U.S. cutting back on hot chow for troops
June 21st, 2013
06:30 AM ET

U.S. cutting back on hot chow for troops

By Barbara Starr

Napoleon Bonaparte is credited with the battlefield adage: "An Army moves on its stomach." That, of course, means there's nothing like good chow.

For the thousands of U.S. troops who will fight in Afghanistan for another 17 months, it is not just the quality of the food they have to consider. Now there will be a bit less of it.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan for years have been fed four hot meals a day, including what is fondly known as "mid-rats" or midnight rations.

That is a meal for troops headed back and forth from the field or pulling a midnight shift on base.

Those meals are served in cafeteria-style dining halls - sometimes little more than a tent - where troops can select items from a buffet.

But as the United States winds down its combat operations in Afghanistan, so, too, will it wind down its food operations.

The Defense Department is cutting back to two hot meals a day, most likely just lunch and dinner.

The reason: the Pentagon is trying to scale down the number of contractors needed to cook and serve meals and run dining areas.

Its all about getting ready to pull troops, equipment and everything else that supports the war.

"We will significantly reduce contractor and supply chain requirements," said David Lakin, a spokesman for U.S. Force in Afghanistan, in an e-mail exchange with CNN.

Commanders insist, however, that the troops will not go hungry.

Packaged foods will be available. But breakfast and the midnight meal will now be mainly "meals ready to eat." Those are the bagged rations known as "MRE's."

Large-quantity rations packages, which feed multiple troops at one time, also will be available.

The military believes "most soldiers don't consume the midnight meal and breakfast is also a low attendance event.

Putting the two hot meals together through lunch and dinner also allows for removal of an entire dining facility shift, Lakin said.

This will put troops in the position of eating rations for at least 17 months until the United States ends its combat presence.

Individual commanders will have the flexibility to make some changes in the meal plan. But in the meantime, what are the very top senior military officials eating, especially those from NATO, which does not fall under Pentagon rules?

Well a letter is being drafted to NATO headquarters asking them to go along with the same plan, and that means Gen. Joseph Dunford, the four-star Marine who runs Afghanistan operations, may soon find himself ripping open a ration bag just like everyone else.

soundoff (2,296 Responses)
  1. Scott

    Typical of the military. Treat the men and women like pieces of meat to be used as the filthy politicians see fit. Seems that that hasn't changed one bit since I was in.

    PR2 USN 1974-1979

    June 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply
    • Sammy z

      Actually......that is pretty typical.

      June 22, 2013 at 12:35 am | Reply
  2. Ramis

    There is always DOG food. Maybe even special treat CAT Food.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  3. ygbfsm

    I wasn't always partial to hot powdered eggs on cold toast... but can attest it grows on you. Cold powdered eggs on cold toast does sound rather exotic though.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • wizard2399

      When I was attacked to a ROK company for 6 months in '69 on a hilltop in Nam we ate C-Rats, Rice, kimshee, and bacon for 6 months for every meal and it didn't hurt me none. Today's soldiers are a little spoiled I think.

      June 21, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
      • wizard2399

        attached, not attacked

        June 21, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  4. Tim

    Paul Dean needs a cooking job.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • Budman

      Not right, But funny as hell

      June 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  5. BO

    While Obama spends 100 MILLION on his 18th luxury vacation.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      Standby for the BoBo lovers to call you a racist.


      June 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Reply
      • Fred

        No Scotty,

        I call you a racist. Bo never mentioned anything about race. Just whined about somebody blowing his own personal money on his b-day. People like you (POS) always has to bring race into the conversation.

        Yes you are POS.


        June 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
      • am1882

        Fred, stop being such a racist!

        June 21, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
      • Sammy z

        He's spending his own money???

        Why do you guys hate "Job Creators?"

        June 22, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • BobJ

      Your statement shows you are clueless; it doesn't indicate whether you are a racist.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      Exactly. Obama should forgo a few trips and save $72 gazillion.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Damia Savon

      Obviously you are incapable of reading otherwise you would know it is Obama's first official STATE visit to Africa and not a personal vacation. Only crackpot conservatives can possibly confuse a state visit with a vacation.

      June 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  6. KK

    What's wrong with providing 2 hot meals instead of 4? I think a soldier should not be treated like a prince. They will have enough to sustain them and keep them fit/healthy/sharp, not turn them into your average fat-ass soft American pounding 4 giant meals a day and wondering why they are sluggish.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      Ah, so you didn't have the balls to enlist, eh KK?


      June 21, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Reply
    • Erik

      Being a Marine and working the night crew. This is ridiculous. That is the only meal a night crew really gets. There are numerous other ways they could cut spending. How about getting rid of civilian MPs. They're not needed and take away spots for an entire MOS.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • Haha

      Yeah, we got some nerve feeding the people that defend our country and fight every day. Who do they think they are all eating like princes? Man those meals they feed the soldiers in the battlefield are fit for a king! Man, next thing you know they are going to be wanting to sleep, under covers no less!

      June 21, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • Bruce L.

      You sir, are an idiot. Why don't you try having an 80 pound pack on your back and walk around in the desert for a while. Yea, we treat them like princes.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • J

      The least the government can do is provide at least THREE hot meals for these overseas soldiers. They voluntarily join the military, don't get paid nearly what they should get paid, risk their lives, miss out on their family, etc. and do all of that to defend your freedom to be an @ s s on the Internet.

      June 21, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Reply
    • Deployed

      No one is saying they eat all 4 meals a day but the people that work night shift now have no meal durring their shift and no one has breakfast... if they really wanted to cut back on money they could do it a million other ways then taking away food. It's not that hard to look around Afghanistan and see the ammount of fraud waste and abuse that goes on every day. Like the thousands of connex containers that sit empty or full of trash that we pay a monthly fee for because Instead of buying them we rent them.

      June 22, 2013 at 2:43 am | Reply
  7. Gramma Barker

    If I hear about one more thing that we are cutting back on with regards to our military, I am going to scream!!! What is wrong with this government. It is a praise and take away policy. I guess they think the praise will help soften the blow of what they are going to take away. Possibly giving up their lives should be more than enough. Leave their amenities and benefits alone!!!

    June 21, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  8. DLW

    If available, I 'd rather they give me bagels or Croisants from the commissary than MRE's for breakfast.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  9. Sherry Daida

    My son has orders to go there later this year (Field Medic) and they already take out $350 a month from his pay for food on base. Now they want to take this away from our soldiers also? These soldiers not only deserve but need those meals to keep their body and minds strong to protect themselves and our freedom.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • jeffrey fojtik

      You're so right Sherry. But your story will never be heard. God bless your son. He will come home safe. He's an American hero.

      June 22, 2013 at 1:18 am | Reply
  10. Jayson

    Obama gave Africa $100 million and we are cutting back on hot meals to the troops. Obama needs to be impeached.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  11. cebundy

    Yet another way to screw over our soldiers. I'm sure that their job hasn't changed any, now they just know get palatable food. Thanks for your service!

