How To Eat Everything, According To The Army’s Retro Survival Guide

Jared Keller Avatar

There are few foodstuffs more American than the good old-fashioned MRE, that bland, tasteless swill meticulously engineered by the eggheads at the Natick Soldier Systems Center to keep soldiers fit, fed, and ready to perforate ass downrange. But some 45 years ago, the Army felt a wee bit concerned that combat troops probably didn’t have a lot of free space in their brainpans for eating intelligently, after being trained for complicated functions like killing, marching, and standing by.

Luckily, this is the U.S. armed forces, so there’s a field guide for everything — including an Army guide to long-term survival rations, which recently surfaced among a cache of documents from the CIA archives going back a half-century and released through the Freedom of Information Act. And as far as bland military jargon goes, BOY what a hoot it is!

Shall we take a gander at the menu?

How to eat cereal

U.S. Army/Muckrock via FOIA

How to eat meat — and meat spread!

U.S. Army/Muckrock via FOIA

How to eat… peas?

U.S. Army/Muckrock via FOIA

No instructions necessary for the “interdental stimulator” (read: Bazooka Joe chewing gum)

U.S. Army/Muckrock via FOIA

And finally, how to eat candy:

U.S. Army/Muckrock via FOIA

That last one will sound familiar to POGs.

Read the entire guide here: