ArmyEdSpace Spotlight

Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Matthews, U.S. Army Big Red One (BRO) 1st Infantry Division Culinary Arts Team

Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Matthews
Fort Riley, Kansas
U.S. Army Big Red One (BRO) 1st Infantry Division Culinary Arts Team

Staff Sergeant Matthews serves as the team captain and coach of the U.S. Army’s “Big Red One” (BRO) Culinary Arts Team. He has served in the Army for 8 years and has trained and competed internationally in the culinary arts throughout his Army career.

Why did you join the Army?
My passion was always cooking, and the Army offered me a good opportunity to pursue my passion and serve my country by feeding the fighting force. I’ve completed basic training, Advanced Individual Training (AIT) and Advanced Culinary Arts Training. I’ve also learned a lot from the three culinary competitions I’ve participated in.

What has been your most interesting or memorable experience with the U.S. Army?
My most memorable experience was having the chance to serve in Afghanistan in 2012. Serving the troops, allowing them the opportunity for a nourishing meal while they served our country and protected us, was a rewarding experience. By making sure they are well fed meant they didn’t have to worry about their stomachs. We allowed them to concentrate on their mission. A good meal is a clear morale booster for Soldiers, especially on the line. I enjoy feeding Soldiers and I have had many opportunities to learn and grow.

What is the most important thing for people to understand about the Army?
The most important thing for people to understand about the Army is that it is something bigger than yourself – it’s not just you. The focus is on a bigger picture. Raising your right hand and saying, “I’ll defend,” is something that only one percent of Americans do. It’s special to fight for our nation and protect our freedom.

What would you consider the most valuable skills you have learned through your Army service?
To me, the most valuable skills would be the Army Core Values – I really take those to heart. Those seven core values have set a good standard for me throughout life. Honor, integrity, selfless service, loyalty, duty, respect and courage – those values are a cornerstone for me in my life and Army career.


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