mar 24, 2019
I will certainly look into that, thank you! In hindsight, would you have considered a career as a military cook? I appreciate that it might be a rather awkward question for you, having not worked as a military cook, but from your experience i.e working with many military apprentices; Would you have traded certain aspects of your civilian career for a military career? Or is it a no contest? You wouldn’t have considered it at all,
Thank you for your time.
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
I have never served in the military, so I don't have first hand experience, but I will say that I have worked with a number of ex-military cooks and they have all been great to work with. They had good skills, and while some of them were not the most creative, many that I met were while I was in the fine dining world and many of them were very successful. I will also say that many of my friend's loved their experience cooking in the military. Now my judgement may be skewed as many of those I worked with had great cooking jobs in the military, they weren't just cooking for the masses. The ones I worked with cooked on subs, cooked for higher ranking officers, one worked in the White House, not cooking for the President, but cooking for many important people and working for large state functions. Same guy also spent a lot of time in Antarctica. So I guess a lot would depend on what you end up doing in the military, and what you want to do when you leave, but in my opinion, all these guys were well prepared for restaurant work because of their experience in the military.
 
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Joined Mar 24, 2019
Thank you for that input, I will certainly bring that forward. That would be valuable information /option for a cook with little or no experience to keep in mind down the road. Cheers!
 
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Joined May 11, 2013
Working as a military cook in the early 1970's in the US would not have been ideal. In the middle of the Vietnam war, the opportunities and training for cooks in the military were not there.
Today is a whole other story. The training and availability for advancement is seen in the eyes of many of the young military cooks today. Also the opportunities after service has man more opportunities.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
There is nothing wrong with a career in the military. However, be sure to read all the fine print. As the old saying goes, "deals that appear to be too good to be true, usually are."

Good luck. :)
 

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