LRP Ration


Everyone knows about or has seen the MRE ration issued out ot the US military with similar versions used by other nations. A lot of people don’t know that a ration like it was used during the Vietnam war for Special Operations forces.

The LRRP rations was issued out to exactly who it is named after. The Long Range Patrol personnel who couldn’t carry the C-ration cans due to noise and weight.

The ration’s final 11 ounces (310 g) weight was a compromise between the original packet’s target weight of 5 ounces (140 g) and the base 1 pound (0.45 kg) target weight of the larger experimental Meal, Ready-to-Eat, Individual (MRE-I), a forerunner of the later MRE.

LRP rations of the mid-1960s were packed in a large cardboard box of twenty-four meals in eight varieties: 1) Beef hash, 2) Beef and rice, 3) Beef stew, 4) Chicken and rice, 5) Chicken stew, 6) Chili con carne, 7) Pork and scalloped potatoes, and 8) Spaghetti with meat sauce. Each meal came in a tinfoil packet covered with olive-drab cloth, with a brown-foil accessory packet.

Since the LRP ration needed water to be hydrated before eating more water had to be carried or consumed if the ration was eaten dry. This defeated the purpose of the weight reduction. Water had to be carried extra for the ration or used locally. Of course local water in the tropics of Asia was a bad idea so iodine tablets had to be used to make the water safe. Because of these drawbacks production was limited and the ration issued to SOF troops. The LRP was used until the 80s when the MRE became the standard ration.


  1. They handed a bunch of these out during the mid-80s when I was in Germany, during the great purge of war stock overages.

    I am here to tell you that they’re not too bad, properly re-hydrated. If you do like some of us did, and you decide to turn the freeze-dried bricks into impromptu food bars, eating them dry? You will suffer. And, suffer some more–We had idiots doing that in the field, who wound up getting MEDEVAC for dehydration in mid-winter, and then developing impacted bowels due to the way their digestive systems responded to having all that moisture sucked out.

    Freeze-dried components of the MRE were relatively minor issues–They were mostly fruit or meat patties, and not major components of the meal. You’d have to have saved up a dozen or more freeze-dried pork patties to equal one LRRP ration in terms of dessication power.

    All in all, I’m not sorry they did away with the freeze-dried stuff in the MRE, although I do miss the pork and beef patties as add-ins for ramen. You could do wonderful things with a stove, a ramen packet, and those patties… Oh, and the cheese or maybe an egg or two. I remember one epic January exercise where we all pooled our chow and made this giant pot of ramen for about five guys, and I think it must have been about a thousand calories per canteen cup by the time we got done with it. Picture something like an egg-drop soup with ramen noodles, crumbled beef patties, cheese, and a bunch of Knorr bullion cubes. At the time, ambrosia… Now? Nauseating beyond belief.

    • My brother was in the national guard in the early 80s and would bring the early MREs home all the time, I loved the dehydrated fruit cokctail and the cherry/chocolate nut cake. Still love MRE cheese


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