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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When most people think of jobs in the Army, they likely think of soldiers operating tanks in the field or officers conducting tense strategy sessions. But 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.

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 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.

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