26 February 2009

Yeah, we actually ate that stuff...

From the Old Soldier side:

A long time ago, when I was in the old Army, we had to eat some canned crap that was issued in a little brown box. This crap was called "C-Rations." I was a skinny kid it those days.

Now they give you some stuff called "MREs" Meals Ready to Eat. It's still crap, but it's all in a different kind of package.

I've read some books about the Civil war, WWI, WWII etc. They all had crappy food for field rations. Why does the Army do that? After over 200 years of tradition unchanged by progress and they still give us crap when we go out in the field.

Oh well, nobody listens to a soldier at my level. Generals pick the crap we get, then the company they gave the bid to gives them a job when they retire. We get so much crap for equipment and software now. Last year when we were doing our 2 weeks of Army training, I had some high ranking computer nerd type officer start to tell me about some new software the Army was working on. He was telling me how it would be able to do the work we do and make things so much better.

I listened as polite as I could, then told him: "Sir, I don't care what kind of computer stuff they come up with, they'll still need people like us to go out into the field and do the job....Sir!"

The Sergeant Major was standing next to the nerd officer...the Sergeant Major wanted to "talk to me" later. He told me that I might have offended the nerd officer when I said they'd still need people like me to go out and get the job done. I looked at the Sergeant Major and said: "Sorry, but it's the truth."

The Army can give you hard tack & beef jerky with pork fat, they can give you C-Rations, they can give you MREs. But, what they'll never be able to replace is the Soldier who has to go out on foot and get the job done. Whatever the job is.


Anonymous said...

1. B-3's were good stuff, So were B-1's.
2. The B-2's didn't have canned fruit -where I was, that's all anybody cared about. Never had enough water.
3. Saw guys fight over canned peaches and pour tabasco sauce over same. (Not at same time)
4. They're better about water now. They have to be.
5. Can remember a helo resupply where all we cared about was the water -got 5 5 gallon cans for about 2 platoons. Nobody cared about ammo, rats, radio batteries.
6. Water was gone in about 10 minutes, LT on radio squawking for more.
7, Was medevacced once with a case of Dysentary. We treated the water with iodine pills, but obviously screwed it up.
8. If we were doing anything more than wandering around the boonies looking for trouble, the mission descriptor was way above my paygrade (E-4).
9. Sounds like your computer nerd officer was rabbiting on about the Future Combat System.
10. Based on what I've read and heard, that might be a go 10 or 20 years from now.
11. In my experience, regardless of their mindset and state of training, troops on the ground get elemental real fast.
12. Nothing makes going around that next corner easy. True for police too.
13. Your SGTMAJ just didn't want any stress. He had to know you were right.
14. BTW had MRE's in the USMC. My NCO's were divided on their quality. The one thing they all agreed: if you hadn't come up on C's, you weren't Old Corps.
V/R J West

"D" AKA CI-Roller Dude said...

Mr West,
I always enjoy your comments. I recall there were a few C-rats that nobody would eat...usually made out of something we couldn't really figure out.
Most hated the fruit cakes...I loved them and would trade the smokes for them. (remember the little 4 packs of stale smokes?)
In Germany we had plenty of water. I most places in Iraq we had plenty of water...but there were a few days where we would have given a million bucks for a gallon of ice cold water.
To this day I really enjoy ice cold water...almost frozen is best.

Fu Manchu Dad said...

I never minded the MREs too much, but then I sort of have an iron stomach. With a little bit of trading, you could put together a passable field pizza. Only real drawback I saw was that too much of the squeezecheese would back you up and make the day you finally got time for a good BM quite painful. Ahhh, those were the days.
USMC '86-'93