Field / Combat Army Rations

The Field Rations section covers some of the most famous of the U.S. military rations including the K Ration, C Ration, D Ration, and small detatchment rations, the ones used most extensively in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Loading cases of rations onto a 2nd Infantry Division truck, Korea, 1953
Loading cases of rations onto a 2nd Infantry Division truck, Korea, 1953.

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Field or Combat Army Rations: C-Rations, K-Rations, D-Rations and More

Rations are fundamental to military operations. The US Army Quartermaster Corps, and equivalent units in all military services around the world, have to provide for the daily food needs of combat and support troops under all conditions. While cooked food served from field kitchens, or mess hall food at permanent bases, covers much of the need, many front line troops require special rations prepared and packaged for field use.

Three WW II paratrooper buddies enjoy a quick lunch consisting of the Field Ration K developed by the Quartermaster Corps
Three WW II paratrooper buddies enjoy a quick lunch consisting of the Field Ration K developed by the Quartermaster Corps.

The field rations developed from World War II through Vietnam were all replaced by the Meal, Ready to Eat (MRE) in the early 1980s or by more recent innovations such as the First Strike Ration.

Each of the U.S. military field rations is covered in these individual sections:

See also: Heating Individual Field Rations.

Modern rations, including the MRE, First Strike Ration, and more, are linked from the main Olive-Drab.com Rations page.

A Republic of Korea ROK) soldier eating lunch in a war-destroyed house in Munsan-ni, Korea.  The unpacked field ration was made in Japan for the ROK Army.  Photo dated 17 July 1951
A Republic of Korea ROK) soldier eating lunch in a war-destroyed house in Munsan-ni, Korea. The unpacked field ration was made in Japan for the ROK Army. Photo dated 17 July 1951.

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