- The Washington Times - Friday, February 23, 2018

The fabled pizza military ration, known among U.S. service members as Meals Ready to Eat, will hit rucksacks and chow halls across the globe by next year, Army officials announced this week.

Army dietitians and engineers have spent the last three years developing a Pizza MRE that met the standards for durability, longevity and nutritional requirements for the service’s field rations.

Initial offerings of the Pizza MRE will feature pepperoni toppings only, but Army nutritionists anticipate additional toppings to be added in future iterations of the meal, as service leaders gain feedback from troops in the field.

Unlike MRE standards such as Chicken Pesto Pasta or Southwest Beef and Black Beans, the biggest challenge to Army engineers was to keep the pizza’s sauce and crust fairly fresh, despite being stored for upwards of three years, David Acecetta, spokesman for the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, told Stars and Stripes.

The result has found many fans within the ranks.

“When you’re away from home, it’s nice when you’re able to have food that you would typically enjoy,” said Capt. Orlandon Howard, an officer with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, Stars and Stripes reported.

The announcement of the new Pizza MRE comes weeks after an Army study found the service’s recruit pool is suffering from high rates of obesity in future soldiers.

The study, conducted by the Citadel, the military school in Charleston, South Carolina, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Public Health Center and the American Heart Association, found recruits from southern states suffer from the highest levels of obesity and are more prone to injury during basic training.

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