- United States military ration
18th and 19th centuries
Revolutionary Warto the Spanish-American War, the United Statesarmy ration, as decreed by the Continental Congress, was the " garrison ration" which consisted of meat(or salt fish), bread, and vegetables.
There was also a spirit ration. In 1785, it was set at 4 oz. of
rum, reduced to 2 oz. of whiskey, brandy, or rum in 1790. In 1794, troops about to enter combat or who were engaged in frontier service could receive a double ration of 4 oz. of rum or whiskey; this was extended in 1799 to include troops engaged in fatigue duties. It was discontinued in 1832 and replaced with a ration of coffeeand sugar, which was increased in 1836. In 1846, a spirit ration was reinstated for issue to troops engaged in construction or surveying duties; this was discontinued in 1865.
World War I
In World War I three types of rations came into usage by the American forces: "the Reserve ration", "the Trench ration", and "the Emergency ration" (also known as the "Iron ration").
"Iron Ration" (1907-1922)
The first attempt to make an individual ration for issue to soldiers in the field was the "iron ration", first introduced in 1907. It consisted of three 3-ounce cakes (made from a concoction of beef boullion powder and parched and cooked wheat), three 1-ounce bars of sweetened chocolate, and packets of salt and pepper that was issued in a sealed tin packet that weighed one pound. It was designed for emergency use when the troops were unable to be supplied with food. It was later discontinued by the adoption of the "Reserve Ration" but its findings went into the development of the emergency
"Trench Ration" (1917-1918)
This ration was issued in the early part of the war to address a problem. Soldiers fighting in the front lines needed to be supplied with their daily rations, but cooked food prepared at field kitchens were sometimes spoiled by gas attacks. The trench ration was the answer. It was a variety of canned meats (salmon, corned beef, sardines, etc.) that were commercially procured and sealed in a large tin box covered in canvas. It was bulky and heavy and the soldiers began to get weary of the limited menu and it was soon replaced by the Reserve Ration.
"Reserve Ration" (1917-1937)
This was a ration issued during the latter part of
World War Ito feed troops who were away from a garrison or field kitchen. It originally consisted of 12 ounces of fresh Baconor one pound of canned meat (usually Corned Beef), two 8-ounce cans of hard bread or hardtack biscuits, a packet of 1.16 ounces of pre-ground coffee, a packet of 2.4 ounces of granulated sugar, and a packet of 0.16 ounces of salt. There was also a separate "tobacco ration" of 0.4 ounces of tobacco and 10 cigarette rolling papers, later replaced by brand-name machine-rolled cigarettes. After the war, there were attempts to improve the ration based on input from the field. In 1922, the ration was reorganized to consist of 1 pound of meat (usually beef jerky), 3 ounces of canned Corned Beef or chocolate, 14 ounces of hard bread or hardtack biscuits, coffee and sugar. In 1925, the meat ration was replaced with canned Pork & Beans. In 1936, there was an attempt at variety by having an "A"-menu of Corned Beef and a "B"-menu of Pork & Beans. This was cancelled after it was superseded by the later Field Ration, Type C in 1938.
Field Rations during World War II
After 1918, the army ration system went through several revisions, eventually leading to the:
A-ration": Garrison Ration. Fresh, refrigerated, or frozen food prepared in dining halls or field kitchens. The most valued of all rations.
B-ration": Field Ration. Canned, packaged, or preserved foods normally prepared in field kitchens.
C-ration": Individual Ration. A complete pre-cooked, ready-to-eat canned individual meal.
K-ration": Individual Ration. Designed as a short duration individual "assault" ration for paratroopers and other specialized light infantry forces. Declared obsolete in 1948.
* "D-ration": Emergency Ration. Bars of concentrated
chocolatecombined with other ingredients to provide high calorie content (intended as an emergency ration).
A-rations were generally whatever meat and produce could be obtained locally, so there could be incredible variety from one theatre of operations to the next. B-rations were generally used when there was inadequate refrigeration for perishable A-rations. The composition of the D-ration did not change much throughout the war but the C-ration developed many variations.
A- and B-rations were only served at bases or established camps in rear areas as they require cooking. C-rations could be eaten hot or cold and required no special preparation or storage, so these could be served almost anywhere.
During the war a new ration for assault troops, the 2,830 calorie "
K-ration", was developed. K-rations were originally intended to be used as short duration rations for only 2-3 days, but cost concerns and later standardization led to its overuseKearny, Cresson H. (Maj), "Jungle Snafus...And Remedies", Oregon Institute (1996), pp. 292-293] , contributing in some cases to vitamin deficiencies and malnourishment.
