Installation Issues MOREs to Meet Caloric Needs of Trainees

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood’s trainees are feeling the benefits of additional nutrients during high-intensity training events.

The Modular Operational Rations Enhancements — commonly referred to as MOREs — provide Soldiers with 1,000 additional calories in the form of protein and electrolytes.

According to Capt. Elizabeth Ressler, Moncrief Army Health Clinic Nutrition Care Division chief at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, MOREs were developed to compensate for calorie deficits Soldiers experience during high-intensity activities and are designed to compensate for lost nutrients without replacing daily meals. Caloric deficits have been found to decrease performance, health and overall readiness.

In August 2019, the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training authorized MOREs for basic combat trainees during 17 of the especially physically demanding field training days.

“MOREs can be utilized in support of the Army’s Holistic Health and Fitness System,” said Lt. Col. Peggy Kageleiry, Army Center for Initial Military Training Public Affairs director at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. “The nutritional readiness domain of H2F encompasses the Army’s nutrition-centric programming and covers all aspects of optimal health, performance and recovery in close proximity to where Soldiers train.”

According to Bill Moffitt, Fort Leonard Wood’s installation food program manager, the post received more than 1,700 cases of cold-weather MOREs in October. The small packaged snacks, including caffeinated pudding and gum, dried fruit, energy gel packs and filled pretzels offer drill instructors here quick, authorized nutritional supplement options for trainees before, during and after events.

Caffeine — historically restricted in basic combat training — is used to provide and replenish energy and is distributed in a controlled manner.

Company E, 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment has seen the benefits of MOREs since integrating them into their BCT training schedule in the fall.

“The MOREs provide trainees a little extra fuel during increased levels of stress,” said Company E Commander Capt. Michael Krant. “There’s a mental element where trainees get a little pick me up by being able to have a quick snack during some of the more stressful parts of their training.”

MOREs have been authorized for use during specific BCT events such as The Hammer, The Anvil and The Forge — some of the most physically demanding basic combat training days.

Company E drill sergeant Staff Sgt. La-Tia Rondeau said she has seen the benefits that MOREs bring to trainees during energy sapping events like ruck marches.

“Because we only utilize them during certain events, I believe it has been extremely beneficial — especially when they eat before, during and after (events),” Rondeau said. “They have more energy, they stay awake and they’re more alert throughout the ruck march.”

Pfc. Oksana Schornak, a Company E trainee, said the boost of energy MOREs provide helps trainees accomplish team tasks.

“It gives us a lot of energy,” she said. “If everyone has the energy we can do it together.”

Rondeau added that the convenient size of the snacks reduces the amount of interruptions during the marches, expediting the overall process.

“We give (the MOREs) to them before and tell them when they can eat it,” Rondeau said. “They can pull it out of their pocket, eat it, and we continue the mission.”

“It’s quick to eat, especially if we have to be quick on our feet,” Schornak added.

According to Kageleiry, the H2F System is the Army’s investment in enhancing Soldier lethality and readiness and optimizing physical and non-physical performance and demonstrates the Army’s commitment to its people, the Army’s greatest strength and most important weapon system.

Krant said when used sparingly, the MOREs are helping his trainees meet their potential.

“The calories we’re adding into our trainees’ days are matching the intensity we’re expecting out of them on those days,” he said. “They get (MOREs) when they’ll be most beneficial — during that high-exertion training. We’re getting good results and great feedback.”

By Amanda Sullivan

26 Responses to “Installation Issues MOREs to Meet Caloric Needs of Trainees”

  1. Fury says:

    “Corn nuggets” and Zapplesauce?

    • James says:

      Corn-nuts, and zapplesauce is applesauce with a ton of dextrose( some versions have caffeine), like a mix of powergel and apples.

  2. Marcus says:

    So- no more Chow Thief’s, right?

    BTW, I don’t even want to know what “Zapplesauce” tastes like.

    • LigerNoir says:

      Mmmmm…, Zapplesauce…..

      Caffeinated Applesauce. Many consider it a throwaway, and then I grab it.

      • GANDIS says:

        BINGO! That is exactly what it is. But I love it. It’s one of my favorite sides. It’s like a sweet apple sauce. Quite good, really.

    • Marcus says:

      Someone from 3rd ID just told me they call it Crapplesauce.

      So it sounds like the jury is still out. 🙂

  3. Ed says:

    Why not more meat and potatoes type for higher calories? Bars, gels and hippie granola mix does not sound appetizing. What’s next “Beyond” MRE’s???? Lol!

    “How dare you! Take away my youth and fond memories of MRE’s past!”