    June 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  12. Dave

    Ah. No! Feed our troops very well. They are serving far from home and under fire. Give them real good food on demand. Save $ in D.C. To cover the difference. If POTUS and congress eat an MRE once a day then maybe this is not the dumbest idea of the year

    June 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  13. Jason Glugla

    It is damn disgusting that our troops are being fed by for profit contractors who have no skin in the game to start with.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • In Afghanistan

      What you seem to forget is, the Military hired contractors to perform certain services so additional Soldiers would not have to be brought in. Also, contractors have lost thier lives in rocket attacks, insider attacks, complex attacks.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
      • Jason Glugla

        Yes, I know it is all done for the good of the troops rather than profit.

        June 21, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  14. kamarasune

    Mean while the political elite enjoy $15 dollar cupcakes and lobster meals.....

    June 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  15. pmmmarion

    "An Army moves on it's stomach..." "That, of course, means there's nothing like good chow." That is NOT what it means... It means that you have to provide sustenance to the Army. Weather it is good or not is immaterial. As long as the army is fed it will do the job that it is trained for..

    June 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
    • ironwolf56

      Actually in modern logistics it's known that it's not just enough to provide the basics; things like tasty food, things to do in their off-time and so on keep morale high. High morale is KEY to an effective fighting force. So while the interpretation of the old adage wasn't really accurate, the follow-up statement was legitimate in its own right.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
      • pmmmarion

        I am totally tired of people whining about how tough they have it. Civil War vets had it though (hardtack), WWI vets had it less hard, WWII even less, Korea and Vietnam even less. Quit yer whining and do you J O B!

        June 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  16. Dale Blackstock

    I am having a hard time believing that it takes 17 months to get the food discontinued. I mean, it shouldn't take long to tear the equipment down and get it packed up and shipped out. I don't like this at all.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      You have to start somewhere. If you can replace food service with boxes of MRE's, it's a start. I'm sure the Marines and Soldiers that were in Afghanistan in the beginning would love to have heard that they were getting two hot meals a day. I know I was happy whenever we went from three MRE's a day to two hot meals, and ultimately four meals being served.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • Margaret

      An army is supposed to be trained to move quickly. Setting up and tearing down those place, moving stuff out should not be a problem. Seems to me it is another money saving opportunity for the pentagon so the big bosses can keep their perks.

      June 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  17. ironwolf56

    Bagged meals are actually usually referring to something different; a bag of food, what we called a "bag nasty." And yes given most of the food brought to you in the field or to go, as others have said I'd prefer to eat an MRE over those. Chow hall food is hit or miss (ranging from meh to surprisingly good depending on what base and which chow hall).

    June 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  18. Conner

    I always used to actually like the MRE's back when i served. Some of the menus aren't bad at all.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Reply
    • ironwolf56

      As long as it's not the "Four Fingers of Death." I wonder how many people will understand that reference?

      June 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Reply
      • pmmmarion

        Dude! Have you ever had ham an MFs. How about beans in tomato sauce? Beef slices with potato's? These were all c rations.. you lived on them sometimes for weeks at a time. Quit yer whining!

        June 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
      • Dan

        Do you mean the frankfurters and BBQ sauce, that was one of my favorites. The one I hated the most was omlet with ham, but there was always someone that was willing to trade. Most of the time there was something good in each one, and getting three a day, I was usually able to put them together to make two decent meals and a snack.

        June 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  19. Blake

    Let me get this strait you are cutting our soldiers meals?! Oh but we can feed the peoole we imprison 3 hot meats a day. If I have any say were I want my tax dollars going it is to feed our troops. Wow uncle sam this really hurts!

    June 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
    • bob

      How about just get Halliburton the hell out of there and go back to military personnel taking care of the food, the fuel delivery, construction, housing, etc and save a few BILLION dollars.
      Better yet, bring them ALL home now.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Reply
    • Frank Uckerman

      Did you not read the article? They are cutting the HOT meal at breakfast and midnight, which they say aren't heavily used. Food will still be available, just not HOT meals. Please, READ MORE CAREFULLY!

      June 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply
      • michael

        You are dumb. I'm not even going to explain why.

        June 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  20. Machivelli

    Okay, so what happened to the concept of healthy body, healthy mind?

    June 21, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Reply
    • stingisthetruth

      Obama is a fan of neither healthy body or healthy mind. I voted for the lying jerk the first time around, and figured it out about the time of the Gates incident. He has no interest in honesty. He wants the American people to be dependent, because dependents vote for more gubment cheeze.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
      • bob

        Wow, off your meds again?

        June 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
      • HWB

        Bob are you that drunk on koolaid or just come out of the hole? Everyone except you, even Obama admitts that he wants the people dependent on the US government. Democrats would not exist otherwise.

        June 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Frank Uckerman

      Whatever happened to the concept of reading something with the purpose of actually comprehending what you are reading? You make it sound as if they said they are cutting all meals. They said they are cutting HOT meals at breakfast and midnight., and that these services weren't heavily used to begin with. Food will still be available. What do you not understand about this?

      June 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      Most people don't eat the healthy options in the chow line anyway.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  21. JustWho

    .. is the idiot pushing this nonsense?

    June 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • Frank Uckerman

      If by :idiot: you mean "JustWho," then you would have to answer that question. I would suggest you carefully read the article, though, as your anger seems to be both misplaced and illogical given what was actually said in the article.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  22. LookingForWork

    Maybe the military could hiring Paula Deen to do the cooking. She's available starting next month....

    June 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  23. Steve S

    I doubt too many officers in the Pentagon are eating Corn Dogs, so that the troops in harms way can eat better?

    June 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  24. peteywheatstra

    I think this is wrong. Just like some people said before me, its a DAMM shame that they would even think about this. While the troops are out there risking their life, those in charge are eating a full course meal, several times a day. They spend money on BS but dont want to feed the troops right. To the troops, and any one who has ever been in the service, really everyone, everywhere, I try to say prayers daily and make sure I cover everybody, please be safe and take care. God Bless each one of yall. Keep your head up and get home safe.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  25. tim

    You gotta be kidding me!!! We give hundreds of millions if not billions to Afghanistan but can't feed our troops? Let those rug traders fend for themselves and take care of our own. Who cares what a 10th Century believing country does! Maybe we should carpet bomb them and put them out of their misery! Karzai should be brought up on corruption charges and hanged in public!! America should be ashamed of itself!!! Not sure our political leaders understand us as Americans!!

    June 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  26. wendy

    are you kidding me. Feed our troops That is not the thing to cut on the budget. Maybe bases should stop remodeling there gate areas every few months, like Peterson AFB. That should be plenty of money to feed our troops. arrgghhhh Ths is horrible.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  27. Caleb

    Are you serious? You already put there lives in danger and pay them poorly for what they do. These guys deserve more than 4 hot meals.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • Flossy

      you are missing the point. They are scaling back to get ready to LEAVE THE AREA.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
      • Whattt????

        No, you don't seem to get the point. These people are putting their lives in danger on a daily basis, while their commander in chief is planning a family trip to Africa to the tune of 60 to 100 million dollars. I think he could not take his vacation and feed our troops instead.

        June 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
      • Damia Savon

        @Whattt!!! (sorry Flossy but I can't reply directly)

        You do get the concept of drawing down right? When you do, you reduce the number of personnel in the area. That is what they are doing.

        It is not being done because the military is lacking money. It is not being done just to save money. It is standard procedure. I fail to see why this is so hard for some people to understand. I guess you just hate Obama too much to think rationally.

