CS “A” School moves to Fort Lee
NEWPORT, R.I. – The Culinary Specialist (CS) “A” School is relocating to Fort Lee, Va., this
year, with classes scheduled to begin January 2011.
The last Great Lakes CS “A” School class is scheduled to graduate Dec. 10, 2010.
The transition from its current location at Service School Command, Great Lakes, comes on the
heels of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process that also led to CSS
headquarters and the Navy Supply Corps School move to Newport, R.I.
As the mission of BRAC is to improve the joint utilization of assets, the move to Fort Lee brings
together culinary training with Army, Marine Corps and the Air Force. The focus will continue
to be providing well-trained culinary specialists to the Fleet with an emphasis on quality food
service; however, the Sailors who will train at the new facility will get much more.
“With the school moving to a joint environment, CS students will be exposed to the Army and
Marine Corps, which will prove beneficial for the future,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brian
Armstrong, CS “A” School officer in charge. “As many of our assignments worldwide are in the
joint realm, these Sailors will learn from an early stage of their career about other services. They
will benefit from learning other rank structures as well as policies and procedures the other
The updated training in a joint environment will further result in well-rounded Sailors ready to
serve the Navy in galleys throughout the Fleet.
Although the new CS students will benefit from joint training, Armstrong further explained that
continued attention will be paid to Navy-specific training in the opening and closing phases of
the curriculum to allow the Sailors to recognize the uniqueness of the Navy and our maritime
The first three days and the final five days of the 25-day course schedule will feature Navy food
service organization, attire, equipment, and galley and wardroom service as well as sanitation
In addition to an adapted curriculum, new facilities are being built and one expansion project is
currently underway to meet the needs of the school merger. According to Armstrong, a “new,
dining facility for the Navy and Air Force was completed in June 2010 to accommodate the
influx of the new students.”
The Joint Culinary Center for Excellence is also expanding to meet the needs of the increased
“The facility will mirror the facility classrooms currently used by the Army and Marine Corps,”
As a result of the BRAC consolidation, the Navy should expect to receive a more well-rounded
CS with the culinary skills of Navy experts and the joint-mindedness gained through the shared
training and facilities.
“The basics and fundamentals of cooking will remain,” Armstrong said. “(Now), the students
will get the best of both worlds; whereas beforehand, it was Navy-unique training only, even
though we serve with Marine Corps units and the Army and Air Force on the front lines.”
Joint training with the Air Force is nothing new for Navy culinary specialists. The Navy “A”
school only moved to Great Lakes in 2006 amidst the BRAC considerations. Upon
announcement of the latest BRAC decisions, the consolidation of all Department of Defense
culinary training was mandated.
The overall cost of the culinary training consolidation sits at approximately $58 mil. This
includes the schoolhouse addition, renovation of an administrative building, the new dining
facility and the barracks.
To ensure a seamless transition from Great Lakes to Fort Lee, seven of 18 staff and faculty
members will transfer with the school and a monthlong cushion is built in from the last class at
Great Lakes to the kick off of the first class in Virginia.
The school’s senior enlisted leader CSCS (SW) Robert Kroeger was the first Navy instructor to
arrive at Fort Lee. He arrived at the new location in August.
“The remaining instructor billets will be moved at a rate of two to four each month until all are
on board, which should be in December 2010,” said CSCS(SW) Scott Spencer, CSS’s CS
training manger. “This will give the instructors time to complete the Journeyman Instructor
Course and the three-day indoctrination with the Joint Culinary School of Excellence staff.”