About the Job
The efficiency of the Australian Army Catering Corps has a direct influence on the morale and well being of the combat soldier. Catering soldiers prepare, cook and serve meals both in field kitchens and Army establishments, to meet the dietary needs of the soldier.
High standards are essential and members of the Corps take a great deal of pride in the preparation of foods according to nutritional, dietary and cultural needs.
Main Job Functions:
As a full-time Army Chef you prepare and cook complete meals consisting of soups, entrees, main courses, sweets, cakes, pastry and yeast products.
The preparation of all types of meals being predominantly bulk cookery is conducted in either a commercial kitchen or field environment. On occasions, cooking for functions also occurs.
Army Reserve Chefs prepare meals in a predominately field environment.
Chefs may advance through the ranks to positions of responsibility such as shift, kitchen and catering supervisors.
Main job functions at higher ranks include menu planning, ordering and stock control of food, rostering staff, conducting on the job training and workplace assessment; and providing technical catering advice.
Other Ranks - Non Technical
Join the ADF with appropriate high school passes
Aspects of your training may result in the award of civil qualifications - something you can check with your Instructional Staff when you conduct your Initial Employment Training.
Salary & Allowances
In the Army you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.
In addition to base pay you'll receive a variety of allowances - which are detailed below - plus superannuation at a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.
An ARA Chef can be employed in units in Darwin, Townsville, Brisbane and Sydney. There are also minimal employment opportunities in smaller military areas such as Adelaide and Perth.
Applicants must be between 17 and 58 years of age inclusive on day of entry.
Education & Experience
Completion of Australian Year 10 education (or equivalent) with passes in English and Mathematics.
Medical & Fitness
To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.
You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.
Period of Service
You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of two years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation.
Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.
The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.
Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.
The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.
Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.
Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.
If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.
The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have security clearances appropriate to their employment.
A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.
The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1, and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years. Required information includes:
Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.
NOTE: The security clearance is critical to an applicants successful progression through the Army training system. If an applicant is unable to obtain the required security clearance in time, they will not be allowed to continue their training and may need to be re-allocated to another employment category. As such, it is strongly recommended that all applicants obtain the required documentation as soon as possible to provide the best opportunity to be employed in their preferred employment category.
All General Entry recruits into the Australian Regular Army are required to complete the Recruit Course.
Total Duration: 80 days.
Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW.
Recruit training is the same for male and female entrants. During the 80 day Army Recruit Course you will be required to take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. The training is deliberately challenging and has been designed to prepare you to be a soldier in today's Army. Recruits gain a sense of achievement, purpose and confidence during basic training, and on completion of the course feel justifiably proud of what they have achieved.
For more details on recruit training, refer to the Joining instructions. These instructions will provide you and your family with enough information to arrange your personal affairs before enlistment in the Army, and give you an idea of what you will be doing on the recruit course.
Further information is also available at the Army Recruit Training Centre website.
During Military (Initial Recruit) Training and (Initial) Employment Training, members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.
ADF Initial Cooks Course: 19 weeks
Following Recruit Training, you will undertake the ADF Initial Cook Course at the ADF School of Catering (ADFSC), HMAS Cerberus, Westernport Victoria.
The contracted training provider in partnership with ADFSC delivers the training. ADF chefs will be signed up as apprentices by State Training Services, NSW.
The ADF Initial Cook Course provides both practical and theoretical instruction in all aspects of cookery and kitchen activities. Subjects covered include kitchen safety, hygiene, knife handling, care and maintenance of equipment, methods of cookery and presentation, implementation of food safety, plan and control menu based catering. All subjects are delivered by the contracted training provider. Upon completion of the course, trainees are awarded Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery).
Army Initial Field Catering Course: 10 days, not including weekends.
Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.
On completion of your TAFE training, you will undertake Army specific training on catering in the field.
After 36 months workplace experience and with completion of the ARA Competency and Workplace Proficiency Task Book you will be eligible for apprenticeship completion. Further attendance on advanced trade courses will prepare you for promotion.
Subject to completion of 3 years service in the mustering and all training, including successful completion of the ADF Cooks Competency Logbook, a member is awarded Cook trade papers.