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Field rations of the world


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#1 Rick

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 0917 AM

Just out of curisosity, of those who have had the opprotunity to sample other countries versions of these, what do you have to say?
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#2 Typhoid Maxx

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 0943 AM

Just out of curisosity, of those who have had the opprotunity to sample other countries versions of these, what do you have to say?


Never sampled, but American MRE's sound like Ambrosia of the Gods compared to the stuff I did get to eat - Yugoslav Army field rations. One can sardines, one over procesed pate, one spam, one bean stew. Eaten cold, with old bread (policy, so we'd eat less).

Fucking atrocious. I rather resort to cannibalism than go back to that. Its only preferable to starvation...but not by much.
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#3 shep854

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 1214 PM

Wiki "Field Ration" for an overview of what's out there. Several sound good, or at least interesting.
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#4 ACK

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 0131 AM

MRE's of the world
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#5 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 1922 PM

MRE's of the world


Canadians must be crazy about tomatoes...
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#6 Rocky Davis

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 2020 PM

Well, there are three types, here . . . Class A, Class B and Class C.

Class A - all hot and fresh cooked by the Field Mess Hall transported and served to the troops in the field.

Class B - Precooked meals contained in large, flat, metal containers (like large sardine cans) with the containers boiled in water, opened and then served (beef stew, lasagna, etc.). No fresh items except drinks (tea, coffee, fruit punch etc.) and loaves of bread.

Class C - C-rations/MREs etc. (no fresh food or drink).
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#7 shep854

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 2032 PM

Eaten cold, with old bread (policy, so we'd eat less).

Fucking atrocious. I rather resort to cannibalism than go back to that. Its only preferable to starvation...but not by much.


That was spec for some pre-WWII US rations; they were made to taste bad, so they wouldn't be eaten except in extremis.

Colonel Logan had specified that the D ration taste only a bit better than "a boiled potato", believing that if the chocolate bar tasted good, troops would eat them casually instead of waiting until they needed them for an emergency meal. Unfortunately, the Hershey chemists may have erred too much on the side of unpalatability; the D ration was almost universally detested for its bitter taste by U.S. troops, and was often discarded instead of consumed when issued.[1] Troops called the D ration "Hitler's Secret Weapon" for its effect on soldiers' intestinal tracts.[1] It could not be eaten at all by soldiers with poor dentition, and even those with good dental work often found it necessary to first shave slices off the bar with a knife before consuming.[1]--Wiki, "United States Military Chocolate" http://en.wikipedia....itary_chocolate

Nice idea in concept, but I bet none of the geniuses who thought this up volunteered to live off the stuff for weeks and months. They'd have sued for inhumane treatment.
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#8 Geoff Winnington-Ball

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 2040 PM

Fucking atrocious. I rather resort revert to cannibalism than go back to that. Its only preferable to starvation...but not by much.


FIFY :)
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#9 thekirk

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 2116 PM

Well, there are three types, here . . . Class A, Class B and Class C.

Class A - all hot and fresh cooked by the Field Mess Hall transported and served to the troops in the field.

Class B - Precooked meals contained in large, flat, metal containers (like large sardine cans) with the containers boiled in water, opened and then served (beef stew, lasagna, etc.). No fresh items except drinks (tea, coffee, fruit punch etc.) and loaves of bread.

Class C - C-rations/MREs etc. (no fresh food or drink).


Mmmm... Not precisely, but close. What you're describing as the Class "B" ration is actually the current "T", or Tray ration. Also issued as the UGR, or Unitized Group Ration. Of course, since they've blurred the issue so much, these days, it's hard to tell what's the correct terminology.

Prior to the idiotic decision that preceded Desert Storm to reduce the manpower requirements by reducing the number of cooks in each unit (slots went to the Light Infantry Divisions), we had what was called the Class B. Class "B" rations were still prepared mostly from scratch by actually cooking things in the field. You'd get a can of cake mix, and then have to actually bake the cake. The replacement "T" Ration had that cake come pre-made, in a flat can. What made the difference between a Class A ration and a Class B ration was the amount of fresh ingredients and/or preparation. In garrison, they'd bake from scratch. Usually. In the field, you'd go all pre-packaged and -mixed, in the genuine "B" ration days. Today? It's all pre-made, in a can or box.

