Ask any soldier about the most essential part of their MRE, and I guarantee most of them will say either the hot sauce or the instant coffee. And during World War I, the reply would likely be the same minus the hot sauce.
Coffee, now the industrial world’s caffeinated drink of choice, is as much a foolproof way to get a jolt of energy today as it was a hundred years ago. But few people realize that World War I played a major role in establishing the market for a new kind of java for troops on the march: instant coffee.
According to NPR, an American Anglo-Belgian inventor named George Washington first successfully mass-produced instant coffee and established the G. Washington Coffee Refining Company in Brooklyn, New York, in 1910. By June 1917, when America soldiers deployed to the European theater, the Army started buying up instant coffee as fast as it could be produced.
Instant coffee was perfect for the trenches during World War I, water soluble and less likely to give a soldier heartburn than a traditional brew. E.F. Holbrook, head of the coffee branch of the Subsistence Department the U.S. War Department, found that the use of mustard gas eliminated the ability to make regular coffee, according to NPR. Only instant coffee could survive the horrors of war.
Plus, instant coffee was great for morale. The warm, rejuvenating beverage provided a sense of home and comfort to the soldiers — they consumed it just at much at home when the war was over.
“The 2,000,000 American soldiers who went overseas and there had their coffee three times a day, learned to have a keener appreciation of coffee's benefits,” wrote William Ukers in The Tea and Coffee Trade Journal in 1920, “and since returning to civilian life are using it more than ever before.”
As a result, G. Washington Coffee Refining Company continued selling its instant coffee to American veterans for nearly two decades after the war until the Swiss company Nestlé invented Nescafe and displaced the American company as the instant brew of choice
But the soldier’s love affair with coffee continued well beyond the next World War as a permanent fixture of contemporary military culture. According to coffee historian Mark Pendergrast, "the American soldier became so closely identified with his coffee that G.I. Joe gave his name to the brew.”
Army Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre, who served during World War II with the famed Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division depicted in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers,' was laid to rest on June 15th, the Army announced
Mampre, who died on May 31 at 97 years old, was the last living medic from Easy Company, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A number of soldiers assigned to his unit provided an honor guard for his funeral service.
NIEUWEGEIN, Netherlands (Reuters) - Three Russians and a Ukrainian will face murder charges for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine which killed 298 people, in a trial to start in the Netherlands next March, an investigation team said on Wednesday.
The suspects are likely to be tried in absentia, however, as the Netherlands has said Russia has not cooperated with the investigation and is not expected to hand anyone over.
"These suspects are seen to have played an important role in the death of 298 innocent civilians", said Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke.
"Although they did not push the button themselves, we suspect them of close cooperation to get the (missile launcher) where it was, with the aim to shoot down an airplane."
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."