July 12, 2017

Military Food from OFD

OFD has been serving the U.S. military since 1966, when we were awarded a contract to provide military meals to the Armed Forces serving in Vietnam. We provided 1.8 million meals that year, which set the pace for years to come.

Since then, our relationship with the military has only grown. Read on to learn more about OFD and our military food.

OFD & the U.S. Military: A HistoryDifferent Military meals

After that first contract in 1966, requests for meals for our nation’s military began to soar. In the early 1970s, military sales accounted for 90 percent of OFD’s production. Our Long Range Patrol Rations — individual military meals first developed for soldiers serving in Vietnam — are still used today (now called the Meal, Cold Weather).

In 1991, we provided millions of freeze-dried food products to the military during Desert Storm and Desert Shield. This was the largest award OFD had ever received from the government.

Today, we continue to provide meals to our nation’s military both through military rations and individual meals. When families and friends send care packages to soldiers abroad, they often include Mountain House freeze-dried meals. As a result, we’ve received many letters from soldiers and Marines thanking us for producing such delicious meals and bringing them a “taste of home” overseas.

OFD Freeze Dried Military Meals and Rations

Throughout the years, we’ve continuously improved on the quality of our military meals. Today, we’re proud to manufacture the following products for military members:

UGR-A rations

Stands for Unitized Group Ration A, a military meal kit that is designed to feed a group of 50 persons for one meal. These types of meals are used when there are organized food facilities abroad that are able to cook and store perishable and frozen foods.

UGR-H&S rations

Stands for Unitized Group Ration, Heat & Serve. These rations include enough pre-prepared foods in tray pack form to feed up to 50 people for one meal. Similar to UGR-A rations, these are designed for operations with organized food facilities to prepare and serve the food.


Stands for Unitized Group Ration – Marines, used when combat conditions permit the establishment of field feeding kitchens. They contain complete food and paper/plastic components to serve 50 meals.


Meals, Ready-to-Eat are military approved food pouches that contain complete meals, including an entree, side dish, drink, and a snack or dessert, that are ready to eat right out of the pouch. We provide some of the components of these meals.

MCW rations

The Meal, Cold Weather (formerly known as Long Rang Patrol LRP) is designed specifically for cold and hot weather feeding. It includes additional drink mixes to combat dehydration in cold or hot weather. Roughly 34 ounces of water is needed to rehydrate the components of each bag. The soldier prepares the food. This is also a limited calorie ration designed for special operations in which resupply is not available and volume/weight are limited. It is issued at one pouch per soldier per day for up to 10 days.


Stands for Contingency Operations, used for field feeding when deployed beyond 180 days.

MRE vs Freeze-Dried Food

Sometimes, people confuse the terms “MREs” and “freeze-dried food,” thinking that they are the same thing. Let’s explore the similarities and difference between these two types of food products:

What is an MRE?

  • MREs, or “Meals, Ready-to-Eat,” are made specifically for the U.S. military.
  • Sometimes, civilians will receive MREs during a natural disaster through the U.S. military.
  • Designed to meet stringent military requirements.
  • No preparation required — ready to eat as-is, right out of the package.
  • Do not need to be refrigerated.
  • Contain water and weigh more than freeze-dried meals.
  • 3-year shelf life.

What are freeze-dried meals?

  • Available to both civilians and military members.
  • Require some preparation (usually hot or cold water).
  • Do not need to be refrigerated.
  • Lightweight — ideal for camping, backpacking and long-term food storage.
  • Do not need to be refrigerated.
  • Extremely long shelf life (30+ years).

Proud to Serve the U.S. Military

OFD is proud to partner with our nation’s military and honored to provide our brave warfighters abroad with great-tasting, nutritious meals. Learn more about OFD’s freeze-dried food brands.

Learn more about our history with the military by watching this video.