Feeding the army is hard work! The cook is a highly valued member of the squad.
Here is what four current soldiers have to say about modern Army food:
Corporal Paul Whiting: Depending on where you are, some people will have a cookhouse so they’ll have fresh food every day, ie Bastion and Kandahar. If you’re in a FOB you’ll be either on a 10-Man Ration Pack or a 24-Hour Ration Pack, so you’ll be eating out of a packet – sausage and beans, bacon and beans, all-day breakfast, rice pudding, cereal bars, fruit, raisins and a little Fruit Shoot juice drink.
Private Shaun Teale: We had 24-Hour Rations and on the odd occasion we had a 10-Man Ration Pack so we’d make shepherds pie, cakes and stuff like that, just for a bit of morale. Food-wise you’re allowed to take anything out because it’s a bit of morale, but in Camp Bastion there’s a NAAFI anyway so you can buy all sweets and pop and stuff like that.
Lieutenant Alec Hammond: The meals that my guys were eating out on the ground completely vary from the ones in the UK. The rations are completely different in theatre than the ones we have over here, so the variation in meals is good. Obviously there’s the menus – the set menus – that the Army has; there’s a lot of pasta and rice in them now which is a great improvement from what we had before – it used to just be steak and veg all the time I think. There’s no corned beef hash, which everyone hates!
Lance Corporal Dave Pugh: Within Kandahar there’s 4 cookhouses so you’ve got loads of different variety – fries, burgers, all your different pastas. You can get quite a good diet out there. But you’ve also got the fast food, you’ve got Subway, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Tim Hortons so you can get fat and donuts as well!