Army: Hot breakfasts in Afghanistan cut due to logistics, not budget
January 30th, 2013
11:30 AM ET
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Nutritional experts have long lauded breakfast as the most important meal of the day, but reports that 17 military bases stopped serving hot breakfast have one congressman up in arms.

On January 17, Congressman Bruce Braley wrote to Secretary of the Army John McHugh to express his concern. According to Jeff Giertz, Communications Director for the United States Congressman's office, he was prompted to do so after being contacted by the mother of one of his Iowa constituents who is serving abroad in Afghanistan.

"I am troubled that the Army would deny any deployed troops three meals per day, regardless of force size," Braley wrote in the release.

“These men and women put their lives on the line every day to protect the very freedoms we cherish. The exhaustive mental and physical labor that is required by soldiers to fight in harsh and unforgiving conditions is tremendous. We shouldn’t deny our troops something as fundamental as a proper meal."

As of publication time, Braley had not heard back from the Army Secretary.

While Braley and the mother were concerned that the troops weren't getting adequate nutrition, Army officials note that is simply not the case.

In a statement released by the Department of Defense, Jim Garamone of the American Forces Press Service said the reports surfaced "from a few forward operating bases in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province that are closing or being turned over to Afghan security forces."

Colonel Joseph Wawro, the commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, said breakfast and the midnight meal are now MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) at the affected bases, while lunch and dinner are still served hot. He also noted most dining facilities have take-away items like cereal, granola, energy bars, milk, juice, fruit, etc. for supplemental snacking.

"This has absolutely nothing to do with the national budget and everything to do with our responsible reduction of forces," Wawro said.

Wawro said the initial complaint may have been raised by a recently arrived unit that was unaware of the recent meal changes.

Giertz, however, noted that Braley wrote the letter out of concern for the troops’ morale.

"The least we can offer is to get them a good meal," Giertz said.

Registered dietitian and Captain Christina Deehl said while MREs are not very popular among the troops, they do yield all the nutrients a soldier needs to meet one-third of his or her Military Recommended Daily Allowance (MRDA).

"When we initially entered Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers were eating MREs every day until we were logistically established. Once again when we draw down and pull out, we will see a similar trend," Deehl said.

Deehl explained that army dietitians regard food as a tactical weapon, as it maintains mental and physical performance.

"We would never deprive the soldier of adequate nutrition and that's just all there is to it," she said.

What’s in an MRE?

According to the United States Armed Forces, a MRE provides an average of 1,250 calories (13 percent protein, 36 percent fat, and 51 percent carbohydrates) and one-third of the Military Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins and minerals. It includes the following items:

  • Entree – the main course, such as spaghetti or beef stew
  • Side dish – rice, corn, fruit, or mashed potatoes, etc.
  • Cracker or bread
  • Spread – peanut butter, jelly, or cheese spread
  • Dessert – cookies or pound cakes
  • Candy – M&Ms, Skittles, or Tootsie Rolls
  • Beverages – Gatorade-like mixes, cocoa, dairy shakes, coffee, tea
  • Hot sauce or seasoning – in some MREs
  • Flameless Ration Heater – to heat the entree
  • Accessories – spoon, matches, creamer, sugar, salt, chewing gum, toilet paper, etc.

soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. Winter

    WOW. Yes we all know everyone over there is tuff as nails. We are aware they don't expect 5 star hotel service. You think maybe we civilians just think in this day and age we can do better for our soldiers. . We send food and supplies and letters and so on. We think our government can do better . It's how we show our graditude ! I here a lot our soldiers don't get thanked as much as they should . SO SO F*CKING SORRY WE GIVE A DAMB!!!! I'll go shove my face in my pillow and cry like a little cry baby now .. Because our graditude is in vein . Then I'll go f*ck myself....

    January 30, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Loubies


      January 30, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  2. Jerry C

    Let's write some Congressmen, people, please! This is ridiculous, and it smacks of a Pentagon trying to scrape by on a budget that is, to say the least, inadequate, and in my own opinion, criminally negligent. It reminds me of the austerity forced upon our military during the term of President Carter from 1977 to 1981. How can we hope to see our young men and women choose to stay in the military when they can't even count on a hot meal at their base? Does anybody really think that this is as far as the belt-tightening will go if this travesty is allowed to go unchallenged?

    January 30, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Sgt. Lowrey

      @Jerry C,
      Sir, while I thank you for your ferocity and vigor for the well treatment of the troops, I can assure you that we are taken care of. We receive an adequate amount of food that sustains our needs. We understood when we raised our right hand that to secure requires sacrifice. This, seen as a very small sacrifice int he scheme of things, is not really a sacrifice at all. Considering our heritage of protecting this and other great nations, we have it fairly easy. Our fathers and grandfathers had conditions that would seem atrocious by today's standards, yet then it's, "just how it was". Again, I admire your fight for us, but rest assured, we do not necessitate such luxuries. We are simply doing what we said we would regardless of the conditions and that is being, "guardians of freedom and the American way of life".

