Raul Martinez
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Raul Martinez

Culinary Specialist/Baker

You’ve probably heard the expression “enough food to feed an army.” Luckily, the Army has plenty of culinary specialists like Spc. Raul Martinez to cook all that delicious food.

Raul has been captivated by the culinary arts from a young age. Growing up in Puerto Rico, he would spend hours in the kitchen with his grandmother, learning old family recipes along with the patience and craft that go into cooking. After high school, Raul went to the Instituto de Banca y Comercio, the school where he started his formal culinary education.

"I like cooking because I can express myself through the food — most people take the ‘first bite’ with their eyes, and I like creating beautiful plates that are also delicious and make you feel good."

Raul Martinez

Specialist | Army

Raul knew he wanted to give his family a better life. To do that he needed a career with good pay, great benefits and work-life balance. After researching various roles within the Military, Raul realized serving could advance his career and further develop the culinary skills he relies on every day. 

Flair and Flavor

Since joining, the Army has presented Raul with many opportunities to become a better chef. He’s attended numerous training programs where he learned new culinary skills and gained the confidence to begin experimenting in the kitchen. “I like cooking because I can express myself through the food,” he says. “I like creating recipes, and I do a lot of crazy stuff. I did wings with soy, teriyaki sauce and ginger. My friends came over and they loved it.”

Raul knows that a hot meal can make a world of difference when it comes to a service member’s morale. That’s why his job is so important. Culinary specialists like Raul use their skills to feed Soldiers here at home and all over the world. That way, no matter where Soldiers are, or what they’re doing, they can always count on a meal.

Cooking On and Off Duty

With so many mouths to feed, it might sound like Raul has a hectic and demanding schedule. However, he enjoys plenty of free time. Every Sunday, friends from Raul’s unit gather at his home where he cooks them a big dinner. He’s even begun to teach his daughter the joy of cooking. “She’s three years old, but she’s already learning. I always ask her if she wants to be a cook just like me,” he says.

Raul plans to take the skills he’s learned from the Army into his future. He says, “I would like to open my own food truck one day. That way I can give job opportunities to those who otherwise might not have them. I hope to one day be a good leader and teach others you can do it. No matter what other people say, you can do it."