For his services to this nation feeding entire football stadiums on eight minutes notice on “Dinner Impossible” and scaring straight the owners of botulism-infested dives on “Restaurant Impossible”, his fans assumed that Robert Irvine already held some high government or military position.
But it turns out that the muscle-bound unstoppable kitchen maestro was merely a self-appointed chef/yeller.
Irvine, of course, is of military background, having serving in Britain's Royal Navy for 10 years, having enlisted at the age of 15, and has been an ardent supporter of the USO since coming to America. But until mow, he held no official military rank.
This morning, the United States Navy corrected this gross oversight by appointing an honorary chief petty officer. His appointment was announced by the Navy's Master Chief Petty Officer Mike Stevens he told his newest sailor: “I often share with my Chiefs what it means to be a true leader, and I believe it means you are a quiet, humble, servant leader. By quiet, I mean we let our actions speak for themselves, humble means we think less of ourselves, and think more of others, and to be a servant leader, means it is others we serve, not ourselves.
“And Chef Irvine, it is evident you exemplify all of these qualities… I want you to know that your unbelievable dedication to our service men and women, and our wounded warriors is inspiring and has not gone unnoticed. It takes a special person with a big heart to commit the personal time and resources that you have committed in a most humble way.”
Irvine accepted the commission with tearful gratitude saying, “I come from the British Royal Navy and after spending ten years there and then coming here, I see what the men and women [of the U.S. military] do every day of their lives and it is humbling. I'm an American citizen now and I do what I do with the troops because I love them and what they do – for the sacrifices they make every day.”
Not that a man of his size, focus and intensity needed any extra authority when out on his restaurant saving missions, but if Chief Petty Officer Irvine now has the power to send backsliding fry cooks and misguided interior decorators to the brig, we should soon seen an uptick in the quality of his adopted nation's lunch options.