      Sgt. Lowrey

      January 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      • Flameless Ration Heater

        Come on, just flat out say it... MREs are actually good now. It's time we inform the general public of this fact.

        January 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • Sgt. Lowrey

          I would have to agree, MREs are good! I'll eat just about everything in them except for the Charms candy. That's just taboo.

          January 30, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Loubies

      Did you READ the story?

      January 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
  3. LT Fang

    Oh no! The soldiers aren't getting gourmet food for breakfast in a combat zone!

    January 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • AV8BJockey

      With all due respect you sir are a moron. Gourmet meals really? You have obviously had the pleasure of dining in one of our fine chow halls.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  4. rlm

    so – we should then have no more hot breakfasts in the White House or Congress...

    January 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Loubies

      How often do you eat a hot breakfast really? And do you really think it's feasible to serve a hot breakfast every day in a combat zone? This sounds like a case of a spoiled kid no knowing what he was getting into.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
  5. LT Fang

    When you're fighting a war 7,500 miles from home, and a politician is whining about the temperature of the breakfast?
    There are more important things to worry about, like getting shot at, than hot breakfast. Give me a break!

    January 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Loubies

      It's grandstanding for votes, plain and simple. He really doesn't give a sh!t.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  6. Burrito23

    Why can't Obama feed the troops?

    January 30, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Flameless Ration Heater

      He can, it's just that they're getting MREs instead of flapjacks in the morning for the next few months. Still getting actual food for lunch and dinner.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Loubies

      Why can't you read the story?

      January 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  7. manda

    This is a war... not a hotel... they all chose to be there... how many children have been wrongfully murdered for profit? yea...thought so they're fine without a "hot" breakfast... wow you people amaze me

    January 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • thrushjz

      These people are fighting so you can spew your hateful, sick, Anti American sewer thoughts all over decent people...enjoy your dinner...

      January 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
      • DontBeSilly

        Dont be silly, man. They are fighting because that's where they were told to be. If you think killing people in their own country protects freedom you need to think some more. If anything, this makes us less safe.

        January 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • thrushjz

          You're right...I'd much rather have them come over here and kill another 3,000 office workers in're so intelligent.

          January 30, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  8. mikebo

    What a bunch of bs.These men and women deserve the best of the best.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Loubies

      Yeah, when they get home. They are in a combat zone. Did you think they were off picking daisies for the next State Dinner?

      January 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  9. Carl

    I have eaten MREs many times, and it's not that bad. Half of it is common canned food you would get in a grocery store, but packaged in pouches. It's not worse than what a lot of civilians eat every day, and it's only one out of three meals. Fortunately, our troops are a lot tougher than the drama crybabies throwing a fit here.

    Except for the "snack bread". Good lord that stuff is horrible.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Dr Don

      I spent 51 – 53 aboard ship, so we ate veyr few MREs – just when we periodically 'refreshed' the rubber life-rafts and passed around the chocolate bars. However, we once spent 53 days off Resolution Is. with 250 doggies aboard, were so low on fuel we couldn't make it back to port, and as food we were down to powdered eggs, powdered potatoes, and powdered milk. The potatoes and eggs were served hot to all 500 of us, but the powdered product was of much poorer quality than today. We stayed on 'station' without regard to problems. Then the 'old man' shot a polar bear – we think it was near a world record of a ton – it was not inspected so it could not be served as "mess", but it was served out the back door and we each had a very nice cut. A Swedish tanker/refer rescued us.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  10. Greenspam

    Meanwhile, no Republicans can explain why we still haven't declared victory when we outnumbered, outteched, and outspent the Taliban by a factor of at least 100 to 1 for 8 years.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • thrushjz

      Actually, your Left wing Fuhrer is declaring victory when it's not in the past do we?

      January 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • Loubies

        That "past" is pretty relevant to what's going on. Turn off Fox News and educate yourself.

        January 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  11. clem kadiddle

    you're in the army now and your azz is ours. quit complaining you bunch of pampered pussies. go home to mommy if you can't handle it.spoiled forkin brats.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  12. That's Sergeant to you!

