What Does an Army Food Service Specialist (MOS 92G) Do?
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
Army Video on Culinary Specialist
Working as the Army Culinary Specialist (MOS 92G) allows you to show your skills in the kitchen.
These specialists are responsible for preparing and cooking food in the field or garrison.
If you love cooking and making others happy through food, this MOS is perfect for you.
Continue reading for information on requirements, job duties, pay, and more.
Requirements and Educations
To enter into MOS 92G, individuals will need to take the ASVAB test and score at least 85 on the Operators and Food (OF) section.
Individuals must have a high school diploma or GED to enter and pass all physical/medical evaluations.
To train as a Culinary Specialist, recruits will first attend Basic Combat Training for 10 weeks.
Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for this MOS will be nine weeks at the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence at Fort Lee, VA.
Advanced training will consist of classroom and fieldwork, including practice in preparing food.
It is helpful if recruits have an interest in cooking, home economics, and health.
Mathematics, accounting, and chemistry interest are also helpful in this MOS.
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What Does a Culinary Specialist Do?
Army Culinary Specialists are the ones who provide Army soldiers with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes midnight meals.
They complete all functions of the kitchen, from ordering and storage to food preparation and service.
The Specialist completes dining facility administration for smooth service and delivery.
Ordering and Storage
Army Culinary Specialist will keep kitchen inventories to ensure product levels are efficient for cooking.
Specialists use inventory lists and menu planning to order products.
When products arrive they will store them in storage areas based on food safety regulations.
They ensure products are being rotated and do not expire.
Per food safety guidelines, both food and chemicals must be stored in certain locations and in a certain order (top to bottom), and the specialist must know these guidelines and ensure they are met at all times.
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Specialists complete food preparation duties.
Food preparation may include cutting up or dicing vegetables and meat for meals.
It may also include preparing bases for soups and sauces.
Part of food preparation is meal planning.
Specialists try to ensure they provide meals that provide sustaining energy for soldiers.
They must be knowledgeable about nutrition.
Specialists work on creating recipes and menus.
They document the steps to create the product and keep the recipe steps for reference to ensure consistency.
Part of this function is knowing allergens for certain soldiers and avoiding food cross-contamination.
Meal planning assists with inventory control and allows for sufficient food prep.
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Equipment and Set Up
There are many different kitchen tools that specialists use.
They must be able to use them safely and quickly to avoid injury and wasting product.
Specialists may be responsible for setting up proper operating procedures on kitchen equipment and training others on their use.
In addition to setting up proper operating procedures, they will perform any regular maintenance on equipment.
They will use sharpening equipment to keep knives sharp and use a scale to weigh a variety of foods.
The Specialists set up the serving lines for each meal.
Setting up serving lines includes taking time for proper presentation and displaying menu cards with food information.
Part of this position is also cleaning up dishes, equipment, dining facilities, or work areas used.
Cooking for soldiers does not just happen in a fixed location.
Specialists also prepare meals in the field as well.
They will use the Army Field Feeding System and Mobile Kitchen Trailer.
This unit fits on a trailer and is set up and expanded into a full mobile kitchen for food preparation and cooking.
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Specialists cook meals for soldiers in large quantities.
Meals can be prepared for a few dozen to a few hundred.
The meals they serve are in mess halls, DFACs, or field areas.
They prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner in addition to desserts and appetizer foods, such as salads.
The Specialist uses different techniques to cook meals including dicing, slicing, sauteing, frying, broiling, baking, roasting, and more.
Specialists try to cook meals that will sustain, taste good, and look appetizing.
Preparing a good meal for soldiers can have an effect on morale and help lift their spirits.
Time management and understanding how to complete conversions are important tasks when cooking food.
Food must be cooked to temperature and to meet food safety guidelines.
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One thing that specialists look forward to is culinary competitions.
These competitions are a chance for specialists to show their skills and to keep their skills sharp.
It is a creative outlet for specialists.
They complete ice sculptures, cake designs, and chocolate molding.
Culinary competitions also include cooking varieties of meals for judgment.
Competitions are competed against other branches of service, all around the world.
Working in this MOS provides opportunities for soldiers to prove their skills and receive culinary certifications.
