Frida Karani: Kenyan Chef Thriving in US Navy

  • Photo collage between US Navy and Frida Karani
    Photo collage between US Navy and Frida Karani
    DVIDS
  • Frida Karani is one of the few Kenyans flourishing in the US Navy having scaled through the ranks over time.

    Born in Mombasa, Karani was recently promoted to a Senior Chief Petty Officer, a rank in US Navy that was formerly referred to as Super Chiefs. This is according to DVIDS publication.

    A Senior Chief Petty Officer is described as a senior officer who is not commissioned by the US Navy. In the role, Karani is tasked with a variety of administrative and leadership responsibilities in her specialised area, also known as her rating.

    Before earning the promotion, Karani served as a Chief Culinary Specialist in the US Navy. In her position, she executed duties in support of US Navy dining events and served under the Navy Installations Commander.

    File photo of Frida Karani, Senior Chief Petty Officer in US Navy
    File photo of Frida Karani, Senior Chief Petty Officer in US Navy
    File

    Prior to being enlisted to join US Navy in 2010, Karani had already earned a diploma in Culinary Arts from Kenya Utalii College in 2002.

    After graduating, she embarked on a job hunting mission which saw her employed by five-star hotels and restaurants in Nairobi.

    Karani's skills and experience saw her absorbed by Hyatt Regency Dubai as a saucier where she worked between 2004 to 2006.

    After a two-year stint at Hyatt Regency, Karani then moved to the US as an exchange student and earned her first job at Wyndham Orlando Resort.

    Karani continued thriving until she earned an internship with JW Mariott Grand Lakes in 2009. She was later hired on a fulltime basis as a saucier while attending culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu.

    While serving in the military, Karani received accolades and made headlines in the US. In 2016 and 2017, she was enlisted aide of the year.

    In 2016, she participated in the Annual Culinary Training Competition where she was named Armed Forces Chef of the Year. The same year, Karani was named Joint Staff Sailor of the Year.

    Other personal awards while serving in the military include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and two Joint Service Achievement Medals among others.

    In 2018, her promotion made headlines as US Navy frocked her as a Chief Petty Officer with less than eight years experience.

    Speaking to DVIDS, Karani attributed her success to her kindness and the zeal to serve others.

    "Putting the needs of others first before mine and serving gives me a chance to pay it forward," she told DVIDS after earning her promotion.

    File photo of Frida Karani, Senior Chief Petty Officer in US Navy
    File photo of Frida Karani, Senior Chief Petty Officer in US Navy
    DVIDS