    I would tell this soldier to quit going to his mom with meaningless crap. If he gets 2 meals a day he's doing better than most. During my 2 deployments I've learned that you have 2 types of people, the ones who can't hacket and the ones who get it done. The biggest issue I have is that the ones who fall-out come back with every war story happening to them. They are the "PTSD'ers" scamming the government, the ones who demand free meals at restaurants, go to a bar in their uniform to get free drinks, display their vet stickers on their new trucks they got with the tax free money, get hooah tattoos and the ones who will go out of their way to let you know they served in a combat zone (not necessarily in actual combat), even if it was for just over a month, enough to get their combat patch. That's worst to me than missing a meal. This congressman needs to send a letter to the Secretary of the Army demanding they go after people who commit stolen valor. That would be a greater deal than getting a soldier an omelette for breakfast.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • jonBOY

      this is bullcrap. i did 3 tours in iraq as a 19D and morning hot chow was the only thing to look forward before rolling out the wire all day. Even then it was maybe a 2 or 3 times a week, but it was nice to have. WTF!
      Once can argue that a MRE is a hot meal but unless your a fobbit or your staging for the next mission the MRE is cold.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • davecu


      January 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
      • davecu

        Must be a REMF who whined to his mama!

        January 30, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Maya

      If that bothers you, maybe you should be attacking the irrational, primitive culture of military worship in this country.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
      • Loubies

        I agree with both of you.

        January 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  13. smako

    We can ship trucks and rockets, but we can't ship eggs and pancake mix? Let's just bring them home and they can eat at Roscoes Chicken and Waffles.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Finn

      Unlike military equipment, eggs actually have expiration dates

      January 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  14. Ellen

    The military deployed overseas doesn't get a hot breakfast while serving our country, but illegals in our public K-12 school systems do get a hot meal for breakfast and lunch, for free.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • yes

      Im with you bro, those illegal kids should starve or be killed

      January 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Greenspam

      Yes, the compassionate Republicans would advocate letting these kids die.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • 2nd Amendment

        I'd advocate them living where they belong until such a point as they enter this country legally the way my ancestors did – speaking English and waving an AMERICAN flag...

        January 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • 1st Amendment

          I'm pretty sure comming to a foreign land with muskets and killing off the natives wasn't legal.

          January 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • 0 Amendment

          Which ancestors are you talking about? The Spanish ones who enslaved and committed genocide against the natives or the ones from England who enslaved and committed genocide against the ones already living there?

          I guess it doesnt matter because at the time genocide and slavery was perfectly legal unlike these evil illegals doing stuff like construction work for low pay, what immoral disgusting animals. I sure do miss the good old days when you could kill a savage for fun.

          January 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • Article 6 of The Supremacy Clause.

          Your ancestors did no such thing.

          January 30, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
      • thrushjz

        This Republican adopted one...what have you done?

        January 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • 2nd Amendment do all those confined to our penal institutions. Nice.
      Common Sense: the least common of all senses.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  15. Practically pragmatic

    Twenty years in the war says that hot meals for the troops are a bonus, but NOT a requirement. Soldiers are way tough enough to do without the pancakes and sausage, take it to the bank.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  16. Charles

    I have served 20 years in the Army. I bet we have some Kids here in the States that would just love to have something to eat in the morning. The poor guy is still getting 2 hot meals a day. how many people here only eat ceral in the morning. Alot of time the upper command group don't even eat 3 meals a day.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Ellen

      The low-income kids here in the states are given free or reduced meals in their public schools, at the expense of the taxpayer.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • dickelocker

      Tenuous analogy. Military Deployment vs. the poor as to food. The military should enjoy similar hot meals to the American Middle Class, for whose "way of life" they are fighting. This is food they are accustomed to, not MRI's. If you weren't raised in the South, your stomach may not like grits. Such physical upset, or lingering unsatisfied taste (personal taste) for comfort (normal) food may result in less than a good day. This is not “pampering.” A Latin American staple diet may be baked cornmeal and beans. It is nutritious, but not very palatable if one is accustomed to potatoes and chicken. And how much more do those thermal heating cans cost than a fresh, hot meal at mess?

      As to poor children & the homeless in USA, they should have access to American resources that 3rd world citizens don't. Surely our troops shouldn't live at poverty level as to food acceptance? We should provide hot food (even if in temporary mess tents), now apparently being denied. Not forsake our troops for efficiency, budget cutting, or lack of empathy from Top Brass (who sit high and fat at their desks). We are talking of “nutrition” of mind, and emotions, not just material body needs.

