Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Coffee Was So Important To The Army That GI Joe Gave It His Name
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.”
And that’s why we call it a cup of “Joe.”
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.