Sunday, July 25, 2010

Picture Of The Day - 25 JUL 2010 "Field Chow"

25 JUL 2010 - Field Chow
The Army's delivery of meals (AKA Chow) has changed quite a bit since my initial enlistment. No longer do we eat in the "Mess Hall". Now we "dine" at the Dining Facility (DFAC). Also, most often now you don't see Army cooks, but rather contracted cooks from companies like Fluor and KBR. 

Well, fortunately for the men and women out in the most forward battlespaces, Army cooks continue to provide hot meals. This is probably THE ONLY good thing these soldiers have at their Combat Outposts (COPs). The Army cooks do a fantastic job of making a variety of meals that actually taste good. I was very pleased to find out that Army cooks still exist and they are very much appreciated. This is a big departure from the Army of the past. So, it is possible for our military to actually improve.

Finally.. Why "Mess Hall"? "Mess" is derived from old French "Mes" (further derived from the Latin "mittre"), which means "to put" or "to send". By the 15th century, it was used as a term "to put a meal on a table" or to describe a group of people that dined together.

"Chow"likely was derived from the Chinese "Chow Chow". This term became common place as Chinese workers filled American cities as laborers for the railroads. By the mid-1800s the term "chow" was incorporated into the military as a slang term for Army food. I suspect this happened (although I can't verify) that the Army used it because Army food was served out of pans and buckets and ladled onto trays, resembling the Chinese food of Chow Mein. .. But I may be stretching a bit on this one.