There were various other special rations developed for specific circumstances, including:
Type X Ration"
* "10-in-1 Ration"
Mountain ration" 4,800 calories, discontinued 1943
Jungle ration" 4,000 calories, discontinued 1943
The Assault Lunch" - Chocolate bars, caramels, dried fruit, chewing gum, peanuts, salt tablets, cigarettes, matches, and water-purification tablets; total of 1,500-2,000 calories, discontinued 1947
The Assault ration" (Pacific Theater) - 28 pieces of assorted hard candy, chewing gum, cigarettes and a chocolate peanut bar [Henry, Mark R. and Chappell, Mike, "The US Army in World War II (1): The Pacific", Osprey Publishing (2000), ISBN 1855329956, 9781855329959, pp. 20-21]
The Aircrew Lunch"
The AAF Combat Lunch"
Parachute Emergency Ration"
Airborne Lifeboat Ration"
Some of these specialized rations were discontinued during the war due to cost concerns, forcing commanders to adopt standardized rations in their place. The K- and D-rations were declared obsolete after
World War IIbut canned wet rations in the form of the C-ration(later the MCI) continued until 1983, when they were replaced by the Meal, Ready-to-Eat(MRE). A similar ration is the TOTM. A- and B-rations are still used today.
The traditional military hot breakfast is
chipped beef on toast, which is commonly referred to as " Shit On a Shingle" (SOS).
Currently, the following food is available to troops:
A-ration: fresh food prepared on-site (or nearby and transported)
B-ration: a unit-sized packaged/preserved ration, most commonly found in tray rations (nicknamed T-rat) heated by immersion.
Meal, Ready-to-Eat: the standard individual field ration
First Strike Ration: an individual ration designed to be edible while on the move
HOOAH! Bar: energy bar(the spiritual successor to the D-ration) , found in some menus of MREs
Foods of the American Civil War
Meal, Combat, Individual ration(MCI)
* [http://nsc.natick.army.mil/media/print/OP_Rations.pdf "Operational Rations of the Department of Defense", 7th Edition]
* [http://www.qmfound.com/army_rations_historical_background.htm Quartermaster Museum]
* [http://www.olive-drab.com/od_rations.php Military Rations, MREs & Food]
* [http://www.89infdivww2.org/memories/drilling.htm Drilling by the Numbers, Eating by the Letters]
* [http://www.qmfound.com/army_family_of_rations.htm The Army Family of Rations]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
United States military chocolate — Military chocolate has been a part of standard United States military ration since the original Ration D or D ration bar of 1937. Today, military chocolate is issued to troops as part of basic field rations and sundry packs. Chocolate rations… … Wikipedia
United States home front during World War II — The United States home front during World War II covers the developments within the United States, 1940 1945, to support its efforts during World War II.Taxes and controlsFederal tax policy was highly contentious during the war, with a liberal… … Wikipedia
United States Marine Corps Recruit Training — The Drill Instructor conducts the vast majority of training a recruit will receive. United States Marine Corps Recruit Training, commonly known as boot camp , is a program of initial training that each recruit must successfully complete in order… … Wikipedia
United States Navy Hospital Corpsman — Hospital Corpsman Rating insignia Issued by: United States Navy Type Enlisted rating Abbreviation HM … Wikipedia
United States Marine Raider Stiletto — U.S. Marine Raider Stiletto U.S. Marine Raider Stiletto  Type … Wikipedia
List of United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressions — This is a list of acronyms, expressions, euphemisms, jargon, military slang, and sayings in common or formerly common use in the United States Marine Corps. Many of the words or phrases have varying levels of acceptance among different units or… … Wikipedia
Health care reform debate in the United States — See also: Health care reform in the United States, Health care in the United States, and Uninsured in the United States Health care in the United States Public health care Federal Employees Health Benefits Program Indian Health Service… … Wikipedia
Government procurement in the United States — is based on many of the same principles as commercial contracting, but is subject to special laws and regulation as described below. Persons entering into commercial contracts are pretty much free to do anything that they can agree on. Each… … Wikipedia
Health care reform in the United States — ] Current estimates put U.S. health care spending at approximately 16% of GDP. [http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalHealthExpendData/25 NHE Fact Sheet.asp#TopOfPage National Health Expenditure Data: NHE Fact Sheet, ] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid… … Wikipedia
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (United States) — Infobox Military Unit unit name=11th Armored Cavalry Regiment caption=11th Armored Cavalry Regiment shoulder sleeve insignia country=USA type=Cavalry Regiment branch=Regular Army dates=March 11, 1901 specialization=Armored Cavalry command… … Wikipedia