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Military Chefs

In a primarily male dominated profession, this woman stood out. Working in a military kitchen takes hard work and persistence to become successful. Not only do you have to complete culinary training but you also have to complete 10 weeks of “Basic Combat Training” in order to move forward in this career. After completing this you move on to 9 weeks of “Advanced Individual Training”. This includes time spent in the classroom, and time spent on the field. Surveys indicate that in the culinary industry only 14% of executive chefs are women and it is around the same percentage for women in the military.

Army Stg. Sarah Deckert was the first woman to be named the Armed Forces Chef of the Year in 2014. Deckert became interested in cooking starting at age 7, cooking in her grandmother’s kitchen making pie using fresh fruit from the garden. Starting in high school she entered cooking competitions and worked hard to succeed in the culinary industry. Not only is she a brilliant chef, but she is making history for women in the military. This is how she did it.

In Fort Lee, Virgina, at a military culinary training center Deckert was giving a series of ingredients and 30 minutes create a menu for a 4-course meal. The next 3 and a half hours could make a huge change in her career. After completing the gorgeous 4- course meal she was given the Armed Forces Chef of the year award.

Deckert was already a trained culinarian before enrolling in the U.S army. Now she is a food service sergeant for the U.S army, and not only that but Deckert took second place in the American Culinary Federation’s National Chef of the Year competition.

Now Deckert is working hard to achieve her masters in nutrition to fulfill her dreams of becoming a registered dietitian, but she will never stop competing, there are still barriers to break between men and women in the culinary and military industry.



Website Title: Colorado Springs Gazette\

Article Title: Women conquering military kitchens with top chef honors

Date Published: June 12, 2016

Date Accessed May 28, 2019


Website: Title United Service Organizations

Article Title: 15 Women Making Modern Military History

Date Accessed: May 28, 2019


Website Title:

Article Title: Military chefs soup up skills at culinary competition

Date Accessed: May 28, 2019


Website Title:

Article Title: Culinary Specialist Jobs (92G)

Date Accessed: May 29, 2019


Website TitleParade

Article Title: Grill Sergeant: Meet the First Female Armed Forces Chef of the Year

Date Published: September 11, 2014

Date Accessed: May 29, 2019

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