What is Goulash?
While on field exercises in the Marine Corps during the 70’s we would often make a goulash that was a mixture of several different MCI (C-rations) meal selections. As a logistics specialist I would grab the case of B-2 Unit box and stash it. But the beef w/spiced sauce was also excellent. You needed your P-38 (always attached to your dog tags) can opener and some Tabasco sauce (always in the pack with chewing tobacco). Basic tricks of the trade while on maneuvers in the field.
This is the official Quartermaster’s description of C-Rations used in Vietnam
“The Meal, Combat, Individual, is designed for issue as the tactical situation dictates, either in individual units as a meal or in multiples of three as a complete ration. Its characteristics emphasize utility, flexibility of use, and more variety of food components that were included in the Ration, Combat, Individual (C-Ration) which it replaces. Twelve different menus are included in the specification.
Each menu contains: one canned meat item; one canned fruit, bread or dessert item; one B unit; an accessory packet containing cigarettes, matches, chewing gum, toilet paper, coffee, cream, sugar, and salt; and a spoon. Four can openers are provided in each case of 12 meals. Although the meat item can be eaten cold, it is more palatable when heated.
Each complete meal contains approximately 1200 calories. The daily ration of 3 meals provides approximately 3600 calories.”
Well I never ate a full day of c-rats because I didn’t like all of the meals. We use to barter and trade to make deals to get what everyone wanted. I loved the canned fruits but too much of it would get you diarrhea. Beans and wieners could be eaten warm or cold. The roll of toilet paper in the accessory kit was useless. By 1976 there were no cigarettes in the MCI accessory pack as shown below. We use to chew tobacco to compensate for the c-rats which was worst than smoking. I don’t know what was worst the smell of chewing tobacco or the smell of the morning waste and kerosene downwind from the camp site.
As a logistics officer I was well equipped to have superior knowledge about food and supplies. As a young lieutenant in the field we were randomly given a case of rations. The real secret was knowing that the new C-rations had a variety of menus and each of the three units had different meals. If you was aware of this you could always make sure you got your favorite meals. Below are the meal selections and I always made sure to get the B-2 unit?
What were your favorites? What were some of the goulash that you made that you loved?
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Dr. Jordan B smith jr.
I attended the U. S. Naval Academy from 1972-1976 earning a B.S. in Mathematics. Served 20 years both active and reserve in the US Marines. Veteran of the Desert Shield/Storm. I earned a MAED and Ed D. specializing in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix in 2015. I graduated from CBC High School in Clayton, MO in 1972.