I first joined the army in 1996 and have been part of what most soldiers probably considers as the most important unit of any command, the Food Supply Unit. My battlefield is the kitchen where I rose from the ranks where my army soldier rank promotions became commensurate to my rise in the kitchen ranks. When I became Private First Class in 98, I also earned the title of First Cook. 2001 saw me become a Staff Sergeant on the field and a Senior First Cook in the Mess Kitchen.
Currently, I am now Sergeant First Class and serving as the Dining Facility Manager as well. Being a Dining Facility Manager is not an easy job. I have to know how to manage twenty-five people and multi task between meal planning, cooking, and food distribution at base camp and on the field. Sometimes, it can turn into a real headache, especially when I have to accomplish the job in a war zone situation.
I have done everything from planning meal drops to soldiers on the field, preparing the commanding officers meals, and when unavoidable, I can plan wedding receptions for my comrades who get married on base camp as well. I believe that I have served both my country and my fellow soldiers well. Together with my unit, I have done duty on two peace keeping missions as well as served in the war. I know that a soldier cannot fight on an empty stomach that is why my priority on the battle field is to make sure that all the units are well fed regardless of the combat situation.
When somebody offers me a new job, I always tell that person the story about how I got to combine my two passions in the world into one very important job. I’ve always been a patriot and a cook at heart. Working in the army has allowed me to live my dream job. That is to serve and protect my country and the free world while cooking up a storm and learning new recipes while serving on the field.