Having been one of Natick Labs original test-dummies for the T-ration concept, I have horrendous memories of those days. In the beginning, there were no supplemental fresh food rations like fruit and vegetables. No bread, either. It was all canned, and my God, was it horrible. Try to picture this: Entire convoy of Soldiers returning from Yakima Firing Center to Fort Lewis. At one of our rest stops, which used to be at a truck stop in Ellensburg, WA, we pulled in. Immediately, what happened? The entire place was pillaged of anything even remotely resembling fresh vegetables and/or fruit. The other junk food? Untouched. How bad do things have to get, diet-wise, before a horde of young men don't even pay attention to junk food in a situation like that?

For a period, there, the favored post-exercise pig-out meal was anywhere you could find a salad. Big ones. The DFAC had to lay on more veggies for about a week after every time we went out on those T-ration exercises. The salad bars would get cleaned out within five minutes of opening...

We almost had a major incident, in my company, when the Natick Labs idiots came out to us for a "field survey" after one of these Guinea pig exercises. By this point, the jackasses in the rear had figured out how to game the system, and they were going through and stripping all the boxes for the good stuff, and then sending the rest out to the guys in the line. My platoon went for two weeks eating nothing but lasagna and that Gawdawful cheese grits with ham breakfast meal. Natick shows up, herds us into the classroom, and then had the temerity to stand up and not only ask what we thought, they took responsibility for what we'd been fed "experimentally".

It was a close-run thing--We NCOs almost didn't get the civilians out of there alive, and to some extent, wanted to help do them in. If you think I'm joking, you'd be wrong--I've never seen so many guys turn from "WTF is this classroom session for...?" to "LETS KILL THE EGGHEADS!!!!!!". To say that there was something lacking in tact about that presentation would be a dire understatement...

It's never a good idea to tell people that they're unwilling test subjects. Or, to casually dismiss their complaints about the quality of the food you've forced them to eat exclusively, for a month.
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#10 shep854

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 2201 PM

Thekirk, your fruit story reminds me of accounts of when US subs came in from patrol in WWII. The shore establishment would have cases of fresh fruit on the dock and the sub crew would sit around and gorge themselves on fruit immediately after tying up. It may still be the same for nuke boats, today.
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#11 ShotMagnet

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 2339 PM

Mentioning it again, because it's true.

I loved MREs. About the only fraction of MREs that I wouldn't eat was the fruit salad brick, that looked like a piece of variegated styrofoam. The chocolate thingie was pretty meh, but not unpalatable.

As for the rest, bring it on. I've eaten far worse.


Shot
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#12 Harold Jones

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 2352 PM

...By this point, the jackasses in the rear had figured out how to game the system, and they were going through and stripping all the boxes for the good stuff, and then sending the rest out to the guys in the line. My platoon went for two weeks eating nothing but lasagna and that Gawdawful cheese grits with ham breakfast meal...



I rather liked the cheese grits and ham, it was far far better than Chicken Cacciatore. I vaguely recall that the more people a unit had higher up the pecking order it was for getting to choose their meals, so the armor and infantry BNs ended up sucking hind tit. Whatever the truth of the way meals were assigned/chosen, all I know is that during ODS the only T-Rats I saw were Chili and Rice or rarely Chicken Cacciatore.
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#13 thekirk

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 0024 AM

I rather liked the cheese grits and ham, it was far far better than Chicken Cacciatore. I vaguely recall that the more people a unit had higher up the pecking order it was for getting to choose their meals, so the armor and infantry BNs ended up sucking hind tit. Whatever the truth of the way meals were assigned/chosen, all I know is that during ODS the only T-Rats I saw were Chili and Rice or rarely Chicken Cacciatore.


Hell, I rather liked the lasagna and cheese grits, too. Until we'd had them for five days in a row... Bastards kept us getting those things for a little over two weeks, and the SOB doing the LOGPAC kept swearing that was all they had. Then, we went back to the logistics area, and found out that what they'd done at the beginning of the exercise was to break the rations down into groups, and then send the food out that way. Our group of pallets just "happened" to consist solely of lasagna and cheese grit menus...