      Here in South Florida we can buy Hurricane meals, similar to MRI's, but that's for an emergency lasting no more than a couple of weeks. And yes, in La La land we have feeding programs for all poor who need a hot, tasty meal daily, meeting minimal nutritional needs. rel

      January 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  17. frontgate

    Why is this news. This is the army, in a combat zone. They don't get maid service and a chocolate on their pillow at night , either. Leave it to a congressman to stick his nose in. What a dufuss.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  18. USMC

    You know what always got to me, always having to eat MREs with a spoon (and we ate a lot of MREs). Have you ever tried to eat a beef patty with a spoon? They should have put sporks in there. Just sayin'.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Dr Don

      Understood – The aluminum trays took some getting used to as a plate, and the big cups with no handles, but the real problem I didn't get used to was the tablespoon – only. I still don't like a tablespoon with my soup – it sounds petty, and it is but it is one more shift from civilian life forced three times a day.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  19. vet in tx

    you can tell in these posts who knows what their talking about and those who will never know what their talking about.

    Essayons America!

    January 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Flameless Ration Heater

      They told me it would be a life of adventure. Now I spend every day filling out paperwork and playing with MATLAB (while wearing camouflage, because we're "warriors").

      January 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • 2nd Amendment

      Just like you can tell who knows the difference between "their" and "they're", huh... I smell and edit coming.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
      • 2nd Amendment

        ...and there it is. *an

        January 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
  20. Robin Layton

    MRE – Meals Rejected by Ethiopians.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      Forgot about that, lol

      January 30, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • teufel

      MRE = Meals that Refuse to Exit

      January 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  21. Rob

    "Ah man, I didn't know war was going to be hard ;("

    January 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  22. Flameless Ration Heater

    Wait... I think I figured it out... They're giving the veggie omelet one (no salsa) out for breakfast, aren't they?

    Nobody should ever be subjected to such torture.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • USMC

      That, or the always delicious bean burrito. That's why they make a point to include TP in the accessories list, as pointed out by another post.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        Just enough TP to make a mess, that is.

        January 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • USMC


          January 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm |

    Typical bullsh!t thrown at our troops. Send them on multiple back to back deployments, ignore their wounds and stress after they get out of the service, deny Agent Orange was a problem for years, deny, deny, deny.
    You people who brush this aside and think our men and women can eat MRE's or in my day C rations for breakfast should forgo your egg muffins and Dunkin donuts to eat that crap. Sure, in the field on missions it has to do, but in camp a hot meal is a simple pleasure they deserve. Good enough you say !!!! Great job Congressman for bringing the issue to light. As for you who think he is grandstanding go eat a can of Spam heated chemically or an MRE out of a bag. I ate that crap in the form of C rations in Nam. Sure it was food, but a hot meal, especially in the beginning of the day does wonders for your well being. By the way, it ain't ham you idiot, its Spam.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  24. NorCalMojo

    Are they sure they were cold in the first place? I can't remember a field breakfast ever actually arriving warm. Cold eggs and grits, yum.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      *weren't cold

      January 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  25. vatoloke

    Did I read correctly that this all came to surface after an Iowa soldier complained to his mommy, and she contacted her congressman? They don't make those cornheads like they used to do they?

    January 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Flameless Ration Heater

      I did not see the part about mommy being the one contacting the Congressman. I kind of get it now. The soldier was performing the ancient tradition of griping, and mommy didn't get it.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • vatoloke

        2nd Para.
        "According to Jeff Giertz, Communications Director for the United States Congressman's office, he was prompted to do so after being contacted by the mother of one of his Iowa constituents who is serving abroad in Afghanistan."

        January 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Wait What?

      Yeah vatoloke – maybe he did call his "mommy" to complain. Why don't you give her a call and let her know that you'll get off the couch and take his place so he can come home and spend time with his family. Or is that too much?

      January 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • vatoloke

        Been there. Done that. Grassyass.

        January 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  26. Moore

    Their labor is exhausting, not exhaustive.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  27. Ann

    The soldier to complained to his parents better watch himself – if he can. I know someone who complained to his parents about deaths from heat exhaustion on a troop train. Those parents wrote their Congressman, there was an Army investigation, and the soldier found himself with two weeks hard labor, followed by another two weeks, then sent into combat without finishing training. This didn't happen in recent wars, but I bet things haven't changed that much.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • ARealVet

      Sure you do. Here's how it actually works: Soldier complains to mommy. Mommy calls congressman. Congressman (staffer, actually) makes a call. Army reacts. Commander now knows the Soldier is poison, but if he does anything to him, commander's career is over.

      And then you read about it on CNN.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  28. Flameless Ration Heater

    How to get Hot Breakfast in field condition:

    1) Take MRE.
    2) Get water.
    3) Take entree pouch and flameless ration heater out.
    4) Put entree pouch into the flameless ration heater.
    5) Pour water into flameless ration heater up to the line.
    6) Wait a few minutes.

    Congratulations: You have hot breakfast.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • USMC

      How to have fun in the field:

      1) Empty ration heater contents into a plastic water bottle;
      2) Introduce H2O;
      3) Cap and Throw bottle;
      4) Laugh.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • raptor57

        how much water ?

