Interest in becoming a Culinary Specialist now is the time! Message from CSCM Nick Wright CS AO

CS Team,

Greetings from Eagle! I enjoy cooking with the fleet and hope to do it on your cutter someday. As there is now a 4-month wait for all ratings to attend “A” School, we need to encourage more non-rates to become a CS. Master Chief Nick Wright, the Culinary Specialist Assignment Officer, has sent an email to every undeclared Non-Rate in the Coast Guard, highlighting the $40,000 bonus and 48 locations that he can offer to pre-slate a CS to a unit within that geographic location before beginning “A” School. With your support, we can help address the shortage of CSs that is affecting each of us and our units.

As I’ve stated in the past, we are looking at ways to reduce CS workload and responsibilities to compensate for the lack of CS3s in our rating. We recommend testing methods of reducing workload by temporarily closing your galleys inport. We are currently cooking meals at the exact same general location in several separate dining facility (example: 4 patrol boats and a Base all within yards of each other). For Patrol Boats, we recommend transferring your rations to a nearby Base or Sector. This will give you the time you need to effectively complete your job and inport work list – such as shop, preparing menus, cleaning, training, and taking leave. To support local CSs on patrol boats, we encourage Base/Sector CS Chiefs to work with them towards closing their dining facilities. Let’s make teamwork/mentorship a reality!

FRC personnel! Due to staff reductions, many of you are now down to just one cook. To help ease this transition, we suggest utilizing an open galley for breakfast and shifting your duties to reflect those of an 87s. Also, we need input from all current and former FRC Sailors regarding cook duties, responsibilities and schedules. Please provide us with your unit’s SOP, and we’ll compile the data to create a sample template SOP for single and dual-person operations.

For our larger cutters (if your finances permit) we recommend testing the temporary closure of your galleys before and after patrols to regroup from being underway and, to prepare for getting underway (shop, build menus, load stores, clean, take leave, train, inventory, replace equipment, renovate spaces ect). The best way to accomplish this is a memo placing the crew on BAS. Every cutter has successfully done this in the past during Docksides and Yard periods. It is possible and may be necessary during this CS shortage to properly run your galley while shorthanded.

Let’s change the culture of the Coast Guard when it comes to temporary Galley closures. Help us spread the word that it’s not always necessary for commands to keep the galleys open at all costs. Feel free to share this message with your command.

On the program front, we’re working hard to ease the burden of CS rating workload/responsibilities by temporarily closing dining facilities at certain stations. This will help address the current CS3 shortages. It’s a top priority for us and we’re determined to make progress every day.

Thank you for everything you do. Every day I work with you I am inspired! Right now I’m on a team with CSC Nichol Billow, CS3 Haley Rose, CS2 Caitlyn Parker, CS1 Edward Corcino, CS2 Haley Rose, CS2 Kelly Sparks, CS2 Kristina Shepard, CS2 Luis Coll Lugo, CS2 Brent LaGarde and Aux Chef Soderholm. This team and every other Culinary Specialist in the Coast Guard are proof this is a uniquely amazing rating.

-CSCM Swenson
Phone: 860-389-4470

Email from AO:

Good morning Shipmates,

You are probably wondering why you are receiving an email from a Culinary Specialist Master Chief, so before you hit delete on this email thinking it was sent to the wrong person, I want to first introduce myself.

I am Master Chief Nick Wright, the Culinary Specialist (CS) Assignment Officer and YOU are receiving this email because it was brought to my attention that you have not declared for and/or have not placed your name on an A-school list yet. I wanted to personally reach out and talk with you about becoming a CS and some of the current incentives that the Coast Guard is offering as well as what I can offer as the Assignment Officer.

Hopefully, each of you have had an opportunity to interact with a CS in the fleet and witness first-hand the exceptional skill, devotion, and care each of them displays each day. We are the current 3x reigning Armed Forces Joint Culinary Team of the Year winners. We have won back-to-back Armed Forces Chef of the Year and Armed Forces Pastry Chef of the Year. This past year, two of our very own Culinary Specialists won the coveted American Culinary Federation National Chef of the Year (civilian) and National Pastry Chef of the Year (civilian), after competing against Americas best industry professionals in Las Vegas. So, if you have not had a chance to interact with a CS in the fleet yet, I would highly encourage each of you to reach out to a local CS and hear their story and witness their craft to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of what it means to be a CS.

In addition to being a part of one of the most elite teams in the Coast Guard and learning a life-long skill, there are other incentives and opportunities within the CS rating that I can offer. Per ALCOAST 403/22, individuals that aspire to become a CS can receive a Critical Skills Training Bonus (CSTB) of $40,000 for a 4-year commitment. As an added incentive I would like to also offer interested members the opportunity to be pre-slated for your next assignment prior to graduating from CS A School.  Below you will find a list of 48 locations that I can offer to pre-slate you to a unit within that geographic location, prior to beginning “A” School. No other Assignment Officer is going to offer you an opportunity like this. On top of that, I want to let you all know that CS is 1 of 4 other ratings that is utilizing a supplemental advancement list. What this means for you is that to advance from CS3 to CS2, all you will need to do is complete the CS2 RPQ’s and E5 EPQ’s and be able to be placed on the list for advancement. Furthermore, the Culinary Program is working alongside the American Culinary Federation to validate and certify the training we receive at “A” School to enable our members to graduate with an industry certification. The opportunities are endless within the CS rating and our Senior Leaders are always advocating and promoting ways to further develop the skills and passion that our members have.

If you are intrigued by my offer, or you simply want to know more about becoming a part of one of the most rewarding career fields in the Coast Guard, give me a call at (202) 795- 6595. There has never been a better time to consider being a CS with all the passionate leaders we have fighting to get additional incentives and bonuses to our deserving members and potential members! I look forward to working with you in a dining facility one day!


Very Respectfully,

CSCM Nick Wright

Culinary Specialist Assignment Officer

CSs: E4 and E5, A School

Phone: (202) 795-6595

Cell: (808) 388-2601


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