Nutritional Guidance for Military Operations in
Temperate and Extreme Environments


Nutrition should be thought of as an enhancement to military operations. Properly planned and executed, good feeding practices in the field maintain and enhance operational performance and morale and significantly contribute to mission accomplishment. Military personnel who optimize their nutritional status will better endure the harsh environments encountered in today's battlefield.

Military leaders must insure that all service members (soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines; hereafter referred to as soldiers) know the importance of food and how to implement sound nutritional practices in garrison and in the field. In addition, leaders should set the example for their troops by practicing good eating habits themselves.

This technical note provides guidance for proper nutrition in garrison and, especially, field environments. Soldiers performing physically demanding training or field missions are especially receptive to information on diet and physical performance.

This technical note is written for anyone (including commanders, small unit leaders and the individual soldier) who has questions or concerns or needs information on military rations. The first chapter presents general guidelines for the garrison environment. The next two chapters present general information and suggestions for planning nutritional support of military personnel operating in any field setting. The fourth chapter addresses the issue of supplements. The latter three chapters contain special advice for operating in extreme environments, ranging from the severe heat of the desert or tropics to the bitter arctic cold and to the high altitudes of the mountains.



  • Tables & Figures

  • Foreword

  • Acknowledgments

  • Introduction

  • Garrison Environment

  • Nutritional Supplements

  • Military Rations

  • Nutritional Advice for Field Feeding

  • Nutritional Advice for Military Operations in a Hot Environment

  • Nutritional Advice for Military Operations in a Cold Environment

  • Nutritional Advice for Military Operations in a High-Altitude Environment



U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
Natick, MA 01760-5007

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This website is dedicated to the development and dissemination of medical information that may be useful to those who practice Operational Medicine. This website is privately-held and not connected to any governmental agency. The views expressed here are those of the authors, and unless otherwise noted, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brookside Associates, Ltd., any governmental or private organizations. All writings, discussions, and publications on this website are unclassified.

© 2006 Medical Education Division, Brookside Associates, Ltd. All rights reserved


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