Cleaning the Oven…

Most of my squadmates who joined cadets with me have dropped out. I guess there’s not a full-active war for them to get shipped off to, so they got bored and left. Some are in the Reserves, maybe hoping that they’ll get their chance to serve their country at some point, but I stayed. I stayed, because I was drafted into the most harrowing division of all, and it’s hammered me into a grizzled survivor.

The Cooking Regiment. It’s really, REALLY hard, you guys, and not for the faint of heart. First off, have you ever scrubbed down a commercial oven, massive and still a little too hot to touch, right after 300 people have been served meals from it? The army has the best equipment, obviously, so their commercial kitchen stuff is the best of the best. Maybe even better. But every single day, as the new guy, I had to half climb inside and scrub it until it was sparkling. It was hot, and depending on the meal, it was grimey. One time I snuck in some wizz-fizzes, I was found out, and I had to clean it three times a day for a WEEK. They don’t play around in the Cooking Regiment.

Of course, they expect you to be an expert in a week. All their stuff; the commercial grill, fryer, and you have to make omelettes like they’re going out of fashion and the only way to save the human race is to craft the perfect omelette, FAST. Yeah, fast and good are non-negotiable. If you can’t make quick, nutritious and tasty food, you’re out of there in days. They weed out the weak links soon enough; the ones struggling with how to turn on the gigantic commercial grill, and woe betide anyone who can’t chop vegetables like you’re a machine.

I suppose it gets better as you stop being new. But it’s a warzone in there. Just…a different kind of warzone. One with potato peels flying everywhere.