MRE or Meal Ready to Eat is a collective meal of different types of food in one package specifically designed for rough conditions.
Where was the MRE Developed?
Research for the MRE began in 1963, with the goal of reducing the weight of traditional C-Rations. This initial research led to the introduction of the L.R.P. (Long Range Patrol) ration in 1966. This dehydrated meal, kept in a canvas pouch, proved to be too expensive to become standard issue.
Meet the father of the MRE
Dr. Abdul Rahman began working on the MRE in 1975, after leaving his home in Iraq in search of greater personal freedom. He later received the Meritorious Civilian Service award for his work on the project.
Rahman invented the process of freeze-drying food. The research was intended to render a food that could be safely taken into space, but also led to the creation of the MRE.
The MRE would support its first major conflict in Operation Desert Storm, the very place Rahman fled. Rahman was forbidden from working within the government due to having married a foreigner.
When was the MRE Adopted?
The MRE’s first adoption was by Long Range Patrols in the Vietnam War. This was, however, limited due to the heightened cost of making and storing dried foods.
Full scale production did not begin until 1978, and the MRE was not standard issue until 1986.
After observations during Operation Desert Storm, the US Army made a number of improvements to the MRE. These included the flame-less ration heater, shelf stable bread, wet-packed fruit instead, freeze dried coffee, candy, and hot sauce.
Each meal packs 1200 calories and has a shelf life of 10 years.
What did the MRE replace?
In the days of the Civil War, military rations generally consisted of salted meat, hard bread, and pressed cubes of vegetables. Typically beans, rice, coffee, vinegar and salt would be received intermittently in bulk.
World War 1 saw the advent of canned food, and soldiers received their first canned rations. Throughout the conflict, the rations shrank in size.
During World War 2, soldiers were issued K-rations, D-rations and C-rations. Breakfast, chocolate, and lunch/dinner respectively. These rations were nutritious, yet bulky and loud.
The Korean and Vietnam wars saw the MCI (Military Combat Individual). Soldiers still referred to these as C-rations, as they resembled them in just about every respect.
All of these were eventually replaced with the modern MRE, which you can purchase from Venture Surplus here.
Army Case of 12 Meals Ready to Eat, Army Surplus MREs$149.99 Select options
Army Case of 12 Meals Ready to Eat, Army Surplus MREs
Case A Includes:
- Chili With Beans
- Beef Shredded, In Barbecue Sauce
- Chicken, Noodles and Vegetables, In Sauce
- Spaghetti with Beef Sauce
- Chicken Chunks White, Cooked
- Beef Taco
- Brisket Entree (Gravy With Seasoned Beef Brisket Slices)
- Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
- Beef Stew
- Chili and Macaroni
- Vegetable Crumbles with Pasta in Taco Style Sauce
- Elbow Macaroni in Tomato Sauce
Case B Includes:
- Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce
- Creamy Spinach Fettuccine
- Mexican Style Chicken Stew
- Chicken Burrito Bowl
- Pork Sausage Patty, Maple Flavored
- Beef Ravioli In Meat Sauce
- Beef Patty, Jalapeno Pepper Jack
- Hash Brown Potato with Bacon, Peppers and Onion
- Tuna, Chunk, Light, Water Packed, Lemon Pepper
- Asian Style Beef Strips with Vegetables
- Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Southwest Style Beef and Black Beans
Military 1 Quart Canteen, Used OD Green$4.99 – $8.99 Select options
Basic Stop Bleeding Kit$49.99 Add to cart
Eagle Industries Double Mag Pouch, Kydex Insert$39.99 Select options
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GPS-02 Grip Pod System, USGI Military Vertical Bipod
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- Military Grade (Mil-Spec) Polymer w/ Steel Reinforced Legs
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- National Stock Number (NSN): 1005-01-563-8451
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Polartec Level 3 Polar Fleece Jacket, Military Gen III
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Quick Clot Combat Gauze, Army Issue IFAK Med Supplies, Z-Folded
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*By purchasing this device the user is acknowledging that this medical device requires users to have the training as (or supervision) of a medical practitioner. Ensuring this supervision and training is your responsibility.
By ordering this item, customer warrants that they have the required training and authorization to use this item. Venture Surplus assumes no liability for its misuse.$16.99 – $109.99
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Army PT Pants, IPFU Physical Fitness Training Bottoms, BlackSale! $11.99 – $24.99 Select options
Army PT Pants, IPFU Physical Fitness Training Bottoms, Black
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Gerber eFect Tool 30-000030, Weapon Maintenance Tool
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Rite in the Rain All Weather Field Planner KitSale!
Set of 2 High Ground Gear Frag Grenade Pouches, MulticamSale!
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USMC 100 oz Hydration Carrier, Coyote Brown, NO BLADDERSale!
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