Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)

The History of MRE, Meals Ready-to-Eat

The first soldier ration established by a Congressional Resolution, during the Revolutionary War, consisted of enough food to feed a man for one day, mostly beef, peas, and rice.[citation needed] During the Civil War, the military moved toward canned goods. Later, self-contained kits were issued as a whole ration and contained canned meat, pork, bread, coffee, sugar and salt.

During the First World War, canned meats were replaced with lightweight preserved meats (salted or dried) to save weight and allow more rations to be carried by soldiers carrying their supplies on foot. At the beginning of World War II, a number of new field rations were introduced, including the Mountain ration and the Jungle ration. However, cost-cutting measures by Quartermaster Command officials during the latter part of World War II and the Korean War again saw the predominance of heavy canned C rations issued to troops, regardless of operating environment or mission.[2] The use of canned wet rations continued through the Vietnam War, with the improved MCI field ration.

Go to Nutrition for Remote Environments Ration Packs and Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)

General contents may include:

  • Main course
  • Side dish
  • Dessert or snack (often commercial candy, fortified pastry, or Soldier Fuel Bar.)
  • Crackers or breadSpread of cheese, peanut butter, or jelly
  • Powdered beverage mix: fruit flavored drink, cocoa, instant coffee or tea, sport drink, or dairy shake.Utensils (usually just a plastic spoon)
  • Flameless ration heater (FRH)
  • Beverage mixing bag
  • Accessory pack:
    • Xylitol chewing gum
    • Water-resistant matchbook
    • Napkin / toilet paperMoist towelette
    • Seasonings, including salt, pepper, sugar, creamer, and/or Tabasco sauce

Many items are fortified with nutrients. In addition, DoD policy requires units to augment Meals Ready to Eat (MRE's) with fresh food and A-rations whenever feasible, especially in training environments.

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Useful Information

OutDoor Cuisine

SERAC Outdoor Cuisine is our Online Retail Store experience for customers to purchase individual MRE’s (ready to eat meals), ration packs, heaters and a large range of utilities. 

Ideal accompaniments for the outdoor enthusiast.


Serac USA

  • New Jersey

  • C Viljoen Randolph

United Kingdom and Europe

  • SERAC MRE LTD 3/16 Grassington Road. Eastbourne, Sussex, BN20 7BP, UK

  • Stephen Weir

Middle East and ASIA

  • Aquerre GT LLC
    501 Capricorn Tower, Dubai, UAE

  • Rani Z. Khoury
  • +971 4 337 0707

  • +971 50 841 0713 or +9627 7 5111112

South America


Local Office

Serac Nutritional Products (Pty) Ltd

Tactical Light

  • Suite 461, Postnet Rivonia, X033, Rivonia, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2128

  • +27 10 443 7800

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A company and its director, accused of giving expired food to the military during the lockdown, have been cleared of any wrongdoing after the charges were withdrawn. National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana confirmed to TimesLIVE that the charges were withdrawn “as there was insufficient evidence for successful prosecution”.

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