Topic: Army Rations
Food is Vital
US War Department Pamphlet 35-3, WAC Life, May 1945
In the Army the needs of the vigorously exercised body become matters of primary urgency and concern. A well-balanced diet is essential to sustained efficiency.
You can count on being provided with an abundance of nourishing foods. All means are carefully planned to provide a diet with all the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates necessary to keep you in good physical condition.
If you eat a little of everything that is placed before you, you will not suffer from "hidden hunger." Don't take a finicky dislike to unfamiliar foods. You need stamina to see you through your job.
In the Army, "mess" means a meal, or in broader terms, all meals.
"Ration" was originally defined as the money value of a person's food for 1 day. Today it has come to mean the allowance of actual food for one person for 1 day. When money is paid in lieu of rations it is spoken of as a "ration allowance"
"Garrison rations" are the food issued to troops in camps and stations in peacetime.
"Field Ration A" is the wartime equivalent of the garrison ration. It includes perishable items such as fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables. It represents the healthiest, best-balanced three square meals possible. It is served in mess halls in the United States.
"Field Ration B" is the ration normally issued for troops overseas. In nutritive content it approximately equals Field Ration A, but does not include any foods which require refrigeration or which cannot be stored and shipped. Most of the foods are canned or dehydrated. When properly cooked, this ration provides palatable, filling, and nourishing meals.
There are various, other field rations intended for specific situations, and others are being introduced, tested, and considered. The ones you may hear mentioned frequently are the following:
"Field Ration C" is composed of canned foods issued to individuals when it is not practical for a unit to carry bulk supplies.
"Field Ration D" consists of very highly concentrated chocolate bars for use by individuals in emergencies.
"Field Ration K" consists of paraffin-coated boxes of foods for use by individuals in combat situations.
The Army also provides specialized rations for life boats, for stranded pilots and parachutists, etc. For a description of types of rations, see AR 30-2210.