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Soldiers test future ration options

FORT LEE, VIRGINIA — The Army is working on adding some new items to its meal
ration menu. In November, Soldiers from T Company, 266th Quartermaster Battalion,
got a chance to taste test the latest dishes created by engineers from Natick Soldier,
Research, Development and Engineering Center to determine whether the new offerings
should make it to the field.

“[Unit group rations] must be warfighter-tested and warfighter-approved,” said Beverly
Hamlette, a quality assurance officer for field testing at the Joint Culinary Center of
Excellence here at Fort Lee.

Natick brought the new dishes to the Quartermaster Field Operations Training Branch to
gather Soldier feedback on the new rations. Soldiers were asked to score each item
based on its degree of tastiness.

The test items included a breakfast of turkey sausage links — for Soldiers who do not eat
pork products — eggs and biscuits, and a dinner option of meatballs, pasta and brown

The new rations are being developed according to taste, nutritional value and Soldier
preference, said Meg Walker, Natick project officer.

Hamlette said she was pleased that the Soldiers had the opportunity to provide
feedback. Natick will present the data from this test to the Army and Fort Lee Joint
Service Operations Forum in February.

“We may not have Chipotle just yet, but we do look at trends and nutrition changes that
may benefit our Soldiers and war-fighters down range,” she said.