        January 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

          Doesn't take much. 1/3 cup or so

          January 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        ^ This. Homemade Hydrogen Bomb

        January 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • Flameless Ration Heater

        Shhh.... the Taliban doesn't know about our secret rations-based IED technology yet

        January 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • 1LT

        You forgot to add the hot sauce for a home made CS grenade !!!

        January 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
      • SemperFi

        Wait until the first knucklehead falls asleep, add in hot sauce AND pepper, throw in the lap of the unsuspecting victim. Boom! That'll teach that doggone yahoo to fall asleep! Hahaha! LMAO! Good times.

        January 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Rob

      In Vietnam, on long range patrol, there were many times we couldn't waste time or water and smoke could have given our position away in the jungle to the enemy, so we ate the "OLD" type MREs dry. They were dehydrated . Talk about a taste delight! Yum, Yum, But when people are hungry anything is better than nothing! We never complained, we just enjoyed the minute! When we went back to base camp we ate C-rats, we had no mess hall and never carried c-rats on long range patrol due to weight. I rather carry . Who cares? But I want the guys to know others appreciate their sacrifices. I have never ate a Modern MRE they sell them in the Commissary. I may buy one just to see the different. I do know they will be better then the old type.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  29. Ann

    The military peson who complained better watch himself. I know a man who complained to his parents about two deaths from heat exhaustion on a troop train. They wrote their Congressman, there was an Army investigation, and when the dust settled, the man got two weeks hard labor for some small infraction, and when that was done, he was sent for another two weeks. After that he was sent into combat without finishing training. That was not in recent wars, but I doubt things have changed that much.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  30. Joe

    I don't remember which one it came in (maybe chili mac?) but I was always sure to get the one with the blue skittles

    January 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Flameless Ration Heater

      Spicy Penne Pasta with Vegetarian Meat Sauce. That one is pretty good.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  31. koga

    something else that is bad for morale is STILL BEING THERE. i think that if we brought those troops home and quit spending my tax money protecting the barbaic middle east we could make sure all troops got hot meals. but i also have to ask how a senator can make the jump from 'no hot meal' to 'poor nutrition'. food does not have to be hot to be nutrionally satisfying.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Mark_in_FL

      This is probably the same type of senator that could not tell you what a gallon of milk costs. Reppin her peope!

      January 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  32. TSgt H 17years active, 8 deployments, 2 w/ the army in AFGHN

    This is ridiculous. Some of you who are standing up for the government and saying this is okay, are douche'B's... Our men and women deserve a hot meal and not a stinking MRE for 6 months to 9 months to 1 year. You "can't" live on those they will destroy your health. Stand up for your fellow soldier, sailor, marine and Airman.

    plain and simple... we deserve a hot meal and breakfast is by far the best meal the military serves...

    January 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      I've eaten at an Army mess hall. I'd prefer MRE's

      January 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • ARealVet

      I would agree, breakfast is the best the military has to offer as far as food.

      But this problem exists because we've farmed out all of our logistical support to contractors. Our cooks seldom cook, and our mechanics and commo guys and pretty much everyone else is in the same boat.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • JCK

      I'd love to see you open a can of ham and limas in the Central Highlands, 2 Corps, Vietnam in 1968 and have to eat it cold. This Vietnam Vet has just got to laugh his A$$ of at this new breed of warrior. If you can't get room service, do you write your mommies ?

      January 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • vatoloke

        Exactly why I say they don't make 'Cornheads' like they used to. The guys I knew from Iowa never griped squat. Cold beanie weenies are the best. Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner anytime!

        January 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
      • Seth

        I'm not trying to minimize your service and sacrifice, but I know a lot of guys who've been deployed 3, 4, 5+ times. I'm sure your 12 months in Vietnam were brutal but people I've served with have spent 6 of the last 11 years deployed in Afghanistan and/or Iraq.

        February 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • DogFace

      Wow, I'm a bit staggered by our good TSgt. First, thank you for serving the nation. Second, other branches of the US military serve in some amazingly spartan and truly difficult environments... not on flight-lines and sleeping in dormitories around the globe. The US Air Force certainly has its role, but really... hot meals are where you draw the line? Thankfully, the Greatest Generation didn't live by this standard. If they had... well, most in Western and Central Europe would be speaking ‘Deutsch’ now.
      Remember, we serve to execute national defense objectives. We serve to protect our Constitution. We serve to protect all of our freedoms, and we serve so that others don't have to. I'm all for comfort, but I’ll also serve without it… when the situation calls for it. I agree that we should serve hot meals to our Soldiers, Airpersons, Sailors, Marines, Coasties, and the rest… when it’s possible.
      And, remember, this is the home of the FREE because of a very few number of BRAVE people that are willing to do what most are not. Think on it. Again, hot meals are where you draw the line?
      Regarding the story itself, in my humble opinion, there's nothing to see here... move along. Army Strong!

