Military Terminology

What is the name of soldiers food?

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2015-07-16 14:24:54

In the past, could have been C-rations, or K-rations. Presently,

Meals Ready to Eat (MRE).

Soldiers' food is called the Ration. It comes in four


First is the A Ration. It's fresh food prepared by cooks. When a

soldier is in garrison that's what he eats.

Next is the B Ration. It's comprised of cans of ingredients that

a cook has to put together. Each B Ration comes in six boxes;

there's enough food in it to feed 100 soldiers, and there are two B

Rations on one pallet.

The T Ration is convenience food: it comes in trays that will

feed 12 soldiers. All you need do with T Rations is boil the trays,

open them up and serve to soldiers.

And finally is the Meal, Ready to Eat, which is an individual

ration. It comes in many varieties: regular MREs, ones for arctic

environments, religious MREs for Jewish and Islamic soldiers (these

are issued through Chaplain channels, not the normal supply

system), freeze-dried ones for special operations troops that taste

better than the old LRRP meal...

Bad war story ahead: in the old days we could obtain a meal

called LRRPs. Means "long range reconnaissance patrol." It was

designed to cut down weight for soldiers who had to travel fast and

light, so they freeze-dried it. Obviously the five-quart canteen of

water and Coleman stove you had to haul around to reconstitute this

disgusting meal (yes, they were very foul) didn't weigh nearly as

much as the little bitty cans C-rations came in. But anyway, you

were supposed to boil water to dump over this bag of...well, they

claim it was food...then wait five to ten minutes for the brick of

LRRP goodness to soften up enough so you could chew it. There were

supposedly all these menus available but for some strange reason

the only two anyone ever got were Hash and Chili. And no one wanted

the chili because the beans never rehydrated, so you had to sit

there disclosing your position by crunching your way through the


The classic individual ration was, of course, the Meal, Combat,

Individual, or C Ration. (Or "C Rat" as we all called it. Once a

wet behind the ears private asked me why everyone called them C

Rats. I told him it was because they were made from rats.) This

came in cans, and the army got rid of it largely because the cans

were so heavy. The cans ALSO made great alert mechanisms--you used

parachute cord to tie the cans to your concertina wire, and you

could hear anyone trying to crawl over your wire. My insane colonel

once showed me how to make a field expedient hand grenade out of a

C Rat can: take the big C-rat can out of your last meal, stuff half

a pound of C-4 into it, and cap it with five seconds worth of delay


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