Funny story along these lines. Due to the exigencies of service, my driver got reassigned in the middle of an exercise. To balance things out, I was given a driver from another squad. If anyone remembers my story from Yellowstone '88, with the Soldier telling the news crew he'd be just as happy burning Yellowstone to the ground... Well, this is the same guy.

Anyway, his home squad got the detail to pick up rations for us for the week we were going to be on detached duty with the Infantry. Knowing their buddy's near-psychotic hatred of the Chicken a la King menu, they slipped the bands off of the ration cases and substituted every single meal with Chicken a la King, then resealed the cases. So, we got four cases of nothing but...

The three days we were attached went by, and my substitute driver was miserable. He was also livid, thinking that some bastard at the MRE factory had done us dirty, and had concocted all sorts of dire fates for them, and what he was going to do. Starting with a Congressional Investigation, and moving on to outright violence. It was kind of frightening, listening to him. Although, I did learn a few new swear-words. And, a few creative interrogation ideas...

At the end of our attachment, we go back to the platoon, and I go off with the other NCOs to a meeting. He goes back to visit with his squad, and about the first thing he hears is his squad razzing him about the Chicken a la King thing. Subsequently, things got a little violent--And, I'm sad to say, I didn't get to intervene in the beat-down he proceeded to deliver upon his squad-mates. His squad leader (my senior...) and I returned from that meeting to find six badly-beaten, bloodied, and severely knocked-around troops hiding from my driver. Who I wound up keeping, since he refused to return to his own squad. Surveying the damage, we kinda thought that might be a good idea.

Did I mention they were all bigger than he was? And, senior in rank as junior enlisted? That he'd taken them all on at the same time?

This was, in retrospect, the first sign that it probably wasn't a good idea to screw with his chow...
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#14 Typhoid Maxx

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 0328 AM

FIFY :)


Veeeeery funny...and factually correct, old chap. In my case it really would be reverting back to cannibalism.
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#15 Rocky Davis

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 0740 AM

Mmmm... Not precisely, but close. What you're describing as the Class "B" ration is actually the current "T", or Tray ration. Also issued as the UGR, or Unitized Group Ration. Of course, since they've blurred the issue so much, these days, it's hard to tell what's the correct terminology.

Prior to the idiotic decision that preceded Desert Storm to reduce the manpower requirements by reducing the number of cooks in each unit (slots went to the Light Infantry Divisions), we had what was called the Class B. Class "B" rations were still prepared mostly from scratch by actually cooking things in the field. You'd get a can of cake mix, and then have to actually bake the cake. The replacement "T" Ration had that cake come pre-made, in a flat can. What made the difference between a Class A ration and a Class B ration was the amount of fresh ingredients and/or preparation. In garrison, they'd bake from scratch. Usually. In the field, you'd go all pre-packaged and -mixed, in the genuine "B" ration days. Today? It's all pre-made, in a can or box.


Yes – Class B Rations are also called “T-Rations” and "UGR." It was listed as "Class B" post-year-2000 on Field Ration Requests and Unit Training Schedules. It was listed as "UGR" under the CSS Annex of Battalion Operations Orders.

The Class B meals (and I’ll call them T-Rats if it makes you feel better), require little or no refrigeration (as you probably know. Our units never had them unaccompanied by “real food” such as non-perishable fruit, bread and cake (or some other sort of pre-fabricated dessert that does not need refrigeration).

Our units had them two times a day for breakfast and dinner (with Class C lunch) for weeks while training at Roving Sands (north of Ft. Bliss) where the Mess Hall was a very small, ill-equipped wood “shack” (almost) and did not have anywhere near the refrigeration capacity that a Battalion Mess Hall should have. I personally didn’t like the food, but then again, we were a captive audience and didn’t have a choice.