These certifications are through the American Culinary Federation.
They are recognized as an accomplishment in both the Army and civilian sector.
The Army video below provides more information on job duties and training.
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What Does an Army Culinary Specialist Get Paid?
Army Culinary Specialist will be paid based on rank and time of service.
Those who enter into this MOS, with no prior military experience or college education, can expect to make just over $1,600 a month.
As rank increases, so will the pay.
In addition to base pay, there are opportunities for bonuses and special pay.
Bonuses can occur in certain recruiting scenarios or other situations based on Army needs.
Special pay opportunities happen during situations such as deployment or hazard pay.
The table below provides an outlook on Army pay based on rank.
|Pay Grade||Less than 2 Years||Over 2 Years||Over 3 Years||Over 4 Years||Over 6 Years|
The base income above might seem low when you first look at it.
The Army provides their soldiers with many benefits that add to the base income.
One of the biggest benefits is being provided with housing.
Housing is provided on base and includes utility and maintenance cost.
An allowance is also available for those who live off the base.
Another benefit is receiving free or low cost (depending on your family situation) health insurance and dental.
You receive services at Military medical facilities for free and are provided with low deductibles for out of network expenses.
Other benefits include:
- Low-cost life insurance
- Education tuition assistance
- Sick pay
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Soldiers who have previously worked as a Culinary Specialist express that the best part of their job is seeing a soldier who is hungry, cold, wet and tired, be able to enjoy a hot meal.
They enjoy cooking for people and take advantage of learning new skills.
The hours on this position may vary depending on which shift you work, and are noted as sometimes being long.
Reviews discuss the team environment that is required to be successful.
Positive aspects include enjoying food service, great benefits and learning skills that can be used in future employment.
Some negative reviews discuss short breaks, time away from family, and potentially being called in to prepare late night meals.
The review below provides more information on a typical day and pros/cons on the position.
The video below discusses the position from a 92G.
Civilian Career Opportunities
Working as a Army Culinary Specialist provides skills in food preparation, cooking and baking.
Experience preparing meals for a large number of people can relate to working in cafeterias, hotels, hospitals, schools or nursing facilities.
Specialist are not just limited to working in areas that serve meals in large quantities, they can find work in restaurants, cafes or other dining facilities that serve single meals.
Certifications earned in this position can help Specialist receive higher paying civilian cook or chef positions.
The skills in this MOS also relate to working for businesses that sell food service products to restaurants and as culinary teachers.
For those who join the PaYS program during recruiting, a job interview with a military friendly restaurant of your choice is guaranteed after completing service.
Army Culinary Specialist (MOS 92G) are the masters in the kitchen.
They complete tasks related to food preparation, storage, cooking, baking and ordering.
Not only do they cook for soldiers in garrison, they provide double duty in the field as a soldier and cook.
Entering into this MOS will require a score of at least 85 on the Operators and Food portion of the ASVAB test as well as general entry requirements.
Training consists of basic training and AIT to develop culinary skills.
Previous Culinary Specialist enjoy the position and being able to provide satisfying meals to soldiers.
Working in this MOS can lead to civilian jobs in culinary facilities around the world.
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Army MOS 92G Career Details
Army COOL MOS 92G
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MOS 92G Culinary Specialist Duty Descriptions
CULINARY OPERATIONS SERGEANT
Culinary Operations Sergeant/92G20
Establishes operation and work procedures; inspects dining facilities, food preparation/storage areas and dining facility personnel; determines subsistence requirements; requests, receives and accounts for subsistence items; applies food service accounting procedures; prepares production schedules and makes necessary menu adjustments.
Food Operations Sergeant
Food Operations Sergeant
Performs duties as a Food Operations Sergeant in a Forward Support Company, 84th Engineer Battalion (CE), 8th Theater Sustainment Command and USARPAC; responsible for the direct supervision, training, and welfare of three Soldiers; accountable for field feeding equipment valued in excess of $700,000; performs as a Admin NCOIC in support of 8th TSC Consolidated Dining Facility, overseeing administrative operations on a daily basis; responsible for training in the Dining Facility, as the training NCOIC supervises the OJT of sixty food service personel and their training records.