      January 31, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  33. Ron

    I can remember when I was in the corp. even when we in the field, a mess tent was setup fairly quickly and could be broken down just as quickly, So, whats this logistical crap, hot meals is a moral issue, these troops are enduring conditions that are horrible, no bath for days on end, no sleep, and now you say eat cold food?? Thats bullsh-t!! ask one of the generals who sleep warm everynight to go in the field with the men and eat cold food. We have helicopters to spare, trucks to spare, SET UP A DAM TENT AND SERVE THESE MEN HOT FOOD, EITHER THAT OR BRING THEM HOME! DAMMIT!!!

    January 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • NNNN

      MREs are hot meals, or don't you know what they are? And the word is morale not 'moral'.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Flameless Ration Heater

      Hey, they still get B-rations twice a day. And MREs aren't really all that bad. Griping is an ancient military tradition, and it could always be worse: we could be giving those guys the God forsaken A-ration for breakfast.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • MIchael

      Amen! This isn't about the value of MRE's vs. meals prepared in a mess tent. This is about morale in one of the few things that hold any comfort for our troops. When I see the senior officers eating MRE's day in and day out, then maybe I will change my mind, but I am sure the senior staff officers still have white glove service. Also MRE's day in and day out are not a good thing, just the sodium content is insane.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  34. boohoo mean no warm meals for people fighting in a pointless war? I feel sooooo bad.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Sailor101

      This war is not pointless, would you rather be fighting the Taliban and other terrorist orginizations on our streets, in our schools, in our places of worship, in our grocery stores and in your kids or grandkids playgrounds OR would you rather our troops fought them over there? Just think about that for half a minute before you give some smart mouth reply.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • vatoloke

        The Taliban IS already here. The American Taliban, in the form of Rick Santorium, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, the Birthers, the Tea Party et al.

        January 30, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • VladT

          Using your logic, liberals = communists and modern Viet Kong.

          I don't believe this, but seriously, hyperbole much?

          January 31, 2013 at 7:09 am |
  35. SeaBee

    I buy MREs at the local Army surplus store and bring them on camping trips. I only eat them for lunch on daylong hikes mind you. Back at camp, it's a hot meal over the fire.

    Some "flavors" of MREs are wretched filth banned as torture by international treaty. But some of them are actually rather good.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Charlotte

      "Some "flavors" of MREs are wretched filth banned as torture by international treaty. But some of them are actually rather good."

      Probably the most intelligent post of the day...

      January 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  36. Pete

    They're not getting HOT breakfast. I think most of the troops are OK with this as it means they are packing up and going home. There options for breakfast are the MRE or cold breakfast items like fruit/cereal, or they can go with breakfast bars. This isn't as big a deal as this grandstanding congressman made it out to be.

    Welcome home, fellas. They should have buy a serviceman a hot breakfast week at IHOP or denny's to make up for this "travesty" when they come home.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • vr13

      And I'm not getting hot breakfast either. I have about 20 minutes from the time my alarm goes to the time I need to leave home for work. I'm lucky to squeeze some hot coffee in between.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
      • Sailor101

        Umm have you ever thought of setting your alarm clock to wake up earlier? I wake up at 4:30 or 5 in order to be at work at 7:30. It's not a hard thing to do.

        January 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • MIchael

        That's your choice however, the troops aren't affored the luxury of choice. If you want a hot breakfast, get up earlier.

        January 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Dr Don

      Aboard ship when we were firing (not too often) we were served "battle breakfast" which consisted of steak, eggs (style on order), ranch fried potatoes, coffee, milk, and all you wanted – waste wasn't permitted but you could get all you asked for. There were other selections too, if you wanted like; bread, jam, apple sauce, cornbread, grits, etc. In the navy I also ate things for the first time such as; sweet-potato pie, scallops, spinach, grits, BBQ chicken, and polar-bear.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  37. Dennisn

    This congressman shuld check his facts. Anyone who has been in the military knows that you probably won't get a hot meal ever in the field. It sounds like they are getting two hot meals a day. That is better than when I was in in peace time.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  38. 1SG A

    I have been in the Army for 20 years. I could never guess how many MREs I have eaten, both in Afghanistan and here in the States during training exercises. They may not be the most desirable meal to eat. And I don't argue that it doesn't compare to home cooking. But they are more than sufficient to get the job done. They provide all the dietary needs a Soldier requires. And I can tell you first hand that MREs have come a long way in the taste department in 20 years. Some of them are actually quite tasty now! They also come in vegetarian and kosher varieties, to ensure Soldiers have a choice that aligns with their individual preferences or needs. This story is trying to make something out of nothing.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • USMC

      They should have reported on the bad luck that the "Charms" candy brings. (Inside Joke)

      January 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • female_vet

      STANDING UP AND CLAPPING!!!!! Very true, trying to make something out of nothing! Soldiers, Airman, Sailors, and Marines will ALWAYS have meals. Stop trying to find a story when there is not one....jeez!

