Learn how to eat an MRE BEFORE going to basic training
One of the many pleasures a drill sergeant has during basic training is watching a recruit figure out how to eat an MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) for the first time. An MRE is a bagged lunch that military recruits are given in the field when hot food isn’t available. The below story is true and your story will be very similar, unless you watch my instructional video on How to Heat an MRE before you go to basic training.
STORY: Your First MRE Experience
It was 5:30 am and even though the sun wasn’t up, the morning air gave hints of an upcoming hot day. The recruits just finished their morning physical training routine and were marching to the chow hall for breakfast. When the recruits arrived, the drill sergeants instructed them to be outside in 15 minutes. This seemed like plenty of time to eat, except it takes at least 12 minutes to get your food. As you inch toward the front of the line, you count every second and your stomach grumbles in hunger. Finally, you get your food and you begin shoveling it in your mouth as fast as possible. “Alright Privates, get your sorry butts out here” yells the drill sergeant. “That’s not fair” you think to yourself, “I just sat down and had three bites of food”.
You rush outside and you march with the other recruits to the rifle range. The day heats to over 100 degrees. Your stomach is growling loud and you begin wondering what part of your rifle is edible.
It’s now 2 pm and there are no signs of returning to the chow hall anytime soon. In the distance a drill sergeant yells “Lunch time Privates, you have 10 minutes starting now”. You know from experience that 10 minutes means 5 to a drill sergeant, so you stampede with the other recruits to a long picnic bench. At the bench are a pile of bags. “These Privates are MRE’s, you are not allowed to eat your meal cold. Heat your meal and eat it in 10 minutes or spend the evening cleaning the toilets” said the drill sergeant.
As the other recruits all dive for a bag you have no choice but to grab the first one you can. Even though you grabbed a vegetarian meal, you don’t have time to be upset. As you try to open the bag you realize the plastic is so thick you need to be Hercules to get it open. You somehow get the bag open and realize there is a heating pouch that is required to heat your food. As you read the instructions on the heating pouch you realize you are losing valuable time and take a quick look around to see if any drill sergeants are watching you. “Forget this”, you say to yourself as you tear the main course open without heating it first. “Private!” yells the drill sergeant, “Didn’t I just tell you to heat your food first? You’re so stupid, that you got fired from the M & M factory for throwing away all the W’s. Ladies and gentleman we have a volunteer for toilet cleaning duties this evening.”
As the other Privates thank you, you wonder why you didn’t watch SGT Volkin’s video on How to Heat an MRE.
Michael Volkin is the author of The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook and Basic Training University. His books are available at www.UltimateBasicTraining.com