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NAVY Adopt a Ship Program

The Deck Chef.com is proud to help spread the word of this wonderful program known as the NAVY Adopt a Ship Program. The Adopt a Ship program began as a partnership between Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and the American Culinary Federation (ACF), in 1998, to provide continuing education to the Culinary Specialist (CS) who may otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience industry practices. Adopt a Ship is open to all culinarians, regardless of association affiliation, that have the desire to share their experiences, knowledge and skills with the CSs.

Adopt-a-Ship is actively recruiting culinary professionals
from ACF, Food Educators Network International (FENI), Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) & we continue to expand the search into the Research Chefs Association (RCA), National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA), reaching out to all culinary professionals to support Navy Culinary Continuing Education. This voluntary program provides professional culinarians, chefs and cooks the opportunity to spend time shipboard with CSs, sharing their culinary knowledge and industry experience. The Adopt-a-Ship program is not intended to take the place of a formal education, but rather is intended to support the current training CSs receive. Adopt a Ship continuing education will build on the foundation skills that are necessary for a successful career in any food service arena.


Adopt a Ship is not a one-sided learning experience; it will open the eyes of professional chefs as they experience the everyday responsibilities of the CS. All professionals need to learn and keep themselves on top of their profession. Having chefs onboard ship experiencing Navy food service production and service procedures will provide the chefs with insight that will effect change when they return to their own galley and crew. Participation in securing the galley alone will encourage them to look closer at their current sanitation standards.

Recruiting members of the ACF, RBA, CMAA and the food service industry, Adopt a Ship can provide the CS community with valuable industry experience and best practices directly affecting the quality of life aboard ship. The CS can expect to learn much from industry food service professionals that are dedicated to their craft.

Adopt-a-Ship provides measurable results to all participants. The CSs directly benefits from the culinary knowledge and work experiences of the visiting chef. This informal education results in ACF Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) for both the CS and participating culinarian. CEHs are a beneficial award used towards industry professional certification. ACF culinary and management certification is a powerful statement demonstrating valuable experience and the value a certified chef and cook places on continuing education.

Adopt a Ship has a great package for chefs and cooks to encourage participation: the opportunity to mentor Navy chefs and cooks, knowledge exchange and approved ACF CEHs. More importantly, the chance to support the men and women of the United States Navy enhancing the quality of life on board ship for all sailors assigned to the command.

We look forward to continued participation from certified and industry professional chefs and cooks. We’re confident after your participation; you’ll want to share your experience with your colleagues and continue to participate in this worthwhile program.

Point of Contact Information
Michael Harants, CEC, CCE, AAC
Corporate Chef, Chef Instructor
Navy Family Support
SUP 51B1
5450 Carlisle Pike
PO Box 2050
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 
717.605.6323 - Office
717.605.6973 - Fax
EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Frequently Asked Questions
Department of the Navy Adopt-a-Ship Program 


Do I need to be a member of ACF or certified to participate in Adopt-a-Ship?
Membership and certification are not requirements for participation in the Adopt-a-Ship program, but as a certified chef and long time member of ACF, I strongly encourage you to investigate certification; the effort will provide benefits throughout your career.


Am I limited to ship’s galleys or can I do ashore galleys and receive the same benefits?
Culinary continuing education by professional chefs and cooks either out at sea, pier side or ashore receive the same benefits with regard to Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).



What are the costs associated with the Adopt-a-Ship program?
Your costs associated with the Department of the Navy’s Adopt-a-Ship program include transportation to and from ship’s location. Once you are on ship, room and board are no cost to you. If providing shore based continuing education, we will request Bachelors Officers Quarters for your stay. There may be a small charge for these rooms.

What length of commitment is required to participate in this program?
This is a voluntary program; you tell us how much time you are able to commit. We understand the need to balance work and family with the desire to participate in this program. Your length of stay will also depend on ship’s activities.


What kind of continuing education can I provide?
As a professional chef and cook, you have the ability to provide guidance and skill to the CSs. You create a program of instruction providing basic culinary skill sets. The participating chef will provide the NAVSUP Corporate Chef with an outline of continuing education program for review and approval. Approval directly relates to the CEHs the Culinary Specialists (CSs) and the participating chef receive at the conclusion of the continuing education program.

Do I have to go through a security check before I go on board?
Once you have been assigned a ship and all agree on the date of continuing education, you will be required to provide security information that includes a copy of a photo ID, social security number, date of birth and vehicle information (if driving on the base). That information will go to the point of contact to facilitate the issue of your security pass.

How do I get on board the Ship?
Before you leave your home location, point of contact information will be provided to the Culinary Specialist (CS) and the Navy Food Management Team (NFMT) office at the ship’s location. Government No Cost Travel orders and security information will be provided to the base pass and ID office to receive security pass. Once at ship’s port, contact the CS or NFMT member to let them know you have arrived; they will take you to the ship and get you onboard.

Can I take knives and other culinary related tools on board?
Permission to bring tools and other culinary equipment are at the discretion of the ship’s Commanding Officer. We request a list of items that will accompany you during your gig for ship or shore galley approval.

How do I earn CEHs toward Certification?
CEHs are mandatory for initial certification and renewal. There isn’t another way to earn CEHs as exciting as the Adopt-a-Ship Program. There are many ways to receive CEHs. ACF Director of Education has approved the CEH outline attached.

When do I receive my CEH certificate?
Participating chefs will receive CEHs after NAVSUP receives completed documents meeting the requirements for CEH award. The participating chef must also provide a CS roster confirming attendance in continuing education for CSs to be awarded CEHs. A copy of the CEH award will be sent to ACF National Office.

Can ACF Chapters Adopt-a-Ship?
Chapters are encouraged to Adopt-a-Ship or a shore galley and send membership to these locations as often as possible. Committed chapters will receive special recognition for their participation in the NAVSUP P-476 promoting the participating chapter to the Fleet, copies of the Navy Food Service P-476 magazine will be submitted to ACF National Culinary Review. CEHs will be awarded to those chefs that participate on location.

Can two or more members of a chapter provide continuing education at the same time?
Members that wish to participate in the Adopt-a-Ship program with other chapter members may do so if ship’s berthing and schedule will allow.

How often can I participate in the Adopt-a-Ship program?
Participation is up to you! We encourage you to visit the ship or shore galley as often as your schedule will allow. Once you have been onboard, the excitement and satisfaction of the continuing education you provide will bring you back!

Additional Information

Request you provide a personal outline, which we will send to the ship’s Commanding Officer and Supply Officer prior to your visit.