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Culinary Specialist

Related Civilian Jobs:

  • Executive Chef
  • Chef De Cuisine
  • Private Chef
  • Sous Chef
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Catering Chef
  • Baker
  • Pastry Chef
  • Culinarian
  • Finance and Logistics Manager

The Culinary Specialist (CS) receives comprehensive training in all facets of food preparation including culinary fundamentals, advanced culinary methods and techniques that include baking, sauces, seafood cookery, starch cookery, cake decorating and  protein fabrication. Training also includes instruction in accounting and purchasing, inventory management, military leadership, nutrition and time management. CSs will also learn about equipment use and safety, sanitation, and dining-facility management. Many of the jobs, training, and experiences that CSs are exposed to prepare them to transition into a variety of food service related fields in the civilian sector. The Coast Guard Culinary Specialist rating prides themselves with scratch cooking techniques used throughout the United States.

Types of Duty:

CSs serve in approximately 370 units worldwide supporting the Coast Guard mission by preparing nutritious meals for the crew and serving in various collateral duties on board the unit.

Coast Guard culinarians may find themselves operating their own dining facility as an independent duty food service officer on board a patrol boat, river tender, or small boat station. This job is unique to the CS rate and one that can be very rewarding. Other opportunities include high-profile jobs such as serving as a special command aide (personal chef) for flag officers, cooking in the Executive Dining Facility, or even a chef at the White House.

Training Available:

You'll start your career as an CS with either 13 weeks of specialized instruction at Coast Guard culinary school at Training Center Petaluma, California. After your initial study and spending time in the fleet, other training opportunities will become available.

Advanced food service training and instruction include:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Independent Duty Culinary┬áService Officer
  • Shipboard Baking
  • Advanced Pastry and Baking
  • Advanced Culinary Skills Training (ACF certified)

The Coast Guard team competes nationally and provides high-performing CSs with the opportunity to compete in culinary competition sanctioned by the ACF.


To be an CS, you should have a strong desire and passion to prepare and serve high quality food. You should also have the ability to understand and apply instruction and procedures for safely handling food as well as good mathematical background for finances, inventory and recipe conversions

Common attributes possessed by CSs:

  • Creativity and passion in food preparation
  • Strong work ethic
  • Self Motivated
  • Ability to communicate with others
  • Good with time management
  • Able to work long hours on your feet
  • Able to lift upwards of 50lbs
  • High level of personal hygiene
  • Customer service

If you have studied or received a degree at a culinary school, the Coast Guard is the perfect organization to apply your knowledge and continue your culinary development. You may qualify for a signing bonus of up to $40,000.

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