• PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Pfc. Shaneika L. Jackson, a cook  assigned to Company E, 210 Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force "Golden Dragons,"  2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Boris, carries a box of food to the dining facility in preparation for the dinner meal March 12, 2013. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Mark A. Moore II, 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade Public Affairs)

    Pfc. Jackson

    PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Pfc. Shaneika L. Jackson, a cook assigned to Company E, 210 Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force "Golden Dragons," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Boris, carries a box of food...

  • PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Pfc. Shaneika L. Jackson, a cook  assigned to Company E, 210 Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force "Golden Dragons," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Boris, poses for the camera March 12, 2013. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Mark A. Moore II, 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade Public Affairs)

    Pfc. Jackson

    PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Pfc. Shaneika L. Jackson, a cook assigned to Company E, 210 Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force "Golden Dragons," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Boris, poses for the camera...

  • PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Pfc. Shaneika L. Jackson, a cook  assigned to Company E, 210 Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force "Golden Dragons," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Boris, stirs green beans for the dinner meal March 12, 2013. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Mark A. Moore II, 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade Public Affairs)

    Pfc. Jackson

    PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Pfc. Shaneika L. Jackson, a cook assigned to Company E, 210 Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force "Golden Dragons," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Boris, stirs green beans for...

  • PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Pfc. Shaneika L. Jackson, a cook  assigned to Company E, 210 Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force "Golden Dragons," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Boris, cuts meatloaf for the dinner meal March 12, 2013. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Mark A. Moore II, 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade Public Affairs)

    Pfc. Jackson

    PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Pfc. Shaneika L. Jackson, a cook assigned to Company E, 210 Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force "Golden Dragons," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Boris, cuts meatloaf for the...

Jackson was unsure of the path she had chosen and felt an overwhelming desire for change, the opportunities presented by the recruiter seemed promising.

She was offered a career serving her country as a cook. To Jackson the thought of having a break from her day-to-day routine, job stability and financial freedom appealed to her.

In the spring of 2011, Jackson signed a contract and attended basic training at Fort Sill, Okla.

"I'm assigned to Company E, 210 Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force "Golden Dragons," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade and I'm a 92 'Get Down'," laughed Pfc. Jackson. "I'm a cook, we call it a 'get down' because we get down; we 'throw down' in the kitchen."

Jackson's military occupational specialty as a cook is coded 92G and she is currently stationed at Forward Operating Base Boris, where she has ample opportunities to 'throw down' in the kitchen.

Jackson says there is one U.S. Army style meal she likes to cook the best.

"On the menu I like to cook Yakisoba, that's the best thing we make," said Jackson. "It's the best meal ever."

Considered a Japanese dish, the word Yakisoba literately translates to 'fried noodles in sauce'.

Jackson, a 20-year-old native of Gainesville, Texas, said outside of work she likes to prepare a meal called spaghetti pie. A dish she learned from her mother who recently earned her culinary arts degree.

"To make spaghetti pie you need spaghetti noodles, cottage cheese, spaghetti sauce with meat and shredded cheese," Jackson said. "You layer everything together and bake it in the oven."

When Jackson is not turning up the heat in the kitchen, she is turning it up in the gym. An avid gym goer, Jackson focuses on a workout that some might call 'insane'.

"I'm trying to get my Insanity t-shirt," said Jackson. "Once you complete the training course, you send in your beginning and end results and they send you a t-shirt."

That is not the only goal Jackson is trying to reach.

"I like to cook, but I would also like to try another job," said Jackson. "I am thinking about going into supply, I don't mind doing paperwork and their promotion rates are good."

Page last updated Fri March 22nd, 2013 at 00:00