        June 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  28. StormySyndrome

    Only in America do we value prisoners higher than our military personnel. When they start taking food from prisoners, i wont be so upset about our military not getting a minimum of 3 hots. In the end though, the military isn't really making out all that bad. Tax free for the full month if anywhere in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Djibouti Africa. They then get hostile fire pay on top of it all. W

    June 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Reply
    • StormySyndrome

      While they may not have the greatest food from now until completion, they'll have plenty of dough when they come back for a years worth of cookouts.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • God Bless America

      Stormy: I was with you 100% on the first sentence then you went downhill from there!

      June 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Reply
      • StormySyndrome

        I tend to do that sometimes. I'm giving those who will have less food something to at least look forward to when they come back. Wasn't intending it to be read in a negative manner.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  29. Grammy


    June 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  30. David

    Oh wah! They are still going to be fed, suck it up soldier boy and eat it or starve. Everybody always whining about every little thing. 12 years and nothing has been accomplished except taking out OBL, your lucky you get any food.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      This is obviously coming from someone who never put the uniform on or had a bag nasty to eat.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • Juan59245

      Try reading the article. No one is complaining, whining or ???, take your own whining and issues elsewhere.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • StormySyndrome

      Awww what's the matter David??? Couldn't pass the ASVAB and got turned down by all services?? Your grudge really shows 🙂

      June 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • QA

      I want to see you eat 5 dried paks of pairs and drink 8 oz of water dumb dude and see if you get your stomach pumped

      June 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
      • QA

        I turned to goat in the gulf war and that was heaven!!!!! If you can handle MRE~s for one month go for it. You will crap a turd and feel like you gave birth dumb Bunny

        June 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
      • QA

        Im a farm boy and knew how to field butcher cattle and pigs didn't know an darn things about goats. but it was great!

        June 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Dave

      Got the reaction you wanted pin head? What are you like 12?

      June 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  31. hank

    meals on wheels and a taco trucks...stopping by instead of the mre' s food truck......contracts make money on the side

    June 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  32. VRage

    When are you people gonna get it. King B Hussein Obama hates America and the military that defends her. He will do anything to cut moral but I bet he won't do the same thing to prisoners who are dregs of society. Bet he will readily give 3 hots and a cot to ILLEGAL INVADERS sucking our social resources dry without contributing anything. A Revolution is brewing.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Reply
    • jake

      you really think that the president had anything to do with this decision? those kind of things are solely at the discretion of the theater commanders. here are some more facts:

      1. you have never been in the military.
      2. you are a faux news troll.
      3. you probably think that rush limbaugh is intelligent

      time for you to slide on down to the other end of your single-wide, pop open another pbr and turn on judge judy.......

      June 21, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply
      • massoud

        Lick boots sheep boy

        June 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • jake

      p.s. I can't wait for all of you teabillies to try a "revolution." your fat a s s wont last 10 minutes against the u.s. military......

      June 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • Jay

      You know nothing, foolish silly man.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • Ross

      Few men ever get anywhere with their causes by slagging off others- and I think theres enough virtue in the idea of those who serve eating quality meals so that you needn't come a long and bash "illegal" immigrants in a world where all the boundries are man-made and in a country in which you might have been born in but to which, like the kudzu here in Georgia, you are not native.
      Have a great day.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  33. hank

    so when the pentagon generals and cilivilions eat "steak and lobster" at thier reastrants they sure think of the men and woman in the field eating very cold and tastless food ! they say "let them eat cake" ! so the men and woman dont come first ?

    June 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      How about eliminating the $1600 toilet seats?

      June 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
    • Edwin

      I had steak and lobster... once. It was a long time ago, and it won't be happening again soon. From what I read in the article, troops get FOUR meals a day, and I'd bet they eat better than me.

      Just to be clear: I am not complaining. But this is a standard action, to cut back on the use of contractors as operations wind down. It happened at the end of the last war and the one before it. Why is it even news?

      Notice that troops will still get four meals a day, but two of them will no longer be cooked by others.

      What is really ironic s the near certainty that, if the decision had been to keep paying the contractors, the exact same people would be complaining how much the government wastes.

      June 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  34. Sean

    I was in Iraq in 2004, and drove around for days on end. Breakfast and Mid-Rats were the two most important meals of the day for us because we were outside the wire every damn day during lunch and dinner. There will be people eating nothing but MREs and they're gonna lose their minds over there with this.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • David

      You lived didn't you?

      June 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
      • Erik Nielsen

        Hey David, what's your address and phone number?

        June 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
      • ^

        Assh0le. Have a little respect for someome that was over there risking their life for your miserable butt.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
      • Jennifer

        they served breakfast during his time ya jerk

        June 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
      • Joanna

        Your disrespect is disgraceful . Why don't you just shut up. Until you have walked in the shoes of these brave men and women you have no right to judge .

        June 21, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • Prefer not to say

        He also didn't eat MREs everyday which are not good for you to eat that often

        June 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
      • David

        Nobody is risking their life for me, bunch of idiots joining the military then cry all the damn time, no of them morons are heroes, just there for the paychecks.

        June 21, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  35. Jon

    Another sad chapter in our governments stance on supporting the warfighter. That said, Jimmy Deans will probably be the food of choice at the larger bases, the smaller ones; well...as they say embrace the suck. I got that the big leaders want to reduce spending costs, how about they stop building million dollar barracks on a base that won't be ours in the next two months, that might save a few joes a hot meal. There are so many other more cost effective ways of doing this. And congress wonders why their approval rating is below 20 percent...consistently. But wait, tomorrow we will be unveiling a new project in Senator X's homestate for X billion dollars...of which he will get a 10 percent kickback...

    June 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  36. cpc65

    Cap'n Crunch for breakfast now and an untoasted Pop-tart.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Reply
    • beatstockpromotersdotcom

      Why the hell did they need 4 hot meals a day?

      June 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
      • Retrac

        Just think of the amount of calories a Soldier burns up during the day. It is not like us citizens. I feel they need these meals

        June 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
      • Jacob

        Because they climb mountains, run, and engage enemies thats why. It takes a lot to do such things.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
      • David

        Everybody thinks they are always doing some kind of amazing military junk, two meals with MREs is more then enough, tired of this whining.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
      • Michael

        Cause there are troops who work the midnight shift and that forth meal would be there lunch time.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
      • SomeChemo

        A soldier doesn't eat 4 meals a day. There are 4 meals a day SCHEDULED, because otherwise if you were the unlucky one to be working at night, you'd never get a proper hot meal.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
      • Jhill

        Four meals per day are served to help keep up with the high caloric burn from patrols in the mountains and missions the soldiers run, yes, but also to give soldiers who are out on patrol 12+ hours a chance to catch a meal as they are likely to miss a few during their daily missions. A lot of the soldiers also work the "graveyard" shift and the mid-rats provides them the opportunity to get all of their meals. Mid-rats is often the only meal available to some of the soldiers due to the harsh schedules.

        This change sucks, but our service members will tough it out. It is what they do best- get thrown into a crappy situation and adjust to the conditions to thrive and get their mission done. Man, that's corny...

