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I was in the Air Force 22 years and food service at least half my career. This is where I developed a passion for cooking and this was not from simple and substandard batch cooking the military has a reputation for.

Here at my base I work at in Alaska, we have young troops that go on a program for a week to a civilian restaurant and they can't believe how busy and fast-paced it is, not to mention drug and alcohol problems with many civilian cooks and chefs and they don't realize how easy it is in a military dining hall until we send them out

As for money, I think the civilian world is just downright crappy in 90% of the areas in terms of pay. Head cooks and chefs are expected to work for just a few more scraps than a janitor or housekeeper! Cooking is NOT low grade cheap labor if you are well-trained to prepare any kind of entrée or pastry! This is why strongly recommend the public sector state and federal service to cook. They pay anywhere from $15 to $30 an hour, depending on your paygrade, longevity, and where you live. Plus, you get occasional overtime, but 40 hours a week is adequate
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