Food Operations Sergeant
Performs duties as the Food Operations Sergeant for a Heavy Equipment Transport (HET) Company responsible for the supervision, training and welfare of one noncommissioned officer and two personnel; accountable for field feeding equipment in excess of $270,000 dollars; establishes operating and work procedures, inspects dining, storage areas and dining facility personnel. Determines subsistance requirements; requests, receives and accounts for subsistence items. Prepares, cooks and serves food in a field or garrison environment. Provides technical guidance to lower grade personnel in garrison and field kitchen operations.
92G20 Food Service Sergeant
Assigned as a Food Service Sergeant for the 4th Brigade Dining Facility; responsible for supervising 10 personnel in a consolidated dining facility; serves 12 separate units feeding approximately 1500 Soldiers daily. Serves as a team leader as part of a maneuver platoon that directly supports 2-32 FA; performs duty as a senior gunner for maneuver platoon, responsible for the health, welfare, counseling, develpment of three Soldiers; enforces all Army standards in his Soldiers and assist the Section sergeant in all squad matters.
First Cook in a Corps Combat Support Military Police Company providing support to XVIII Airborne Corps; responsible for the combat readiness, welfare, morale, discipline and training of 3 Soldiers; maintenance and accountability of 1 LMTV, 3 weapons systems, Mobile Kitchen Truck and other MTOE valued in excess of $129,000; supervises thirty Soldiers in a consolidated food service facility responsible for feeding in excess of 700 Soldiers.
Serves as a First Cook for Golf Company, 701st BSB, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, a Forward Support Company of 2-32 Field Artillery Regiment; provides supervision and technical guidance for five Food Service personnel in the preparation and servicing of quality meals in garrison and field environments; requests, receives and accounts for Class I subsistence; responsible for the health, welfare, morale of five Soldiers; responsible for the accountability and maintenance of MTOE equipment worth in excess of $500,000.
Senior First Cook
Senior First Cook
Served as a Senior First Cook for a Stryker Cavalry Regiment forward deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; responsible for the training, care, morale, welfare and professional development of two NCOs and eight Soldiers; provide supervision and guidance for food service personnel in the preparation and servicing of quality meals on a Combat Out-Post (COP) that serve 400 meals daily; directly responsible for the maintains accountability and serviceability of one Mobile Kitchen Trailer (MKT), two Light Mobile Transport Vehicle (LMTV) valued at one millions dolllars.
Senior Food Operations Sergeant
Senior Food Operations Sergeant/92G40
Serves as the Senior Food Operations Sergeant for a Mechanized Smoke Generator Company in support of the 20th Support Command and Combatant Commanders; additionally serves as the Administration NCOIC of a dining facility which serves seven separate brigades; feeding over 1500 Soldiers daily; directly responsible for the supervision, welfare and training of five Soldiers; responsible for training seven Food Service Specialists on administration procedures; responsible for providing field food service support to over 850 Soldiers; maintain accountability and serviceability of one sanitation center and on MKT of unit MTOE equipment valued in excess of $300,000.
Senior Food Operation Sergeant
Performes duties as the Senior Food Operation Sergeant assigned to a FORSCOM PATRIOT Air Defense Artillery Battalion with a worldwide contingency mission; responsible for the supervision, training and welfare of 5 noncommissioned officers and 30 personnel; accountable for field feeding equipment in excess of $700,000; perform as the shift leader in support of a FORSCOM Consolidated Dining Facility feeding over 2100 Soldiers and DOD cilivains on a daily basis; responsible for planning and scheduling shift, section break down, Warriors training, and NCOPD, maintaining Soldiers files and OJT packets for more than 180 Soldiers in the dining facility.
Food Operations Manager
Food Operations Manager
Establishes operating and work procedures, inspects dining, food preparation/storage areas, and dining facility personnel. Determines subsistence requirements. Requests, receives, and accounts for subsistence items. Applies food service accounting procedures. Prepares production schedule and makes necessary menu adjustments. Implements emergency, disaster, and combat feeding plans. Responsible for the training, care, morale, welfare and professional development of two Food Operation NCOs.