        June 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  37. don

    eat a fur burger they are just as good as hot food.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  38. Sarasota Deb

    When I first read the headlines, I had to re-read it. It made me want to throw up. Cutting back on hot meals? Whoever came up with this idea – SHAME ON YOU. These men and women are out there fighting for us. I would gladly give up my hot meals for them, wouldn't you? For all of you that are fighting for us, I hope each and everyone of you has an angel looking out for you. Stay safe.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  39. SH

    People in prison are receiving more hot meals a day. Ridiculous!!!

    June 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • Keith T. Maxwell

      Agreed..... Thats completely F'ed up!

      June 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
    • Bob in Idaho

      When I was in prison, I would purposely get placed in solitary. Got room service meals and my own room. Pretty good chow too.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  40. Deployed 2

    Ultimately the job is going to get done. No matter how much it sucks not to have a hot meal...this is what we are trained for..we will find a way to make due and if need be, we will ENDURE. but that is not the issue here. The real problem is that if nothing is done to fix the way our Gov manages it's money, then this is just the begining of our problems. The cuts will just keep coming. #not complaining#just concerned

    June 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • jake

      how about getting the pentagon and their lap-dog congressmen and senators to put more towards troop support and less toward multi-billion dollar bomber and fighter plane programs.........

      June 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  41. off we go

    What's all the hubbub? I was in the Air Force. We ate whatever the hotel was serving if we were too tired to look for s restaurant elsewhere.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • JulieMS

      You didn't fight in the battle field, you must have had a plush office gig.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Lmao, air force. Thank god for real soldiers like you......

      June 21, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
    • waitamin

      "I was in the Air Force. We ate whatever the hotel was serving"


      UH if you ate in a hotel and stayed at a hotel, you should not be commenting!

      June 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • Jeanne

      Really ? That isn't deployment, that is a friggin boon doggle.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
      • BThorn

        I can assure you that Off We Go's certainly wasn't the typical deployment in the Air Force. Most of us USAF knew we had it good compared to the Army and Marines (heck, that's why we joined then USAF and not the Army), but most of us were definitely not living in hotels downtown. Our bases are/were paradise compared to many of those forward bases of the Army and Marines, but they were not the Kuwait City Hilton.

        June 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • BThorn

      Lucky you! I was USAF and for me it was Tent City with the Mirage Dining Facility in '98 and Tent City with Desert Winds Dining Facility in '04.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  42. r00t4rd3d

    As long as we can keep the NSA budget and keep sending millions of dollars to muslim nations.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  43. winchester74

    John the Bohner is insane. Congress gives billion dollar subsidies to oil companies but they can't afford food for the troops in the field? Whatever happened to all the "support the troops" Republicans ????

    June 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  44. Al Mahany

    This is a disgrace. Our troops deserve the best of everything. I don't hear any calls to cut back on the hot meals served to the terrorists at Guantanamo or to cut back by even one dollar the billions we give away to the people in Pakistan who burn our flag. How about cutting back on them instead.


    June 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • Jeanneboo

      I vote we cut the Congressional dining hall back to the same plan. They get very good SUBSIDIZED meals all the time.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  45. RSaundersPA

    I was a food service officer in the military during Viet Nam and I think this is an outrage. First of all why the H*** do we have contractors doing the food service over there? It can be done better and more reliably by military FS personnel. Secondly, troops going out on patrol need good food in order to function. Hot meals are not a luxury, they are essential.
    I don't blame the current administration for the degrading of food service, it was started by Rumsfeld and the current problem is that no one has moved back to what it was before 2001.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • Sean

      Read "Drift" by Rachel Maddow and your question shall be answered.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  46. RVN 69-70

    In Vietnam we didn't have buffets or contractors from Halliburton. We ate C-rations while we were in the bush, with a few hot meals when we were in the rear and we got by just fine. I don't think they'll let our soldiers starve to death, so grow up and get off the cross.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • winchester74

      You ate sh_t so everyone else has to eat sh_t. Did you ever think that maybe it's not a good idea to eat sh_t ???

      June 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • Goon

      Thank you for your service! Well said, sir.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  47. Mansee Grace

    This is why contractors have no business feeding (or serving in any way for that matter) armed forces. Believe it or not, there was a time when the armed forces actually prepared and served meals using their own people.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • Former Marine

      I remember when I was in we all had to pull mess duty at one point or another and it was other fellow Marines that fed us in the field. We should go back to the time when it was like that. I ate plenty of C-Rats in my day and didn't complain.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  48. FOB Closer

    This is no where near as bad as it sounds.
    As someone who "turned off the lights" on an Iraqi FOB, losing the breakfast and midnight hot meal isn't that big of a deal. Our mess hall was closed (no contractors) over Thanksgiving and we still managed to have turkey and stuffing.
    If the cooks assigned to the units are worth their salt, then they will make sure the mess hall will still be full of "cold" food for Soldiers (cereal, oatmeal, sandwiches, etc.).
    This is a natural progression for standing-down; you have to reduce your footprint, and contractors are a good place to start. No one will be wanting food, and it will save the government a lot of money.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • winchester74

      what a load of hogwash – there's no excuse for failing to provide decent food for soldiers under fire. And "reducing our footprint" is not even an excuse – it's just a pitiful attempt at an excuse.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Reply
      • Robert

        Relax, there willl be plenty of food to eat. People sitting stateside have no clue as to what it take to close a FOB.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  49. J-Man

    I spent 6 years in the Marines and most Americans have no idea how important a hot meal is. MREs are certainly better than the C-Rations of WWII but they still basically suck. I would agree with cutting out the 4th meal of the day and trying to save some $$ on the food items but hot meals are very important to morale.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  50. Mark

    No cut backs should happen on anything unless foreign aid is a part of it.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • Biased123

      If you think foreign aid is a waste then say so. Do not mix issues.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  51. BourneBlogger

    What I'd like to hear more of is that we're cutting out hot meals to troops to the soldiers of OTHER countries!!!

    June 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      This new diet plan won't apply to the obese generals.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  52. M.E.

    I know all the tough military dudes in here are saying MREs are fine and all that, but speaking as a squishy commie pinko lib, I still think the guys and girls in Afghanistan deserve some bacon and tater tots or whatever. Hell, just a bowl of Lucky Charms would do the trick. I know anything falling under the heading of the quartermaster corps tends to go first, but c'mon. At least leave out stuff for a continental breakfast. If cheap hotels can put out bagels, oranges, and coffee, so can the military.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      It's always nice to know that squishy pinko commie libs are supporting our troops, cuz the government they work for sure isn't.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
      • winchester74

        the Republican controlled Congress is responsible for cutting the funds for meals.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Former Marine

      Lucky Charms and bagels aren't "hot meals" and that what the article is all about. Our men and women in the military will still be fed it just won't be hot meals.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Reply
    • Deployed 2

      Well said

      June 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  53. Surferallie

    When i served aboard ship during two recent operations (enduring freedom and Iraqi freedom) midrats wasn't anything to write home about, we were lucky if it was leftovers from lunch or dinner but normally it wasn't. That said, serving on a ship isn't anything like being in the environments that our soldiers, airman, and sailors on the ground deal with. Our troops there really do deserve to have 3-4 hot meals, hot showers and a nice rack to sleep in at the end of a shift. It's horribly sad that our government thinks that taking 2 hot meals away from them is a great way to save money. They must have never served in a war zone.......

