CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- “Originally I was thinking of going to a culinary arts school, but my mom told me not to waste my money on being a cook,” said Sgt. Jordan Prunty, food service specialist with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. “So when I decided to join the Marine Corps, I wanted to be a cook so I could take as much as possible from my training.”
Prunty grew up in Tacoma, Washington, with a passion for cooking, always wanting to help out in the kitchen or make her own creations from what she learned on the Food Network.
“I think I get it from my dad,” she said. “He always cooks big, over-the-top, extraordinary meals for us.”
Cooking wasn’t the only thing that piqued her interest; she always wanted to learn more about the military.
Throughout high school Prunty was in the Marine Corps JROTC program. Her knowledge of the Marine Corps was growing, as was her passion for baking.
After graduation she worked at a pizza place and started going to community college; then she had a realization.
“I thought I might be stuck in the same routine for the rest of my life,” said Prunty. “I wanted to branch out and try something different, so I joined the Marine Corps.”
Prunty joined the Marine Corps in April 2013. By July 2014 she was in Afghanistan, and the following year she deployed with the 15th MEU.
During her time with the 15th MEU she became friends with a coworker who would become her husband in March 2016. They now have a son together.
Her maternal isnticts worked with her cooking skills to raise a healthy young boy.
“I made my son’s baby food,” Prunty said. “It makes me happy to be able to provide a variety of good food to my family, that way my son will know different fruits, vegetables and all sorts of different dishes. He’s not going to be a picky eater or just have fast food every other day.”
Now Prunty is a food service specialist with the 31st MEU.
“I feel blessed,” she said. “I love what I’m doing. I feel like I have worked hard to be where I am now, and this is where I need to be. The people I work with are great, and the people I cook for are great.”
Marines and Sailors love her cooking and they are always appreciative. Prunty bakes from scratch and always makes extra to share with everyone.
“I have a son, so I am a mom, but I feel like I’m a mom to the whole crew because I’m always offering cookies and sweets to everyone as they walk by my office,” Prunty said. “That’s just my personality.”
Prunty has plans for her future. She wants to go back to college and get her bachelors degree in business mangament so she can open up her own bakery.
“My plan is to name it ‘Sweet Leilani’ after my mom,” Prunty said. “It means ‘heavenly flower’ in Hawaiian.”