      January 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
      • That's Sergeant to you!

        I agree with the First Sergeant but I wouldn't say we will ALWAYS have meals. COPs are notorious for running out of supplies, not all of them but the most remote and f'd up ones do. I was at a COP in AFG last winter where we had no heaters, literally, in sub zero temps. All of the COP water was frozen and without heaters we had to sleep with frozen bottles in our sleeping bags to have a drink in the morning (got that from Bear Grylls, thanks haji shops). The milk and the juice was frozen as well. We did have MRE's but on a COP with 100 soldiers they would run out quick, and it was 3 weeks in between air drops. We would stock up on pop-tarts, muffins and cereal but that wasn't that great of a meal especially with the calories we burned in sub-zero temps. We sure did have some fun though, that's what true leaders show their troops, how to make something great out of a bad situation. Can't say it was ideal but man that's the sh!t we sign up for. To do something most can't. No one, not even your mom can ever understand why we do what we do and trying to explain it just makes something cheap out of something sacred. My wife never knew all the times I got into a firefight, when we lost someone, when we had cold miserable nights and certainly nothing as meaningless as a cold meal. All my family knows is that I left and came back in one piece.

        January 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • DogFace

          My hat's off to you... thanks for doing your part, even if few will ever understand!

          January 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • DogFace

      Well stated Top.
      In my more than 25-years of serving the nation - in peacetime and war, I too have "enjoyed" my fair share of MREs. As 1SG A states, they've come a long way over the last few decades. I still avoid some... from mostly bad memories - couldn't eat the 'corned beef hash' MRE entree even if I were starving, but MREs do the trick.
      Again, remember... there is a "heater" in each kit for the entree. If you have the time, you can have a hot meal with MREs. In terms of this story, in my humble opinion, there's nothing to see here... move along.
      Yes, I'm still serving, and proud to do so. Army Strong!

      January 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  39. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    MREs are OK, but not if you have to eat them day in and day out, and I bet it's bad for morale. I can understand them out in the field, but even a forward base should be able to serve simple hot meals. That's Scout camp level stuff.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  40. USMC

    Like they always said when I was in the Marine Corps, "If you don't like something, write your Congresswoman."

    January 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • GiJoe1010

      That's the problem and that's most likely how this story started , a crying soldier writing his Senator!

      January 31, 2013 at 1:45 am |
  41. salvage210

    I've served in a hazardous area, and I've eaten plenty of MRE's.
    They aren't "haute cuisine", but rations have come a long way since WWII, Korea and Vietnam. They will sustain you.
    Eating out of brown, plastic pouches for prolonged periods of time can have a negative effect on morale, but I didn't expect home-cooked meals while being so far out at the end of the chain.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  42. scott

    Funny...when I was in Afghanistan with the 26th MEU back in 2001-2002, we only ate MRE's during our stay there. I remember using the ham, cheese spread, and the horrible 'bread' some of the MRE's would contain, to create a 'breakfast sandwich'.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Griggs

      Hot meals are a luxury for command and permanent bases. Get over yourself. The military promises you food and you will always get it. If you can't handle the military, then don't join it or get out.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Sgt E

      Desert Shield/Desert Storm breakfast: MRE coffee, cheese spread on crackers with hot sauce.Yum! And we still got some of the older MREs: beef patty with hot sauce on shelf-stable bread – cheeseburger!

      January 31, 2013 at 12:03 am |
  43. amarjeet

    Stoping hot breakfast to troops in Afghanistan of Americxan forces is treason & falure of logistics. Food alone keep the troops fighting even when ammunition gets short and in bunkers they got have extras reserves.President Obama being Commander in Chief will certainly take it seriously and find a solution that it never occures again.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Andrew

      Troops miss a hot breakfast and that's treason..... right.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  44. Sarah

    Those MRE's are very gross. I tired one that I got from some army guys that were at my work. The troops should have hot meals because those MRE's are not food.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  45. Winter

    My dad had MRE meals, I tried one it was gross, I truley would prefer soft dog food. Yes I would eat it . If I was starving.
    I would like to see these high end blow farts eat MRE meals 3 times a day, for 6 to 12 months a year. This story is embarrassing . My family and I are so grateful for all our military's sacrifice no matter how big or smal l. THANK YOU!

