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.  

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.

In-Service Information
This role is known as Cook within the Army.
Employment Category Number (ECN): 084
Employment Category: Combat Support

Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

National Qualifications

After six years you'll not only have Army trade proficiency but also excellent long-term employment prospects. Your trade training is fully accredited with exportability of that trade qualification into the civil community providing a broader scope for your future employment.

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 your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


Locations

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.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and able to complete the Initial Minimum Period of Service before reaching Compulsory Retirement Age (60).

Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.

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 assessment before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

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.

Aptitude

The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

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.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local ADF Careers Centre.

Security Requirements

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:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Credit

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.

Training

Military Training

As a General Entry recruit, you’ll be required to complete the Recruit Course.

Army Recruit Course
Duration: Approximately 12 weeks.
Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

During training, you will take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. You'll be challenged both mentally and physically.

Although it can be demanding, most 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. The priority of our instructors is to help you succeed.

For more information, visit Soldier Training at Kapooka.

Employment Training

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.


Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

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 your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


Locations

Army Chefs 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.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and able to complete the Initial Minimum Period of Service before reaching Compulsory Retirement Age (60).

Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.

Education & Experience

Completion of Australian Year 10 education (or equivalent) with passes in English and Mathematics.

For qualified entry, it is essential to have completed an apprenticeship within the trade or an AQF 3 Certificate in Commercial Cookery.

You must demonstrate currency of employment as a Chef and have a minimum of two years relevant industry experience, supported by documentary evidence of experience, training and competency attainment.

You must provide original documents for your education, trade certificates, units of competency results and a current resume to your Careers Coach. These documents will then be forwarded to the Army job sponsor and the ADF School of Catering to establish eligibility for qualified enlistment.

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 assessment before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

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.

Aptitude

The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

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.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local ADF Careers Centre.

Security Requirements

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:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Credit

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.

Training

Military Training

As a General Entry recruit, you’ll be required to complete the Recruit Course.

Army Recruit Course
Duration: Approximately 12 weeks.
Location: Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

During training, you will take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. You'll be challenged both mentally and physically.

Although it can be demanding, most 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. The priority of our instructors is to help you succeed.

For more information, visit Soldier Training at Kapooka.

Employment Training

ADF Initial Cooks Course:

Qualified entrants are required to attend the Australian Defence Force School of Catering (ADFSC) located at HMAS Cerberus, near Hastings, VIC for issue of Chef's uniforms and toolkit. Entrants may also be required to satisfy a skills assessment. In addition they are required to complete any ADF specified elective units of competency.

Army Initial Field Catering Course: 2 weeks.
Note: Course duration may vary depending on public holidays and other Army requirements.

On completion of any ADF specified elective units of competency, you will undertake Army specific training on catering in the field at the ADFSC, Field Training Detachment located at Latchford Barracks near Wodonga, VIC.

Qualified entry Chefs will also be issued the Army Catering Capability Evidence Journal for the recording of further capability training.