    June 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • Michael Smith

      Being in a so-called "war zone" hundreds of miles out to sea DOES NOT= being in combat there sailor girl! Get a dose of humility. You were not a grunt!

      June 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Reply
      • Surferallie

        Okay one before you go spouting off on me, did you not read what I said when I stated: "That said, serving on a ship isn't anything like being in the environments that our soldiers, airman, and sailors on the ground deal with. and two... you don't know if I served a 6 month stint on the ground in Iraq or not so do not insult me for being a sailor or tell me to get a dose of humility. I happen to know what it is like to be on the ground so do not assume I don't. I served my county for 8 years and didn't just sit behind a desk or on a ship "hundreds of miles out to sea."

        June 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
      • yeomanonymous

        You never know, he could have been attacked by Somali pirate. Arrrr!!!

        June 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • Dan


        Did you even read the posters comment? Jeez you MUST be a dumb grunt

        June 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
      • JohnS

        Read the post before replying. It said the same thing you did, so chill out Macho Man!

        June 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
  54. Janet Lawson

    This is shameful. Of all the waste in the military, reducing breakfast for the people on the front line to little more than a Clif Bar is the height of short-shortsightedness. I have a hot breakfast than that every day, and the only thing I'm fighting is the daily grind of corporate bureaucracy.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      Heck, prisoners get 3 hot squares a day but we take away 2 from the military. I would not be surprised if the chemicals in the MREs cause some kind of mental illnesses and so I expect crime rates to soar when the troops return. Maybe that old haggy lady Janet Napoleon was right about our troops being a threat to national security after all.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  55. Derp

    I got an idea. No more Obamaphones and we cut the corporate subsidies to Merck and Mobil etc., and give our troops hot means with that money instead.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Reply
    • J-Man

      That is a great idea. I read yesterday about the USDA wasting millions on booze and vacation housing for the higher-ups. The Federal Government should NEVER pay for booze.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Reply
      • Michael Smith

        if you want to see $21 billion in waste this year alone, consdier these absurd tax free so-called 'housing' allowances that are handed out like candy to the volunteers. Upwards of $2,000-$3,000 a momth for singles and $4,000-$6,000-$8,000 a month when two volunteers marry. And these pseudo welfarte handouts are above and beyong their already very generous salaries.

        Moreover, the vast majoty of volunteers NEVER SAW ORT SEE ONE SECOND OF COMBAT! Most quite literallty sit behind desks for < 40 hrs per week. From a vet.

        June 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • yeomanonymous

        Hi Jackson!

        June 21, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
      • curtigam

        if you want to see $21 billion in waste this year alone, consdier these absurd tax free so-called 'housing' allowances that are handed out like candy to the volunteers. Upwards of $2,000-$3,000 a momth for singles and $4,000-$6,000-$8,000 a month when two volunteers marry. And these pseudo welfarte handouts are above and beyong their already very generous salaries.


        Your remarks are a bit disingenuous, as the rates are based on home-of-record and rank. Are there some that get $3000 a month? Sure, but very few and they live in areas with a high cost of living. The average rate is around $1300. The only married couple that would get close to $8K a month would be 2 married flag ranks (0-7 or above) living in the highest cost of living zip code in the country. I'd be pretty confident in stating that there aren't any service members that meet that criteria.

        June 21, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • steve michalak

      What a dope to call it an Obamaphone. It was a GW Bush program, idiot.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  56. abbydelabbey

    There's an old saying: An army moves on its stomach ...

    Our troops deserve the very best and this is NOT the best our country can do for them ...


    June 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      Prisoners are fed better than our troops but some of our troops are overfed. This is the new weight-loss program for 'em.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • Bill Hannegan

      Sweet Lord, who cares? It's not a spa retreat, it's a combat zone. About the day I hit the ground in Afghanistan I was already counting how many days I had left until I could get out. Get it done, get home, then you can eat at a five star restaurant as much as you want.

      Some people really need to suck it up and deal with it. No one's going to be eating MREs for 17 months like this misleading article says. The max tour length is 9 months. I wish we could send some of the privates nowadays back to Vietnam or WWII in a time machine. That would be the last we heard of their whining.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  57. CG

    They are risking their lives for the country and the government wants to cut down on their food? NO. If the government needs money, why not pay cut everyone in Congress' salary? The folks in Congress don't care about the country or risk their lives. Let them go with one less meal.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Reply
    • abbydelabbey

      I agree. Those fat cats in Washington, DC definitely needs to go on a diet - pay, perks, etc.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Reply
    • Bill Hannegan

      Again, for the gazillionth time, this is not about money. To prepare hot meals you need contracted personnel. Those contracted personnel require quarters, and transport, and flights in and out. They in turn need additional personnel to take care of them medically, and to do their paperwork. You just don't have that type of enormous support infrastructure in place when you're pulling up stakes and leaving. Newsflash – they'll probably have to stop showing movies at the base USO as well. The military is doing the best they can, but do you really think soldiers and Marines were getting 4 hot meals a day when this all started?

      June 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  58. mike

    Quote from above, nice typo CNN.

    Its all about getting ready to pull troops, equipment and everything else that supports the war.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      CNN is always full of typos and also incorrect grammer. LOL!

      June 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  59. pnmpnm

    that's good small amounts of food helps when the hadranlin kicks in as you run down the jehads it,.pnm,.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  60. GRAMMY


    June 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  61. 2112Starman.temple@pbsenv.com

    Don't let any one fool you. My buddies who went to IRAQ clearly stated that most people came back either 40 pounds heavier from fat or muscle. Mainly because you either ate or worked out with all your time. The military buffets were massive and packed full of everything and anything you would ever want. They made a cruise line buffet look like the salad bad in a bad Chinese restaurant. But saying this, I still don't have a problem with it, let them eat!

    June 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Reply
    • ROxen

      Your main problem here is that you started this off by saying "my buddies who went to Iraq" instead of "when I went to Iraq". The problem with crap like this is that you un-informed people think you know a little too much much.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Reply
      • Pete/Ark

        my daughter was there in 2004... her husband in 2008 ... they agree that the pizza was great but the big macs suk'd

        June 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
      • yeomanonymous

        My buddy at snakes and I can prove it, he's got photos. I actually at meals and pretended to be there while I was there.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Retired 1SG

      At the end of my one tour during OIF 1, my soldiers lost an average of 20 pounds over the year we were there.. No 4 hot meals for us. But if it has evolved to that, I support it I doubt anyone on an FOB is getting 4 hots a day.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  62. fredappl

    I went into Nam in Apr of 65, At "C"s for months. The we transitioned to one hot per day. I ate lunch with Martha Raye and was served by Red Cross volunteers that were totally sweat soaked. No complaints from this old Marine, I was eating and there was something to be said for that.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark

      Semper Fi Bubba ... I'm the only jarhead you ever met that liked Ham & M-Fers...

      June 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
      • Chaps

        Old Seabee here. I used to trade my C's for Ham and Limas. very popular, I was .

        June 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • john p.

      when i 1st joined the air force back in the early 80S the box of nastys were not so bad. i had c rations and mre's both were good. food at the chow hall was some of the best food i had. did not have 4 hots a day though.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  63. Christopher Russett

    Seriously, we treat inmates in our county, state and federal prisons better than our military. As a Correctional Officer and military member, I can tell you that if we stopped feeding inmates hot meals; they would mutiny, HURT officers, destroy property and some liberal would take sympathy and sue the government.... WHO IS LOOKING OUT FOR our fellow servicemembers?!!