    January 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  46. ™©JbJiNg!eŚ®™

    Anyone else notice that an "accessory" in the meal is TP? Probably didn't need to mention that one..

    January 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Travis

      Obviously you haven't had to eat a steady military diet including MREs. Toilette paper is most certainly an essential item.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • bergus

      yeah, if you'd eaten enough of them, you'd know you probably don't need the TP, cause you can only poop once a week and it comes out like a side-ways brick.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  47. Alex Winter

    This is the sort of article that would have made CNN's front page prior to Obama being elected.
    I guess this is Bush's fault too.

    CNN sucks.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • GetReal

      You are really reaching here to grind that ax of yours. Sure, this is an over-reaction and misplaced anger, attempting to dredge up support for a non-issue cause. However, there is nothing to suggest it was directed at or from an agenda other than the welfare of our troops. Blaming Obama, Bush, or even the Easter Bunny is as misdirected as the attempt to change the reality of combat logistics.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • SeaBee

      Incidentally, the "front page" is selected by computer algorithms more than by editorial bias. The more people reading an article, the more people commenting on it, the higher it ranks in preference until it appears on the "front page."

      So, if you want this on the "front page," ask all your friends to click on it, comment on it, click its "like" buttons, etc.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  48. Four Two

    Wow....really? Kind of a new low isn't it?

    January 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Flaming Liberal

      Nope. Same kind of low since the Clinton admin. Sux to the max, too. Goes right along with the fact that if you're old enough to enlist AND HAVE and you carry a gun to protect your country, you should be considered old enough to drink.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • GetReal

        I remember drinking legally at the age of 19, on base in 29 Palms California. That changed soon after I turned 21, with no impact to me – but there was a bit of an uproar at the time.

        But in the end, the link between drinking and doing other "dangerous" things is artificial. The real reason for the legal drinking age has little to do with being a "responsible adult." I would imagine that if it did, it would be tied to the right to vote, which (sarcastically) would obviously mean that people wouldn't get to vote until they were 21. ;p

        Seriously though, allowing service men to drink legally would have very little impact on society, but would be a big political issue...

        Hey, wait a second – let's keep that between us, because politicians LOVE issues. After all, they get paid to perpetuate them rather than to solve them! Both sides would line their pockets with the effort to keep "the issue" alive for as long as possible!

        January 30, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

          in 2002 You could drink at 18 on base at Fort Bliss in El Paso. The theory was so that you wouldn't go to Mexico to do it.

          January 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Dr Don

          I took a reserve cruise in '48 and passed thru NYC – the law was 21 or in uniform. 27 of us were indeed in uniform and the average age was less than 18. After getting the group back to the Is from Coney Is, dead drunk, two of us got a bed and spread the others out on the floor of one room. The hotel got them to Grand Central. I gave up both smoking and drinking after seeing 25 guys make fools of themselves. I'd spent two weeks wages on booze and cigarettes and had nothing to show for it.

          January 30, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
        • Tex

          If you are responsible enough and old enough to kill and die you have certainly earned the right to have a drink or two or three.when the time is appropriate.

          January 30, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
  49. Truth™

    This is so wrong.

    Are detainees at Guantanamo hainv to live on MREs?

    January 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Judy

      Let's face it. We live in a country that treats terrorist and criminals better than our troops. I never thought, after the disgraceful way our Vietnam Vets were treated, that something like this could happen.This is disgraceful, disgusting and true!

      This makes me want to vomit everytime I see a fat democrat.

      February 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  50. Sir Biddle

    Typical Washington political theater. Obviously Congressman Bradley has never served in the military nor learned the lesson of his WWII father that you should be happy with what you get. 3 hot meals a day in a combat zone is joke. To some of the troops embedded in extremely remote areas, 3 hot meals a week is a luxury.

    January 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      MRE's these days come with a chemical bag that reacts with water from your canteen to heat the pouch of chopped and formed "ham" for you. Good enough! That means our troops get hot meals every time they eat!

      Political Bragging Rights!

      January 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
      • Fegget about it

        You probably never have had an MRE before or C rations (hot trays) the diffrence is big.

        January 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • shutup!

          These are soldiers not congressmen!! They know how to survive on MREs, just leave them alone so they can do the damn mission, SHUTUP!

          January 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

          I'm former military, homeslice.

          January 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • Tex

        Once you aquire a taste for them they are not bad.

        January 30, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
        • sondra sego

          i agree tex my son went through it i just wrote a big paragraph if the ppl want them to eat better whip out the greenbacks and buy them micrwaveable food..i used to shop for my marine they all share their food with one another..but the MRE'S yea sure its not gourmet in a pouch but they eat them its called survival..

          June 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
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