Career Facts About Army Food Service Specialists

Food Service Specialists Are the Chefs of the Army

Army chef serving other soldiers
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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. 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.

Duties of MOS 92G

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 sets up serving lines, garnishes food items and ensures food protection and sanitation measures are followed both in the field and in the garrison. They're also tasked with receiving and storing food items from suppliers, and performing general housekeeping duties.

In addition, food service specialists operate, maintain and clean field kitchen equipment and 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. 

Job Training for MOS 92G

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 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.

Education Requirements for Food Service Specialists

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.

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. 

Similar Civilian Occupations

  • 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. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program.

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


Most Army Culinary Specialists have plans one day to 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 4-8 year career in the military and apply it to your own civilian career in the food industry.