And, do you want to talk about a genuine soldier’s food strike? We had one while working the aftermath of Hurricane Rita. The State of Texas decided to save money on food for us and feed us the same thing that the convicts at the prison at Huntsville were eating (and they made the “food” as well). Each “meal” was in a paper sack. It was usually bologna on white bread, with an apple and hard boiled egg. Sometimes, it would be a big, greasy meatball-looking thing on white bread. That was “dinner.” Breakfast was near-raw bacon and (usually cold) powdered eggs. We had MREs for lunch, but very quickly, so many people refused to eat the prison food and then they would come to me (or our Supply Room) asking for MREs. When you voluntarily CHOOSE to eat MREs three times a day, SOMETHING is wrong. After about the fifth day, so much hell was being raised by our Chain of Command that we started getting catered meals from local restaurants and the food strike ended.

I just checked and, apparently, what we knew as Class B is now called UGR-A:

http://www.quarterma...ing_policy.html

Edited by Rocky Davis, 02 February 2010 - 0803 AM.

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#16 shep854

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 0839 AM

Not nearly the problem you vets described, but when I was at OCS, I was in E/4, which meant last platoon at chow. Once, in the field, chow was sent out im Marmite cans. Being last, you can guess...C's. It wasn't really a big thing, but I have hoped that candidates who went into the Corps remembered the lesson when chowing down their Marines.
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#17 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 1021 AM

Well, there are three types, here . . . Class A, Class B and Class C.

Class A - all hot and fresh cooked by the Field Mess Hall transported and served to the troops in the field.

Class B - Precooked meals contained in large, flat, metal containers (like large sardine cans) with the containers boiled in water, opened and then served (beef stew, lasagna, etc.). No fresh items except drinks (tea, coffee, fruit punch etc.) and loaves of bread.

Class C - C-rations/MREs etc. (no fresh food or drink).



The original B-rations were the same as A-rations with the perishable components (meat, eggs, vegetables, and bread) replaced by canned or packaged foods. We were served B-rations for Exercise Desert Strike in 1964 (Cali-Arizona border desert). We were out there for two months. Biggest problem was that the QM staff puke at 1st Log Cmd didn't realize that B-rats were not stocked like C-rats. He ordered a single stock number instead of multiple stock numbers. We got really tired of some slim, gray-colored, canned sausages. It took them two weeks to sort that out so that we got a variety of meals. Part way through, they relented and we did get some fresh lettuce and fresh eggs.
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#18 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 1026 AM

That was spec for some pre-WWII US rations; they were made to taste bad, so they wouldn't be eaten except in extremis.

Colonel Logan had specified that the D ration taste only a bit better than "a boiled potato", believing that if the chocolate bar tasted good, troops would eat them casually instead of waiting until they needed them for an emergency meal. Unfortunately, the Hershey chemists may have erred too much on the side of unpalatability; the D ration was almost universally detested for its bitter taste by U.S. troops, and was often discarded instead of consumed when issued.[1] Troops called the D ration "Hitler's Secret Weapon" for its effect on soldiers' intestinal tracts.[1] It could not be eaten at all by soldiers with poor dentition, and even those with good dental work often found it necessary to first shave slices off the bar with a knife before consuming.[1]--Wiki, "United States Military Chocolate" http://en.wikipedia....itary_chocolate

Nice idea in concept, but I bet none of the geniuses who thought this up volunteered to live off the stuff for weeks and months. They'd have sued for inhumane treatment.


You weren't supposed to live off your D-rat. It was carried in the pack and only consumed on orders from the CO. You didn't eat it all at once, either. You were supposed to space it out over a day, breaking off a little piece at a time and consuming it. Nobody went days at a time on D-rats. C-rats and K-rats were supposed to be consumed for only a few days straight, but logistics (particularly in the Pacific) had troops eating C and K for weeks at a time.
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#19 Mike Steele

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 1444 PM

... My platoon went for two weeks eating nothing but lasagna and that Gawdawful cheese grits with ham breakfast meal.....


I once went 2weeks living off of C-rat Beans and weenies or Beans and meatballs. I quit eating after 3 days.... :(
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#20 Geoff Winnington-Ball

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 1518 PM

I once went 2weeks living off of C-rat Beans and weenies or Beans and meatballs. I quit eating after 3 days.... :(


Obviously didn't hurt you... :D
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