How The Army Feeds Itself Using What It Finds On The Front Line

by : Francesca Donovan on : 17 Jan 2017 13:42

In partnership with the British Army


You might think of yourself as a chicken connoisseur, a roast dinner devotee, a curry veteran –  someone who knows their way around a Korma.


But guaranteed your culinary skills will be blown away – ghost chilli style – by the Army chefs who can muster up all sorts of foodie goodness in a kitchen made from the frontline itself, using something called a field oven.

Watch how they make it, out of mud, sweat and (onion-induced) tears:

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As Army chefs, these guys add the life, soul and flavour to the British troops, providing them with sustenance through combat and a warm dinner around which to bond with your comrades, as they travel the world on missions.


Wherever the Army train and operate throughout the world, Army chefs support them.

Upon joining the Army, chefs are trained to high standards in their skills, just as the infantry are trained to become ‘true experts in combat’.

So Army chefs are actually versed in full combat and are ready to survive anything on the front line.


Once they’ve mastered the training of an Infantry Soldier, they’re able to specialise in Catering and Hospitality at the Army Catering College at Worthy Down for 13 weeks or for a Reservist role at Grantham for two weeks.

Army chefs who do well are also able to get further NVQ Level 2 Catering and Hospitality qualifications – they can also apply for Parachute training with the option to apply for all arms P Company course where they will support the Army’s airborne forces for two years.

Or they can do all arms commando training, where you would be supporting the Royal Marines.

Last year a group of Army Chefs even cooked for the Queen.


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So, what does it take to become an Army Chef? Despite flair in the kitchen, you’d be a soldier first – you’ll need to have a passion for travel, risks and adrenaline, outdoor activities, shooting, driving, fitness and telecommunications – as well as be a dab hand at decision making and leadership.

But as a chef you will need to be a team player, be eager to learn and have a passion for your trade.

Fitness plays a major part of Army life too, so the community offers all kinds of activities, from team sports like football and rugby to boxing, skiing, scuba-diving and mountain climbing.


Mostly, a role with the Army Reserve offers a sense of belonging beyond the 9 to 5, according to British Army Jobs’ tumblr:

Everyone wants to belong to something. A football team, a family, a close-knit group of friends.

The sense of belonging you find in the Army is next level – when you’ve trained together, side by side and learnt things no classroom can teach you.

When you’ve lived together and worked together it creates a bond like no other – a bond that lasts a lifetime – and sees you through whatever life throws at you.


It’s hard work but this role, and like so many others in the Army, it doesn’t just offer letters at the end of your name.

Your time in the Army – whether it’s a few years or a full career – could set you up for life – as a reservist you can join for the first time up to 50 years of age.

To find out more, go to Army: Be The Best.

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Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.

Topics: Army