Why a Career in the Culinary Arts is Perfect for Military Veterans

Many people who join the military want to do something meaningful with their lives. They’re driven to be part of something bigger than themselves. These men and women spend years learning how to survive combat, the power of working with a team to accomplish missions, and the importance of following orders.

When a service member’s military career ends, it can be challenging to find a civilian job that offers a similar sense of direction and respect. For these men and women, a San Diego culinary career may be a perfect fit.

Deep respect for food

In the military, service members learn great respect for food. Jobs in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy are physically demanding. Food provides the fuel service members need to complete training and survive dangerous operations. Often, a decent meal is the only thing a squad looks forward to for weeks.

Veterans who spent months eating rations that tasted like cardboard place immense value on cooking and using high-quality, nutritious, and flavorful ingredients. This appreciation for food is the foundation of a successful career in the culinary arts.

Dedication to professionalism

A job in a kitchen requires the same dedication to procedure and professionalism as a career in the military. In a culinary arts program, students gain a mastery of precise kitchen techniques while studying under some of the most prestigious chef instructors in the world. Once they begin their San Diego culinary careers, veterans find familiarity in working with a team in close quarters where everyone has a specific job and one person is in charge.

Veterans adapt well to the hours, too. Men and women who served in the military are used to long shifts and working nights, weekends, and holidays.

Preparedness and organization

One of the first things taught in a culinary arts program is mise en place (“put in place” in French). It means you have read a recipe and have all of the ingredients and equipment required to make the dish prepared and at hand. While this term isn’t used in the military, the concept of having your gear ready and being organized before jumping into a situation is familiar to veterans.

It comes down to order and efficiency – essential and transferable skills that help veterans thrive in a culinary career in San Diego.

Veterans can pay for culinary school with GI Bill® benefits

There’s no greater honor than serving the country as a member of the military. However, after their military careers, many veterans find a different sense of purpose in the culinary field. Most enroll in a culinary arts program with no prior kitchen experience – just a desire to apply their passion for cooking to an exciting and rewarding career.

At National Culinary School, we are proud to participate in the Veterans Affairs GI Bill® to help veterans transition to a San Diego culinary career. Based on an applicant’s eligibility, the GI Bill® may cover the entire cost of tuition.


For more information on how to apply for benefits and take the first step towards a new career in the culinary arts, call us at (619) 249-5180.