Fueling the Force

Defense Department nutritionists are developing a new food option for troops in the field called “first-strike rations” that provides warfighters with their daily nutritional needs in a single compact, lightweight form that is easy to carry and use on the move. The FSR reduces the weight and volume of today’s standard military ration, the “meal, ready to eat,” or MRE, by 50 percent, said Andy Young, chief of the military nutrition division at the Army Institute of Environmental Medicine. “The first-strike ration, in essence, is issued at one per warfighter per day, instead of two or three MREs,” he said. The FSRs, based on warfighter feedback, include items such as a pocket-style sandwich. They have already been tested with US Forest Service firefighters, Army rangers, and Marines stateside. The next step is to expand the FSR menu and conduct field testing. (AFNS report by Christen N. McCluney)