Barbecue shredded beef, vegetarian taco pasta, and seasoned black beans will replace chicken fajitas, vegetable lasagna, refried beans and potato cheddar soup in the 2014 production of Meals, Ready-to-Eat.

Each year, the Combat Feeding Directorate goes into the field to test new food items with the warfighters and get input on existing food items, said Jeanette Kennedy, a senior food technologist at Natick Labs, Mass.

Soldiers also make recommendations for items they would like to see in MREs. But sometimes, implementing these items is not feasible due to the process of food preservation technology. Kennedy said this is the case with a commonly recommended item, pizza.

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MRE entree: Pepperoni Sandwich


To this day, the phrase remains part of a pictogram on the package of the heater, known as the FRH, which was developed at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center‘s Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate and is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013.

It refers to directions that advise warfighters to place the FRH at an angle when heating up a Meal, Ready-to-Eat, commonly known as an MRE.

“The term ‘rock or something’ has now reached cult status,” said Lauren Oleksyk, team leader of the Food Processing, Engineering and Technology Team at Combat Feeding. “It’s just taken on a life of its own.”

Oleksyk was there at the beginning with colleagues Bob Trottier and now-retired Don Pickard when the FRH and that memorable phrase were born in 1993.

Read the full history of ‘a rock or something.’

A rock or something: meals, ready to eat.


Deborah Amos writes: Ambassador Robert Ford, the State Department’s point man on Syrian policy, crossed into northern Syria on Wednesday. The secret visit was confirmed by Syrian activists at the media office at the Bab al-Salama crossing on the Turkish frontier.

Ford met with the head of the Aleppo military council, Abdul Jabbar Okaidi, who thanked him for the shipment of nonlethal aid. Seven trucks transported some 65,000 MREs, or meals ready to eat, the U.S. military’s battlefield rations. Syrian activists posted a video of it.

The MRE shipment is part of an additional $10 million aid package. The U.S. announced in April that it would funnel $123 million in nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition.

The MRE delivery is also part of a policy to support Gen. Salim Idriss, elected to head the Supreme Military Command in December. Idriss, a defected general and a German-trained electronics professor, is considered a moderate.

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PHI Management Solutions launched the new Zombie Themed emergency kit for Bren-Mil Army Navy in Brentwood, NH. Ralph Huber, President of PHI, said that this kit is unique and specifically designed to meet the needs of people who are serious survivalists.

This kit is based on a medium-sized, military grade, transport pack. It contains everything that the site recommends for emergency preparedness plus several enhancements. Some of the enhancements include a water purification system that can purify up to 20 gallons of water. A combat shovel that features a hollow handle that you can fill with candy or other survival items…just in case. It also features a military Meal Ready to Eat (MRE), a combat knife, tools, first aid items, and more.

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Zombie Preparedness Kit includes MREs


David Reeder writes, “The deadline for ISAF personnel to depart Afghanistan is allegedly 31 DEC 14. As the drawdown gathers steam, a lot of amenities currently available to deployed troops will disappear (including a few that probably never needed to be there in the first place). Ethnic food, food specialty nights, some hot chow meals entirely – it’s all slowly going away.”

But troops aren’t being denied food — the meals are simply being replaced with MREs!

Troop eats MRE ration

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