Hardtack, C ration, D ration, K ration, lurp, MCI, MRE and the organized food service facility.
The first legislation fixing components of the military ration was passed by congress on November 4th, 1775. It called for one pound of beef, three quarters of a pound of pork, or one pound of salt fish per day, along with three pints of peas or beans per week or the equivalent portion of vegetables. The ration also called for milk, rice or Indian meal, and either spruce beer, cider or molasses plus soap and candles. Though not bad on paper, in reality the ration usually fell short of what was promised.
The last 200 years has brought increased battlefield nutrition and much expanded variety and the military has never failed to grace its government provided sustenance with a slurry of praises. OK maybe some of it is not so favorable. Here is a list of military food slang first assembled by Sandra Yin of The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. Can you think of others?
army strawberries – prunes
battery acid – coffee
bokoo soused – very drunk
bug juice - Kool-Aid and other powder based drinks
bullets – beans
buzzard – chicken or turkey
cackleberry – egg
canned cow – canned condensed milk
canteen – a liquor store on base
chow – food, a meal
chow down - to eat
chowhound – first in line at the mess
“come and get it” – the time honored call of the mess sergeant
desecrated vegetables – dried or dessicated vegetables
fly light – to miss a meal
gut-packings – food, rations
hardtack - a baked mix of flour and water, soaked in water overnight, and fried in grease for breakfast
hooch - hard liquor
java - coffee
joe - coffee
kitchen police, K.P. – those assigned menial clean-up duties
lurp – Long Range Patrol Ration
meal refusing to exit, meal rejected by Ethiopia – meal ready to eat M.R.E.
moo juice – milk
mud – coffee
mystery meat – meat that lacks clear identity
rabbit food – greens, especially lettuce
repeaters - beans, sausages, due to the gas they produce
shrapnel – Grape Nuts
tube steak - hot dog
Happy Veterans Day
We can’t thank everyone who has sacrificed for our freedom but we can thank some. If you know someone who has taken that step past their own self-interest make sure they know you are grateful. We have been fortunate enough to be able to help, in a small way, the efforts of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, an organization that provides support and transportation to WWII veterans and terminally ill veterans from other wars to see their memorials in Washington DC.
Excerpt from their description:
“Every day is a bonus,” is the motto of Honor Flight and it’s a sentiment that rings true for the men who fought and those of us who continue to benefit from their service and sacrifice.
Thanks for reading.
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