FOOD OPERATIONS MANAGER 92G30
Supervises shift, unit or consolidated food service operation; establishes operating and work procedures; inspects dining, food preparation/storage areas, and dining facility personnel; determines subsistence requirements; requests, receives, and accounts for subsistence items; applies food service accounting procedures; prepares production schedule and makes necessary menu adjustments; prepares technical, personnel, and administrative reports concerning food service operations; implements emergency, disaster, and combat feeding plans; coordinates logistical support; submits all requests through the Army Food Mgt Information System(AFMIS).
Food Operations Manager
Supervises unit, or consolidated food service operations in field or garrison environments; establishes operating and work procedures; inspects dining, storage areas, and dining facility personnel; determines subsistence requirements; requests, recieves, and accounts for subsistence items; implements combat feeding plans; provides technical guidance to lower grade personnel in garrison and field kitchen operations.
Dining Facility Manager
Senior Food Operations Management NCO and Dining Facility Manager
Serves as the Senior Food Operations Management NCO and Dining Facility Manager for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Special Troops Battalion and the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division consolidated dining facility supporting four brigades; responsible for the management, administration and all food service operations supporting over 3,800 Soldiers and Civilians; responsible for the supervision, training, health, welfare, and professional development of 38 NCOs and 162 Soldiers; responsible for the accountability of 3.5 million garrison and MTOE equipment and over $800,00 worth of Class I Subsistence annually.
Major duties. The food service specialist supervises or prepares, cooks and serves food in field or garrison food service operations.
(1) Skill Level 1. Performs preliminary food preparation procedures. Prepares and/or cooks menu items listed on the production schedule. Bakes, fries, braises, boils, simmers, steams and sautes as prescribed by Army recipes. Sets up serving lines, garnishes food items, and applies food protection and sanitation measures in field and garrison environments. Receives and stores subsistence items. Performs general housekeeping duties. Operates, maintains, and cleans field kitchen equipment. Erects, strikes, and stores all types of field kitchens. Performs preventive maintenance on garrison and field kitchen equipment.
(2) Skill Level 2. Performs duties shown in previous skill level and provides technical guidance to lower grade personnel in garrison and field kitchen operations. Ensures that proper procedures, temperatures, and time periods are adhered to during food preparation. Directs safety, security, and fire prevention procedures. Performs limited supervisory and inspection functions including shift supervision
(3) Skill Level 3. Performs duties shown in previous skill level when required and prepares more complex menu items. Supervises shift, unit, or consolidated food service operations in field or garrison environments. Establishes operating and work procedures, inspects dining, food preparation/storage areas, and dining facility personnel. Determines subsistence requirements. Requests, receives, and accounts for subsistence items. Applies food service accounting procedures. Prepares production schedule and makes necessary menu adjustments. Establishes, administers, and maintains OJT and apprenticeship training programs. Prepares technical, personnel, and administrative reports concerning food service operations. Implements emergency, disaster, and combat feeding plans. Coordinates logistical support.
(4) Skill Level 4. Performs duties shown in previous skill level when required and assigns personnel to duty positions. Coordinates with food service officer, food advisor, and first cooks. Coordinates with TISA, facility engineers, and veterinary activity. Plans and implements menus to ensure nutritionally balanced meals. Ensures accuracy of accounting and equipment records. Develops and initiates Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) and safety, energy, security, and fire prevention programs. Evaluates contract food service operations. Ensures contractor compliance in food service contract operations.
(5) Skill Level 5. Develops, coordinates, implements, advises, and evaluates food service programs. Monitors requests for food items and equipment. Develops and analyzes troop menus and coordinates menu substitutions. Evaluates operation of garrison and field kitchens, field bakeries, food service training facilities, and maintenance of equipment. Surveys individual preferences, food preparation, and food conservation. Prepares reports, studies, and briefings on food service operations. Provides assistance to food service officers and NCOs
Pros: shift work, advanced culinary opportunities, lots of room for promotion, generals aide, can work at any location and organization, your time in the field is pretty clean and well fed, offers a pathway into logistics
Basically, it's a fairly normal job, and it offers lots of good opportunities if you want to work a bit harder than your peers to stand out. The shift work can make it hard to stay in shape, but the steady schedule can also make it easier to plan for completing college courses.
Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.
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