Job description

Cooks prepare nutritious food items and meals for Canadian Armed Forces members and National Defence employees.

Their responsibilities are to:

  • Prepare and serve meals that range from cafeteria-style menus to formal multi-course meals for military and civilian dignitaries
  • Assist in the handling and control of food and non-food supplies
  • Practice workplace health and safety procedures
  • Provide for Religious and Spiritual dietary accommodation
  • Manage food safety and Defence
  • Operate, clean and maintain food services equipment and facilities

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.

Now hiring: we are now accepting applications for this job through direct entry and paid education.

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Related civilian occupations

  • Institutional or Restaurant Cook
  • Baker
  • Food Services Instructor in high schools or colleges
  • Food Services Manager or Supervisor (Food Service Establishment)


Basic military qualification

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course. The training provides the basic core soldier skills and knowledge common to all trades. Another goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits acquire and maintain the Forces physical fitness standard.

Basic military qualification – land course

After Basic Training, Army recruits attend the Basic Military Qualification – Land Course which covers the following topics:

  • Army Physical Fitness
  • Dismounted Offensive and Defensive Operations
  • Reconnaissance Patrolling
  • Individual Field Craft

Basic occupational qualification training

Cooks attend a training course at the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Center (CFLTC) in Borden, Ontario. Based on a combination of theory, demonstration and practical hands-on experience, Cooks will learn the following basic skills:

  • Cooking terminology, weights and measures
  • Conversions and equivalencies
  • Introductory baking and meat preparation
  • Small and large quantity cooking of a full range of products
  • Food safety practices and techniques
  • Food service standards and basic food cost controls
  • Fire and safety precautions
  • Equipment & facility maintenance

On-the-job training

The Apprentice Cook will gain practical culinary experience through an 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.

Specialty training

Cooks may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training. Specialty courses include:

  • Instructional techniques
  • Red Seal certification
  • Food & Beverage Manager certification
  • National Food Safety Training Program

Entry plans

Required education

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 11 or Secondaire V in Quebec, including Grade 11 general (workplace) math or math 514 in Quebec. Equivalent foreign education may be accepted.

Part-time option

This occupation is available part-time within the following environments: Navy, Army, Air Force

Serve with the Reserve Force

This position is available for part-time employment with 39 Service Battalion in Richmond and Victoria. Reserve Force members usually serve part time in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to transfer to another Primary Reserve unit should their civilian lives take them elsewhere. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Reserve Force training

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, basic occupational skills training for Cooks is conducted at the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre (CFLTC) in Borden, Ontario. Following this, they further gain practical experience through an on-the-job training program.

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