    June 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Reply
    • abbydelabbey

      Our so called political leaders don't care because it's not their food! The generals are eating well - the state dept, defense dept, etc. are eating well ... Troops come first!!!

      June 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  64. reader10

    Big joke.
    No cutting back money going to Karzai & Co.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  65. Chaz

    The media is making a bigger deal out of this than it ought to be. We gotta move the crap out. MREs aren't amazing, but they're not the end of the world. CNN, quit trying to make Soldiers look weak, please? Your heart may be in the right place, but we really don't need the looking after.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • M.E.

      You may not think you need looking after, but it's still unplesant. Yes, things have to be cut back as operations wind down and obviously food is part of that, but it's still a bit sad to think some random 22 year old guy or girl stuck in a harsh place can't even have a couple scrambled eggs and a piece of toast in the morning. Say what you will about the war, it doesn't matter in this case. I don't like the war at all but I think the men and women out there should at least have access to some hash browns when not out in the field.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Reply
      • Khacterina

        Quit sissifying the military. If your worried about it send a care package, don't just sit behind your computer and tell us how outraged you are. Actually do something yo make the soldiers life better. Our government has certain standards and anything they give our boys above it is a privilege. Our county has turned from a nation of doers to a nation of whiners.

        June 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  66. Shaun

    As we move into the 21st century the need for troops will undoubtedly shrink. The military can scale back on hot meals when they have fewer mouths to feed We're not there right now. We need to take care of our troops because they put their lives on the line everyday for us. It's not like this conversation is the slightest bit abstract; we're still at war in Afghanistan. We encounter threats every day, and we will for a long time. These brave men and women volunteer their lives, their bodies and their sanity for us. This is an issue that should remain apolitical. FEED THE TROOPS!

    June 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  67. Former Marine

    The reason the meals are being cut is because we are in the process of leaving. The cuts have to start somewhere and it's not like they aren't being fed. When I was in I knew that I might not get a hot meal because I was a Marine and that is what I signed up for. The military is 100% voluntary and no one is being drafted. When you are pulling out the first people that go are the support personnel which the chow hall is support.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark

      Semper Fi ...compared to my day , the will STILL eat better than we did in the zone ...

      June 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  68. joel

    that sux food rulz

    June 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  69. Pete/Ark

    Compared to I-Corps in VietNam in '69 this new plan sounds like a 4-star eatery

    June 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • GaryOwen27

      What was your favorite C-RAT?

      June 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
      • Pete/Ark

        Actually Ham & M-Fers ... if I had enuf real Tabasco

        June 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
      • Pete/Ark

        HEY !!! I remember you Cav....

        June 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • MiKe

        Canned Peaches !! And maybe the pound cake.

        June 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • Steve

        John Wayne bars!

        June 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
      • Pete/Ark

        Never eat the peanut butter ... clog you up for a week...

        June 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Shoot, even the MREs are 4 star when compared to our C-rats.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Reply
      • Pete/Ark

        Don't tell th' kids about th' free cigarettes...

        June 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
      • bobcat2u

        Mums the word

        June 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  70. Dick Gozinyia

    Thanks, Barack!

    June 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • joel

      like obama decides this stuff alone.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • db

      Your comment is "clueless".

      June 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
    • Grainte

      Yes, Dick. You are clueless. Do you really think (I know you don't) ...have you really been told that the President writes the menus for our troops.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • GaryOwen27

      Remind us all again, what morons invaded this hole anyway? How about that Iraq disaster...what genius was responsible for that?

      June 21, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • Rod Patton

      How is this Barack's fault? Dick, you are clueless. Dick, I doubt if you could pour urine out of a combat boot if the instructions were written on the heel. I am glad to see your mom figured out early on the you are truly a Dick. Glad to see you live up to your name, DICK.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      Dick (which you seem to be) you obviously one of those types who never had the guts to even "think" about serving. So why don't you just stay on your mamas computer and be all you wanna be while hile hiding in your basement. There's grown ups talking here and we don't have time for your juvenile BS.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • CB

      Dick, look in the mirror if you want to see clueless

      June 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  71. Disgruntled Vet

    The troops should not be cut back any thing. How about we cut that federal aid to other countries first.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • Grainte

      So Haliburton (Cheney's boys) will lose a little money. Cry me a big !#@$!@# river!

      June 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • nonsense

      The infamous they are saving money on contractors that had no business being in these combat zones from day one. We are more than capable of supporting our own chow halls, cut down on contracters not food. We have our own cooks for Pete's sake. And fyi mre's are anywhere from 1500 to 1800 calories....soldiers eat, gain weight...then are flagged and removed from the armed forces bc of weight issue's. I get that it's a reduction plan but hot chow shouldn't be anywhere close to the top of the list.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  72. Eugene

    Why can't the troops coming in waiting to join a unit and the ones waiting to leave cook a hot breakfast. In the Navy we called it service week.. Lite cooking would not be hard.. Out troops deserve better.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  73. Maria

    Note that it's CONTRACTORS that are feeding the troops... it used to be that our military was self-sustaining until someone found out, "Hey, there's money to be made." So now everything from security to food to shipping is contracted out.

    Want to fix the problem? Boot out the contractors. Turn everything back over to the military members like it used to be.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark


      June 21, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
    • IraqVet

      The contractors that served us in Iraq were great! Much better than an army mess section!

      June 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • rosethornne

      Don't you realize that Darth Cheney's heart is powered by the pieces of souls that Halliburton collects in other countries where nobody is watching?

      If there were no more contractors to suck out souls, then the poor Evil Overlord might shrivel and fade...

      June 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • Former Marine

      I agree 110%

      June 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      In total agreement here.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • CB

      Exactly. But, those contractors are making the people that sent them over on those no bid contracts very rich men.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  74. bergus

    let me get this straight... they're cutting back on the hot meals for the US military? not the hot meals or tv time or internet time or college programs in the US penal system? not the congressional barber or tricare or lavish expense accounts? Not pakistan's foreign aid or afghanistan's foreign aid or iraq's foreign aid? and CERTAINLY, not obama's $100M (each) vacations? good call!!!!

    June 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • Damia Savon

      They are cutting back because of the draw down, not to save money. Tossing a mythical $100 million dollars at the Pentagon won't change things.

      June 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  75. Cee

    Cut all of the perks for the Congress, Judicial and and Executive branches. They can go to the corner eatery rather than the luxury dining rooms. This goes for even the big wigs. No more personal chefs and private dining rooms. They make enough to buy it out "on the economy".

    June 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  76. Brad

    It would be interesting to see cost analysis. The workers are already there and work for slave wages. MREs cost a pretty penny. And are they going to be offered to all the TCN (third country nationals) that work at the dining facilities. On a good not, MREs are all made right here in the USA.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark

      CONTRACTORS at "slave wages" ???? Get an education...

      June 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
      • Pete/Ark

        ( or experience)

        June 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
      • Robert

        He is pretty close to correct on the slave wages. For the most part the worked in the dining facilities who actually serve and cook the meals make around 375-600 USD a month. The supervisors are American/British or from another NATO friendly country and do make more. What clue are you suggesting he get? I managed a base in Western Iraq for over 2 years. I am fairly knowledgable on wages.