    • rlb0311 says:

      I think the logic behind the hippy gels and bars concept is the ability to eat it on the go without having to use a spoon or fumbling with the food. The MORE’s have some pretty good items in it that you can shove in your cargo pocket and eat while in a security halt or lull.

      • Ed says:

        I still would prefer something that tastes like meat or maybe a bar form like high-energy beef-jerky bar w/ potatoes?? Lol! Idk, I just don’t like rabbit-food and hippie snacks.

        • UltraRunner says:

          We’ll make sure to cater to your archaic idealizations of what a “high energy snack” should be while the rest of the fitness and endurance athletes around the world continue to break records, which is something the military is modeling after.

          What’s your waist size again?

          • Gordon says:

            ^^^ +1 (can’t believe he doubled down on his position_

          • Ed says:

            Is this a serious reply???

            Is that you D. Goggins? If you are, I hope all is well. Keep up the good work!

          • Ed says:

            Oh BTW; Wst – 32″, H – 67″, Wgh – 160lbs , Age – 45

            Consistently score Max on PT, five years to go!


          • punk card puller says:

            Bitch, you are cracking me the F up. Care to share results, FKT’s, etc. Mr Ultra? (the fact that you’re so easily triggered actually leads me to believe that you do fancy yourself something of an athlete…let me guess, just another pussy from San Diego or Boulder who thinks he’s the shit after jogging whitney or thrutching through a leadville?) On the tactical side, how about your sustained combat time, maybe more than a 24hr FMP? If so, what did YOU feel like eating, some more gu and fizzy rehydration tabs in water or a steak and a salad and a glass of chocolate milk? I know what I want/eat in these situations.
            I think if you had spent any time among elite endurance athletes today, you’d be aware that the “cutting edge” is indeed a mix of new and old school foods, but maybe you are a weekender / recreational athlete and can get away with gels and boutique sport drinks as you go car to car for your weekend fun. FWIW, this MRE initiative looks pretty well thought out in some ways. US DOD is still way too fat to be adding to the food in the field for non-combat MOS who work hard but largely sit around at the FOB/CONUS base/etc.

  4. Mick says:

    Add beef jerky and some hard cheese and I’d pick this over a regular MRE every day of the week.

    • rlb0311 says:

      These are designed to supplement the regular MRE, to give you on the go replenishment in addition to the MRE

      • Mick says:

        I’m tracking, but I almost always end up chucking about 1/3 of an MRE, tend to go with the more nutrient dense, lower sugar stuff first, protein and fat is pretty nourishing to me without a big sugar crash, so even a smaller, supplemental meal that focused on those two macros would work pretty well for me.

  5. LGonSS says:

    Who would have thought that during extended exercise events that dehydrating and refueling would help in endurance? Man… what a revolutionary idea. [/sarc]

    I’m glad they’re finally allowing and supporting this. If the military was able to be pivot and make meaningful change even 20% quicker, maybe… just maybe we would able to provide greater training in basic or othr trainings to be able to have even greater soldiers.

  6. Dave says:

    For years OSUT trainees at Benning have been throwing away all but the main meal. Now we know why, so all the treats can be saved up and given to soldiers to supplement their entire meals.

  7. 2IC TF Funyon says:

    Here I was thinking one of the bigger problems facing the US Army and other branches was that too many people were fat.

  8. Gordon says:

    This is a great idea. People can hit the wall rather quickly during intense exercise when adequate calories are not available.

  9. Dr. Blutwurst says:

    If you´re throwing stuff away, you do not have a problem with calories deficiency.

  10. AbnMedOps says:

    Hmm. About that “Caffeine – historically restricted in basic combat training” business, I don’t have any data at hand, but IIRC, research pretty much shows greater cognitive function, increased memory, and improved learning/skill retention (up to a point), with certain dosing of caffeine. Hence stuff like caffeine chewing gum, etc. So what is the current “caffeine posture” in Basic/AIT? Seeing as how we are allegedly teaching more brain type stuff?

  11. Jason says:

    I find it funny that in the new era of the military supplementing difficult training is a thing. The concept behind the difficult exercises is to put you under stress by depriving you of things you are used to having. This teaches you your limits as well as shows how you operate in a stressful environment. All this seems to be doing is depriving soldiers of valuable lessons which most of them could benefit from I’m sure. I’m no nutritionist nor a medical professional. I have however been through all of these stressful types of training and have come out stronger because of the lessons I learned while in an induced stress, nutrient deprived environment. To caveat; during real world situations these rations would greatly benefit the fighting force. But in basic training where you’re supposed to be stressed I think this is ultimately limiting individual soldier and team education. In the end I think this is weakening our military from a mental perspective, not making it stronger. Jus my two cents, from an old school perspective.