Navy starts culinary classes at Fort Lee
Navy Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Juan Carethers, Navy Culinary Specialist "A" School instructor, shows new Sailors around a galley as part of their introduction to the course.

FORT LEE, Va. (Jan. 27, 2011) -- Twenty-nine Sailors made history at Fort Lee Monday as they started their culinary specialist course in the new wing of the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence.

These Sailors will be the first to earn a culinary rating here, and the class start signifies the completion of the expansion of the JCCoE.

Sailors will learn small quantity cooking and baking with the Soldiers and Marines - spending 12 days with them - until they move into brand new classrooms called galleys that mimic the galleys on ships, said Navy Culinary Specialist Chief Kenneth Sheppard, a senior instructor in the Navy Culinary Specialist "A" School.

"The students will put all the skills they've learned up until then into a real environment, just like we would do it on a ship," he said.

The school moved from Great Lakes, Ill., where it was located for four years. After the BRAC 2005 was announced, the school moved there from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to prepare for its final transition here.

The transition went better than expected, said Navy Chief Warrant Officer Brian Armstrong, Navy Culinary Specialist "A" School officer in charge.

"Everyone has been very welcoming and accommodating," said Armstrong. "The Fort Lee leadership has offered excellent service and support in meeting our needs and assisting with POCs for various issues we've had to get resolved."

While a few things have changed from what was originally planned, Armstrong said the new facilities are top-notch.

"I am very impressed with the new facilities and the layout of the classrooms," he said. "They are an upgrade from what we had in Great Lakes. Everything is brand new."

Of all the new students on post, the Navy culinary students will have a truly joint experience.

"We're excited to be training on an Army post with all the other services," said Armstrong. "A portion of our culinary training is with Army and Marine Corps personnel while we share a dormitory with Air Force personnel. It's been very positive thus far."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16