        June 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      You say the contractors are working for slave wages ? Listen up dude. If anyone is working for slave wages it is our fighting personnel, considering what we're asking them to do over and over and over. At least back in the day when we still had the draft, our troops were getting a rest. Most troops only served a single one year deployment and we were able to constantly send fresh troops. Now, in our all volunteer forces, the same troops are being sent on a rotating basis. Do you think you could do that, let alone a one year term. It's easy to talk when you haven't walked the walk.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  77. Richard Green

    Why don't we stop hot meals at the White House and the stupid wars that our government gets our troops into? That could be a better solution.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • Cee

      No more parties at the White House as long as our troops in the field are getting MREs. If they want to host guests into the WH, give them the MREs.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  78. Josh Scott

    This Obozo's administration is really stretching things too much.
    70M in bonuses for IRS folks, 100M for his Africa trip,
    4.8M for an IRS party in which 50K was used to construct a Star Trek walkway.
    And now one less hot meal for our troops.

    When will the population wake up to this madness that is going on in our country?

    June 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • dethington

      This happens during a drawdown. Every.single.time. It happened at every single FOB in Iraq as we left, and it's happening in Afghanistan now. And no midnight chow? Tell that to the guys working out at COPs, SFATs and strongpoints, and see how they respond. This is manufactured outrage.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  79. LCS

    Obviously the higher ups are already in their racks and not eating the late meal. I guarantee you that as these soldiers are getting ready to take the late watch or come off the late watch they are hitting up the chow line.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  80. Mike in SA

    How about we put Obama and his world hopping entourage on the same exact plan, including his wife and kids! Now there is a cost cutting measure.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • Gi Joe

      The first family pays for its own food, not the US taxpayers.

      It's a war zone. War zones suck. Suck it up and drive on.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
    • Damia Savon

      Have you ever looked at the travel expenses Bush II racked up? Do you think 1020 days on vacation cost taxpayers nothing?

      June 21, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  81. Thor

    If I had my own army, this is not where I'd cut costs. You're asking these people to die for you. Least you can do is keep them happy at mealtimes.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  82. Mike in SA

    Do this to the little darlings at Gitmo and all holy hell would be breaking loose in the liberal blogs and media. Do it to those who defend us daily? Nary a blip.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
    • Gi Joe

      Do you even understand hat you said?

      CNN is reporting this story, so..... Yeah, it's a blip.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  83. Zimmey

    Unless something has changed since I got out of the Army in 2000, MRE's cost than a meal at a fast food restaurant.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  84. Robert Johnston

    Three hot meals a day for the criminals in our prisons and the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay....but not for our brave troops? WTH is wrong with our country. We spend BILLIONS spying upon our citizens but cut back on food for troops that are actively engaged in war?

    June 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  85. joy mcqueen

    I think they should have 3 hot meals a day,what wrong in this country,they are out fighting for this country,and away from home my grandson is in the army and I worried about him not getting enough to eat

    June 21, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Reply
    • Sam Clark

      Meh, my entire time in Iraq I was never on a base that served these meals except for like 10 days total. It's a luxury not a necessity. Forward deployed Marines will often never see these dining facilities at all, except for incoming and outgoing.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • Daryl

      Multiple deployments to afghanistan, your son has plenty to eat trust me... if you were to see the amount of food that they eat and how out of shape the majority are you wouldnt have a problem with this...

      June 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • dethington

      He'll have MORE than enough to eat. MRE's have more than enough calories for the average person.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • Damia Savon

      No hot meal is not the same as no food.

      June 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  86. Quinton

    I noticed how almost everybody here is bawling their eyes out over how many hot meals these troops get a day, but nobody cares about how many innocent civilians, including children they're killing day after day. We Americans can be the world's biggest crybabies when it comes to losing our own over there, but nobody cares about the untold pain and suffering that they' causing to the local population!

    June 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • Quinton

      Sorry for the misprint above. I meant "they're", not "they' ".

      June 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • General Grammar

        Way to redeem yourself soldier!

        June 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • me

      Yes.....everybody is starving to death in the U.S......if only we had food stamps for the hungry. Oh wait.........

      June 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Reply
      • Portland tony

        Big Joke? Currently there are more than 12,000 military families that qualify for and use "foods stamps".

        June 21, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Liz

      Honey, that's war. You think we're causing untold suffering to the people? Guess what, there was a war already going on when we got there. The Taliban are a bunch of psychotic maniacs and do not treat their people well. This isn't our war to fight, so we're going home – but unlike the Taliban, we've provided hundreds of billions of dollars to these people to improve their lives, their schools, and their chance at overcoming their oppressive warlords.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Reply
    • Modocer

      Let me see if I understand your thinking. Our soldiers are sent to do a nasty job wherein some innocent people get killed, including some children, as is tragically typical in all war settings. So, let's bring this subject up in a discussion of how the soldiers should be fed? I don't see the connection. I guess I can't understand your thinking.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • viaquest

      Yes I care about who they are killing over there! hopefully they kill them ALL!!!..

      June 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  87. thomaswde

    Two counts of poor judgment here:
    1: Focusing budget cuts in a manor that adversely affects boots on the ground is horrible leadership. That goes double when they choose to cut midnight chow when the troops who are running ops often only get to eat midnight chow while the guys who spend all day on FOB get their two meals.
    2: Having this also affect the Gen in charge of Afgan ops is rediculous, everyone knows that officers get better treatment, thats why anyone ever strives to me an officer in the first place. Here's an idea, cut top level vacations from non arena, elected personel a little, AKA Commander In Chief. I bet a hundred million dollars would provide more than a couple midnight chows.

    June 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  88. blindside1984

    This is ridiculous, sure they serve 4 meals a day. But the combat operations people are lucky to get in one meal, and that meal is almost always midnight chow if we make it back to the base in time. The only people who will receive chow now are those who never leave the base, the ones who really could go without it on occasion. All this means is that we will be spending more of our own personal money to find food in sector.

    June 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Cindi

      You are exactly right ! Mt son is in Afghanistan right now, and he says that there is no breakfast, no midnight chow. He says that they go out on a mission, come back, miss lunch and dinner. So their only choices are to eat MREs or buy their own food.

      June 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
      • Quinton

        I feel sorrier for the local population, Cindi. Our servicemen and women have a choice to be in this obnoxious war whereas the people who live over there do not!

        June 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • Cindi

        II feel sorry for you Quinton ! You are extremely ignorant. I know, it's your choice.

        June 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
  89. massoud

    Hey Obama and Mooch are going on a trip to Africa that is projected to cost Tax Payers $ 100 Million is that not more important than feeding our troops in the theater of war in Afghanistan ? The King always comes first before the Peasants.

    June 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @massoud,hows our little Muslim imbecile doin..Find any boots ta lick rag head or camels for girlfriends...And remember its Cheneys Halliburton that's loses money if meals are reduced because they handle ALL LOGISTICS in both wars areas..How's your americanized family massoud doing too ,get their visas fixed yet!!Boy you Americans and their real American names,fooled me imbecile!!

      June 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • viaquest

        From the language used in your post it, would seem like you would be confused by two paper clips and a peice of string.

