C, D, K Rations (1942); MRE (1978)

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Feb 7 14:33:34 UTC 2003

The US Army had "A rations" and "B rations" as well as "C rations", but the
first two terms don't get used often.  I can't remember whether it was "A" or
"B" that is a hot meal cooked in a mess hall.  "C ration" is used quite often
because it is something specific that has no short synonym, whereas you can
always say "mess hall" and people will know you mean a hot meal.

If I remember correctly what my father told me, there is no "D ration".
Instead there is a "D bar", a sort of glorified chocolate bar (non-melting)
which was intended for emergency use only.

A cartoon by Dick Wingert in Stars and Stripes (unfortunately no date is
given) shows a soldier whose helmet is lettered "COOKIE" handing out
K-rations (so identified on the box) to a line of unappreciative soldiers and
saying, "No fuss, no bother, no dishpan hands"

Of course the MRE ("Meals Refused by Everyone") antedates the Gulf War,  It
is just that until the Gulf War the media never bothered to follow soldiers
into the field so as to report on what they ate.

In a message dated 02/07/2003 1:23:07 AM Eastern Standard Time,
Bapopik at AOL.COM and his friend Ed write:

> (If they're going to Iraq, our troops deserve better than SPAM--ed.)

As for SPAM, if the US uses that high-power microwave device mentioned here
recently to destroy Iraqi qomputers, our troops won't have to worry about
receiving enemy SPAM.

             - Jim Landau

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