the most popular person on the ship."
—Chef Sandra Heuckroth of the Adopt-A-Ship Program.
Over ten years ago the Navy launched the Adopt-A-Ship Program, which sends civilian chefs to ships at sea and naval bases to train cooks in the finer points of the culinary trade. The program's stated goal is to elevate Navy food "to the next level." From June 2003 through September 2007 some 400 chefs participated in the program, providing over 75,000 hours of training for nearly 5,000 Culinary Specialists (CSs), the Navy's designation for cooks and other food service personnel. Most of the chefs have no military background and all are volunteers.