        June 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
      • massoud

        Petard You maggot good to see You slither back out under from a dung pie. I know You are a tool and a moron who hides in the shadows and appears at night when it is safe to show Your heinous self, keep on licking boots Lil' sheep boy.

        June 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • CB

      Dubya the Dumber went on two trips to Africa one in 2003 and one in 2008 with similar costs. The cost of security is dicated by the Secret Service, not the White House. I am sure you were crapping your pants about those trips too.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • Damia Savon

      The cost *estimate* is 60-100 million and based on previous trips to Africa. Bush II went to Africa 4 or 5 times. Laura went on her own a couple of times as well. Cost estimates are based on those trips.

      Try taking a hard look at the costs Bush racked up with his personal travel before you go on about Obama.

      June 21, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  90. Brian

    This is unreal how come everytime the Goverment wants to save money they hit on the Military!!!! I have been in the Army for 16 years and it is getting old that we always fight to protect the US but when they need to save money they take it from the Military. You have all these House and Congress people that make more money in one year then most Military people make in five, so why dont you cut them and stop giving them such a good retirement after only serving in office one term. We in the military give so much to protect our freedom and get the shaft everytime.

    June 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • Totally agree

      The brave men and women who actually risk life and limb and subject themselves to the absolute worst conditions on this planet should get as much free food as they so desire in my book. The lawmakers wouldn't last 5 minutes in the warzone and your saving their and everyone else's necks out there in battle, it is thoroughly messed up that the system is that bass-akwards.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • Gi Joe

      Put your extra chromosome away, Brian, and stop showing it off. The military has never been funded better. They get far money than they ask for.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
    • Damia Savon

      It is a draw down. It is nothing new. It happened in previous wars. It happened in Iraq. Its been going on for 6 months now.

      June 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  91. Deployed

    We already have some bases doing this... and most of the time that means going hungry for breakfast because no one wants to eat MRE's so you have soldiers and civilians skipping the most important meal of the day because they want to "lower cost" but they can continue to build barracks and other buildings or random wooden decks with benches under trees. You see money just thrown around on useless things but then cut impotant items like food. The things you see here... you can't make this stuff up.

    June 21, 2013 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Deployed 2

      you said it brother. i am in AFGHAN right now on night shift( 9PM-9AM/7Days a week). That means no hot meal is even available to me. heck, the dining tent is not even open for cereal in the mornings. Yet, i go to the junk yard for spare computer parts (since my unit was issued junk) and what do i find.....200...yes i said it..200 Brand New still in the Dell Box laptops getting ready to be destroyed with a mallet. They wouldnt even let me have them because they were"no longer Gov Property". Dont get me started on the barracks issue. they are building new tents when we have 42 tents already up and vacant. ....??? ...i thought we were shifting down.

      June 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  92. Former CPT

    The Army also used to have their full compliment of cooks and field kitchens as well. Not knowing if they are still in use, it was decided to farm out much of the logistics functions to contractors. The troops will adapt and overcome however, I feel that maybe some of the other luxuries could be scaled back instead of chow. Troops deserve to have cooked food whenever possible. Although the Army says a MRE can be a hot meal, from someone who has eaten plenty it's not the same nor good to consume day after day. Leaders need to fight for and take care of their troops. A General eating MRE day on and out, hmmm not too sure about that..they would be a dedicated leader to go that far, and those a few and far between.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:50 am | Reply
    • nonsense

      Absolutely well put Sir!! And right on point.

      June 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  93. Tortland pony

    I have a far better idea here. Why not pull all of out troops out of Afghanistan where they belong? Keeping them there for the next 17 months is mere political manure!

    June 21, 2013 at 8:04 am | Reply
    • Portland tony

      You nailed it, Tortland. How true that is!

      June 21, 2013 at 9:28 am | Reply
  94. SPC E

    hahaha... 4 Star General eating and MRE riiiiggghttt....

    June 21, 2013 at 8:03 am | Reply
    • crashdummy

      no more than once ......

      June 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  95. Kabul Legal Chick

    Actually, I think that the other two meals would include sandwich meats, salads and veggies, drinks and probably chips and desserts. It would be a cold buffet not a hot buffet, if Iraq is anything to go by. Also the food contract workers in Afghanistan are primarily Afghans or sometimes Pakistanis, not overpaid, unproductive contractors. I highly doubt the military will have to eat MRE's. It's a dramatic visual (last sentence) but I highly doubt it's true.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:58 am | Reply
    • Robert

      What base were you on that ONLY had cold sandwich meats?

      June 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  96. StanCalif

    Another example of hirng civilian contractors gone awry! Why aren't enlisted personnel doing this work?
    The Navy trains it's own to cook and serve meals aboard ship. They do a great job at much less cost than hiring contractors. Why can't the other branches of the military do this?
    We ask you to volunteer now to serve your country. We send you all over the world to risk your life for stupid political reasons. You work very hard to train and work very hard just to survive in many very bad situations. Now we ask you to do your job without good, hot meals so we can fire a few overpaid and unproductive "contractors"! Makes a lot of sense, right? More like nonsence!

    June 21, 2013 at 7:50 am | Reply
    • Pete

      @StanCalif,this is the first time civilian contractors have been used and again under Bushs,Cheneys watch..Cheneys Halliburton made billions handling all logistics for fuel,food and anything that military needed..All other wars had military mess halls or tents and all foods was cooked by military personnel not vendors like Cheney shipped over to serve 3 hots,not MREs!!That's why it was such a profittable war for both clowns in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave ,the war started by lies!!

      June 21, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • Jomama

        Heres a little story. In the Gulf War we befriended a 3 legged Dog and we named Him Tripod. One day we gave him ham out of an MRE. This dog was half starved and we threw it to him and he sniffed it and turned and walked away. We sat there and one guy said if tripod wont eat it Im not either. From then on we threw away the Ham. True Story.

        June 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
      • Jomama

        Oh yeah we had a visit from "Dan" Quayle. They took all our mags before he came. We served chicken heheh.

        June 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
      • viaquest

        Wow Pete , how did you become so enlightened? I never even thought that 911 was a lie ! Never considered WMD's might refer to chemical Weapons used to kill Kurds by the 10's of thousands not just Nukes! Never dreamed Human rights violations should be stoped. Just never occured to me that these were all lies! thanks for pointing that out!

        June 21, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
      • Damia Savon

        The use of contractors started before Bush II but it did accelerate under him.

        Viaquest: 1) Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, all the supposed tied between him and Bin Laden were false. 2) One of the reasons Saddam had chemical weapons is because the U.S. and other Western nations helped him build his program in the 80s. The programs were also dismantled. Saddam's nuclear program was not that advanced and suffered after Gulf War 1. 3)Plenty of places violate human rights and yet we support their leadership. It is not necessarily our place to solve problems all over the world.

        June 21, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  97. Murf

    Penny wise, pound foolish. Sounds about like the pentagon. Wha they need to be cutting is all the useless generals and their staff weenies instead of shorting the trigger pullers.
    I know, that's just crazy talk.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:28 am | Reply
  98. Brittany Branham

    This is crazy, you already have to stand in line for hours just to eat and now only two hot meals. Coming from a united states sailor, I support my brothers.. . I also speak for all when I say. "No".

    June 21, 2013 at 7:01 am | Reply
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