Civilian MREs VS. Military MREs

Military MRE ContentsWe have been getting a lot of questions lately about whether or not there is a difference between MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and the Military MREs.

In short, not really. Both civilian MREs and Military MREs are made for the purpose of being used by the Department of Defense (DOD). After comparing civilian MREs and Military MREs, the only real difference is with the packaging. DOD MREs use very specific packaging that indicates it is specifically for the U.S. military and not for resale.

It is important that you purchase the civilian version since it is illegal to buy or sell Military MREs. Back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit, military personnel were reported to have sold them with the intent of making a profit.

MRE Full Meal (Non Military) – 5 Year Shelf Life

  • Full Meal
  • Main Dish entree
  • Side dish
  • Cracker with spread
  • Dessert
  • Electrolyte Beverage Mix
  • Coffee & Creamer
  • Accessory pack with spoon, salt, pepper, wet wipe, sugar and napkin

MRE Full Meal (Military) – 5 Year Shelf Life

  • Full Meal
  • Main Dish entree
  • Side dish
  • Cracker with spread
  • Dessert
  • Electrolyte Beverage Mix
  • Coffee & Creamer
  • Accessory pack
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Piece of gum
  • Toilet Paper

Regardless of whether or not you are in the Military, including Full Meal MREs in your food storage or hiking backpack is a great idea. Not only will it save space but it will also help conserve energy since each package comes with a flame-less heater. The Ready Store now provides 1 month MREs, 3 month MRes, 6 month MREs and 12 month MRE packages with a variety of different meals to choose from.

12 thoughts on “Civilian MREs VS. Military MREs”

  • voice-city

    good information

    Reply
  • Tom

    DoD MRE's are non-restock items, meaning that once they are issued they need to be either consumed or disposed of; they cannot go back into the system for reissue. When you buy genuine DoD ones, you are literally getting ones that have been out already, so unless you know the Soldier directly you can't be sure of the true age or the temperature they were stored in. The "real deal" CAN be better than civilian ones, but it's also a gamble. With civilian ones such as this, they may not be quite the same, but they're still really good, and you can guarantee the date and how they were stored.

    Reply
  • Tom

    I have my doubts about the illegality of selling DoD ones though, since the on post Commissaries have been selling them for a little over $8 each for quite some time now, and DECA is a separate civilian agency (Defense Exchange Commissary Agency) not directly under the DoD.

    Reply
  • Joel Hillman

    Can you ship to Australia and what is the price for shipping

    Reply
  • Beverly Lohr

    There is a difference between civilian and military MRES we lived off of them after Katrina. And I promise there is a difference.

    Reply
  • Robbie

    Not if the writer has a restrictive creative license. You can't modify e-books, and because an ebook is sold directly from the writer or firm (if you don't sell directly then you're a fool) there isn't a resale. If a person copy-pastes then they are committing commercial plagiarism, which is a felony. The creative license protects from plagiarism, and suing (if someone who doesn't have a liscenes and attempts to sue a writer for using similar names or themes, then the sue will be dropped.) I am a writer, you can look all that up, and anyone who gives an 'ebook' for resale is an idiot. There shouldn't be a resale on electronic transactions.

    Reply
  • Paul

    I've used DoD military MREs and commercial MREs available at the Ready Store. They are both equivalent except with packaging differences. Those that have the ability to purchase DoD military MREs through DoD commissaries, should note that many of these MREs have had their storage life extended past their original period by health professionals, likely from the US Army's VETCOM. There is likely a documented relationship between appropriated and non-appropriated functions on military installations to use commissaries to recoup some of the sunk costs into older MREs that have not expired. I am not aware of limitations on personnel to re-sell DoD military MREs, if they were purchased them from an authorized source; I believe you should likely have the right to re-sell. If you were issued military MREs for training purposes and did not use them, they should not re-sell; that would be in the category of fraud, waste and abuse.

    Reply
  • Dani Bambei

    Under no circumstances would I want to purchase product that is close to being outdated if I were to purchase your product what guarantee what I have that your product is freshly produced?

    Reply
  • David

    Lets have a little common sense with these things. I had a bunch with expiration dates of 1993 which presumably means produced in 1988! As an experiment I decided to try them as opposed to throwing them away. First, the tobasco sauce looked a little dark so was canned. Second, inspection of the cheese spreads and jelly looked and smelled gross so were canned. Third, the crackers (hard little squares) were perfectly edible but had a slightly stale taste! Everything else was perfectly good. If the SHTF and your starving, your going to say NO!??? Be real! I think the early ones had MSG so if allergic to it be careful! Conclusion, they have a long long life unless grossly temperature mistreated.

    Reply
  • David

    P.S. forgot to mention calories. Each MRE contains about 1200 calories which are largely derived from carbs and sugar! If your diabetic go for the freeze dried or dehydrated foods and read the description very carefully before ordering! That will tell you the carb and sugar content, then choose wisely.

    Reply
Leave a Reply