July 19th, 2011
07:32 PM ET

Soldiers becoming the Martha Stewarts of the warzone

Army Special Operations Forces are some of the toughest guys you will find out there on the front lines. But now are they turning into the Martha Stewarts of the warzone?

The US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) at Fort Bragg is getting into the business of cooking and we don't mean the latest offerings on the chow line. The folks at Fort Bragg have put out a notice they are looking for someone to teach a course called "Afghanistan Cooking Techniques" to the troops before they deploy.

"We would like for our operators to understand fully the effort and proper techniques involved in preparing an Afghan meal," Master Sgt. Eric Hendrix, a USASOC spokesman told CNN.

So Ft. Bragg wants a contractor to run a three day course including "how to select, slaughter and process animals indigenous to areas of Afghanistan; the 'Halal' method of slaughter; processing and curing meats and vegetables; curing animal hides; and the preparation of an authentic Afghan meal cooked in the style and presentation that would be expected by local village elders," according to Army documents.

"We recognize that the simple act of helping to prepare and share meals with local villagers is a vital part of relationship-building," Hendrix said. The course will include identifying meat cuts from cattle, swine, goat and poultry. It will also teach preserving meats, vegetables, animal hides and cooked items.

But in Afghanistan there are few fancy ovens and cooking ranges. So troops will have to learn how to cook using local equipment such as cooking over fires and using stone ovens.

They will also be taught Afghan meal presentation techniques including cutting, grinding, and curing meat portions as well preparing bread from raw wheat kernels.

But why swine preparation in an Islamic country? " The preparation of swine is included since there are areas of Afghanistan where they are found, and not all Afghans are Muslims," says Hendrix.

It's often said an Army "moves on its stomach"-a cheeky reference to how important good food is to soldiers. The Army thinks maybe a good home cooked Afghan meal may help win the war. "Our genuine interest in the local Afghan culture fosters a huge amount of trust and good faith – and further strengthens the credibility of our operators in the eyes of the local populace.

Just wait until you taste the Master Sergeants first effort at cooking "naan' the always delicious warm Afghan flatbread.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Tpaw

    "It's often said an Army "moves on its stomach"-a cheeky reference to how important good food is to soldiers."

    Ummm....No. The phrase, "an army moves on its stomach", comes from the overall viewpoint that an army needs supplies (food, in this instance) in order to continue its mission. Is there an editor out there anywhere at CNN?

    August 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  2. SoundOfForest

    Creativity is God's generous gift to mankind. Let your compassion and creativity shine everywhere especially in the barren darkness.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Reply

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