There are a wide variety of jobs within the Army that act as support roles, and which are as important to keep this entire branch of the service running smoothly and on time. In fact, it is 100% undeniable that the soldiers in the food services field are the life-line to the Army.
When most people think of jobs in the Army, they likely think of soldiers in the infantry or operating tanks in the field or officers conducting tense strategy sessions. But none of these jobs are possible without the supply line of food and water. The Army Food Service Specialist makes it all happen on a large scale in Army Dining Facilities (DFAC) where the troops can sit down and grab a hot meal in between training or operational events.
The food service specialist is primarily responsible for the preparation and service of meals both in field and garrison food service operations. Soldiers in this military occupational specialty (MOS) 92G prepare all types of food according to standard and dietetic recipes, as well as ordering and inspecting food supplies and preparing meats for cooking.
Army Food Service Specialist (MOS 92G) Duties & Responsibilities
The Army's website says that food service specialist "bakes, fries, braises, boils, simmer, steams and sautees as prescribed by Army production schedule." That covers pretty much any type of food they'd serve in a DFAC or Mess Hall.
Like a traditional sous chef or kitchen assistant, the food service specialist does duties that include the following:
- Set up serving lines
- Garnish food items
- Ensure food protection and sanitation measures are followed both in the field and in the garrison
- Receive and store food items from suppliers
- Perform general housekeeping duties
- Operate, maintain and clean field kitchen equipment
- Perform preventive maintenance on garrison and field kitchen equipment to keep the kitchen running and soldiers fed
The work of keeping the kitchen safe and sanitary also falls under the food service specialist's duties. They ensure that proper procedures are followed during food preparation, such as keeping perishable foods at safe temperatures. They also oversee and guide lower grade kitchen personnel, with some limited supervisory and inspection responsibilities, including shift supervision.
Army Food Service Specialist (MOS 92G) Salary
Total compensation for this position includes food, housing, special pay, medical, and vacation time. If you enlist under certain MOS codes in the Army, you may also be eligible for certain cash bonuses of up to $40,000 if the HR specialist job is considered one of the Army's Jobs in Demand.
You may also be able to earn education benefits, such as scholarships to cover the full cost of tuition, a stipend for living expenses, and money for books and fees.
Education, Training & Certification
To be eligible for this position, you must complete certain qualifications, as follows:
- Education/qualification: In order to qualify for MOS 92G, soldiers need an 85 aptitude score in the operators and food (OF) area of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. In addition, normal color vision is required. Individuals will also participate in some classroom instruction.
- Training: A food service specialist receives 10 weeks of basic combat training and nine weeks of advanced individual training with on-the-job instructions. Soldiers will divide their time between the classroom and the field, which in this case means the kitchen. This will include practice in food prep in both garrison and field settings. Training for Culinary Specialists is held in Fort Lee Va. Typically, 92G personnel are responsible for feeding up from 25-1,300 people per meal. The training will encompass how to prepare standard and dietetic menus and recipes, how to prep and cook a variety of foods, including bakery items, basics on food and supply ordering, and the proper procedures for storing perishable items like meat and poultry.
Army Food Service Specialist (MOS 92G) Skills & Competencies
Particular soft skills, abilities with which you were born or acquired through life experiences, will allow you to succeed in this position, such as interest or strength in the following areas:
- Home economics
Most Army Culinary Specialists have plans to one day become an executive chef, work in a five-star restaurant, or own their own food business. The Army as with other services offers on-the-job training where you learn a skill while getting a salary and benefits.
You can continue your career within the Army and retire with a pension and benefits and/or take the skills learned over a four- to an eight-year career in the military and apply them to your own civilian career in the food industry.
The skills you learn as a culinary specialist will help prepare you for a future with civilian cafes, restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, hospitals, manufacturing plants, schools, and other organizations that have their own dining facilities. Depending on which specialty you choose, you’ll be able to pursue a career as a cook, chef, meat cutter, butcher or baker.
The job of a culinary specialist is performed in a kitchen setting and can be located either on land or aboard a ship.
This position typically has a full-time work schedule.
How to Get the Job
REQUIRED ASVAB SCORE(S)
Operators & Food (OF): 85
Normal color vision is required
Comparing Similar Jobs
Other jobs in the food service field include nutrition care specialists MOS 68M. They work with registered dietitians to help plan special diets according to nutritional requirements, create menus and prepare small quantities of food. They also provide basic level nutritional counseling such as in wellness clinics or classroom settings.
Some similar civilian occupations include the following:
- Chefs and Head Cooks
- Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria
- First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers
- Food Preparation Workers
Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) Program
Soldiers interested in being a chef outside of the military may be eligible for civilian employment by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experienced and trained Veterans to join their organization. You can find out more online at the Army PaYS Program site.
- Kraft Food Global, Inc
- McDonald's Restaurants of Hawaii, Inc.
- Grand Sierra Resort
- Shearer's Foods, Inc.
- Dot Foods, Inc.
- Patrick Cudahy, Inc.
- Santa Fe Cattle Company