Cooks prepare nutritious food items and meals for Canadian Forces members and National Defence employees.
Their responsibilities are to:
- Operate, clean and maintain food services equipment and facilities
- Manage food safety
- Assist in the handling and control of food and non-food supplies
- Practice workplace health and safety procedures
- Prepare and serve meals that range from cafeteria-style menu items to formal multi-course meals for military and civilian dignitaries
The starting salary for a fully-trained Cook is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Cooks who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
At the Journeyman level, a Cook can perform tasks either independently or under minimum supervision and is required to explain and demonstrate to apprentice cooks how to perform certain tasks. An experienced Journeyman Cook will be called upon to supervise others.
At the Supervisory level, a Cook is responsible for planning, assigning, directing, monitoring and evaluating the tasks and duties of their team, for developing their occupational knowledge and skills, for building strong, task-oriented teams and for providing effective leadership.
At the Managerial level, a Cook is responsible for planning food services support activities; controlling the efficient and cost effective use of resources, including food, labour, equipment and budgetary resources; managing human resources and ensuring their professional development; managing the operating performance of the food services operation; and maintaining professional work relationships with clients, suppliers and other support organizations.
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Cooks attend an 18-week training course at the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario. Based on a combination of theory, demonstration and hands-on experience, Cooks will learn the following basic skills:
- Cooking terminology, weights and measures
- Conversions and equivalencies
- Introductory baking and meat cutting
- Small and large quantity cooking of a full range of products
- Field cooking
- Food safety practices and techniques
- Food service standards and basic food cost controls
- Fire and safety precautions
- Equipment & facility maintenance
The Apprentice Cook will gain hands-on experience through an 18-month on-the-job training program, which focuses on meal preparation and service tasks. Cook supervisors determine priorities and meal production plans, provide direction and monitor cooking tasks.
Cooks may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training. Specialty courses include:
- Instructional techniques
- Submarine service
- Ship’s diver
- Basic parachutist
- Flight Steward
- Food & Beverage Manager certification
- Hospitality Manager’s Development Course
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Canada. Foreign education may be accepted.
If you already have a college diploma in food services or culinary arts, the Canadian Forces will decide if your academic program matches the training criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.
Non-commissioned Member Subsidized Education Program.
Because this position requires specialty training, the Canadian Forces will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM SEP students attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full-pay in exchange for working with the Canadian Forces for a period of time. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the Canadian Forces and the appropriate college. For more information, click on Paid College.
This position is available for part-time employment through the Reserves. Reservists generally work part-time for a Reserve unit in their community. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Reservists train with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required professional standards of the job. If additional training is required in order to specialize skills, arrangements will be made by the home unit.
It is also possible to set up an “Individual Learning Plan” to take courses leading to a college diploma related to this job, and upon successful completion, be reimbursed for up to 50% of tuition and other mandatory costs. Education fees for successfully completed courses are reimbursed as long as the student was a Reservist during the entire duration of the course.
Typically, Reservists work or train with their home unit for at least four evenings and one weekend per month, from September to May of each year. They are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay and receive a reasonable benefits package.