My readers may not realize that Navy cooks are in charge of all enlisted barracks and officer quarters on shore bases. The change in responsibility occurred on January 1, 1975 with the merger of the commissaryman and steward ratings.
The new rating was called mess management specialist. The rating was re-titled to culinary specialist (abbreviated CS) on January 15, 2004.
As an old-school CS (commissaryman, not culinary specialist), I never cared for the Navy's concept of hotel-restaurant management. I managed to stay in the galley until my retirement as a senior chief mess management specialist in 1999.
Had my battalion been mobilized, the barracks staff would've reported to me as the leading galley chief for NMCB-17. But it was largely a paper role as we focused on culinary training during our annual training cruises.
By Chief Culinary Specialist Eric Holiman, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Public Affairs
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 culinary Specialists assisted Kandahar Airfield Afghanistan personnel in preparing for the surge of troops in April.
NMCB 133 culinary specialists attached to the 22nd Naval Construction Regiment, assembled furniture and accessories including beds, lockers and chests for 606 rooms. The housing facilities, contained in Re-locatable Buildings and stacked two high in rows, similar to an apartment complex.
The effort was spearheaded by Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Jarad Baker, who was assisted by Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Dwight Carter and Culinary Specialist Seaman Ray Stargent in outfitting the rooms.
The culinary specialists were also responsible for the proper disposal of excess materials created from the pallets and protective coverings used in transporting the furniture and accessories, spending numerous hours organizing and breaking down materials at KAF's waste management site.
The rooms were completed in time for the arrival of NMCB 21, the battalion which relieved NMCB 22 at KAF. The team of culinary specialists worked tirelessly until the rooms were ready for each arriving unit.
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