The history of mess?
From the Soldier side: If you study military history, right after weapons and tactics, THE most important thing is the food served to the troops. Many years ago, I was reading an actual account from the American Civil War (or, the War Between the States). In this story, the troops were issued 3 days worth of rations. These rations were something like: Bacon, Hard Tac, Flour, Beans and a mess kit.
Yummy huh. As this story went along, the sergeant in charge of this small squad got mad at his troops because they had eaten the entire 3 days of rations by lunch time on the first day.
In the mid 1990’s, I was a squad leader in a Combat Engineer company. We were doing training at Fort Irwin, CA. We were going out on a 2 day exercise. We were issued rations for 2 days--- MREs.
Before dinner time on the first day, some of my guys came up to me and told me they were hungry. I looked at them and said: “well, I guess we can have our chow break for dinner now…”
(we’d been humpin’ across the desert and were dry and tired to.)
My guys looked at me and said: “Sarge, we’ve already eaten everything they gave us.”
I realized that not only did I have to work on fire discipline with these kids, but food discipline.
I can recall many of the Army mess halls I’ve eaten in during the 20plus years I was in the Regular Army and the National Guard. Our battalion mess in Berlin was good. The other battalions sucked.
Almost every Army National Guard mess hall I’ve ever eaten in during training served some of the worst shit I have ever eaten in my life.
We had no idea what this was
When my National Guard unit was called up for training in Bosnia, we went to training with the RED BULLs. Their mess hall sucked. When we got to Ft McCoy for more useless training, they opened up an old WWII mess hall. I think they found some old boxes of food from 1945. That shit was gross. But when we finally got to Bosnia, we had great chow!
An actual meal served to us at Ft McCoy. Notice the "Multi Meat".
Same deal for Iraq. We went to Ft Lewis, WA, and were stuck in the old WWII barracks and I think they found more shit from 1945. We got substandard food. But, we could have walked half a mile to the “real army” mess hall and they had pretty good chow.
When we got to Iraq, most, but not all, of the mess halls were pretty good. The closer you were to a general, the better the chow was.
Now, I can look back and laugh.
If you need a very good do all e-manual for the M9 Beretta pistol, check out:
The orginal "Multi Meat" Turkey or Chicken?