Oh, yes. I am so all for this. As the child of a former member of the United States Army who will proudly admit to having eaten her fair share of MREs and okra and whatever else my dad would challenge me to eat, I am for this all the way.

I vividly remember when my dad would talk about those who were not part of the military family and he would call them civilians. And, I remember all the times my dad and his buddies would bring home mysterious looking green metal containers and tan-colored packages filled with food that smelled anything but appetizing and how they'd joke about how big, bad, and tough they were for being able to stomach the contents of their tins and packets and how civilians would turn up their nose and turn down bets to try the stuff.

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Me? I loved it. I loved when my dad would try to gross me out by offering me some of his MREs. And that is exactly why I am all about the fact that the United States Army is looking for military members and civilians alike to eat MREs in the name of science and be paid for it.

Is Travel Involved in the MREs Study?

Unfortunately, the Army won't be sending MREs to your house for you to consume. You'll have to hoof it to the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine's laboratory which is located in Natick, Massachusets where you will basically be a living, breathing, human lab rat.

The Army says those participating should expect that “Some of these studies will involve eating a military ration-based diet, which includes Meals, Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, for certain periods of time.”

MREs Study Will Help Soldiers

The reason that the Army is looking for people to be part of the study is so that they can use the experience of participants to get a better handle on digestive and immune systems and help improve future food for soldiers on the battlefield.

Army Seeks Very Specific Individuals

Before you go getting all excited like I did, know that the Army is looking for very specific people to participate. The criteria are that participants must be between the ages of 18 and 39, exercise at least three days a week, and have a BMI less than or equal to 30. Oh, and if you've got any issues with your gut, could yourself out. Participants can't have any gastrointestinal diseases or problems.

How Long Is the Army MREs Study?

If you're thinking you fit the criteria and are ready to jump on this very cool chance, as a civilian, to do something to help the Army, know that this isn't just an overnight or single weekend study. You should prepare for the Army to take your blood, sweat, and tears. Literally and over the course of 10 weeks with three 40-hour stays in an altitude chamber while following strict dietary guidelines.

How Much Does the Army Mre Study Cost?

Yeah, no. You'd think that because the Army is literally going to be taking samples of blood, sweat, and tears from participants and putting them through a battery of tests that the study would pay well, but this is the government. So. If you're still interested the Army will pay up to $1300 to civilians while military and federal civilians will be paid up to $600.

Are There Any Other Army MREs Studies?

Lots more actually, there are several other studies with criteria just as rigorous as what I just outlined and if you want to learn more about those studies to see if you would qualify, you can do that here.

How To Get Involved in the Army’s MREs Study

If you fit the criteria and if this is something along the lines of what you've always dreamed of being part of, the next step would be to reach out to the USARIEM Public Affairs Office at usarmy.natick.medcom-usariem.mbx.usariem-webmaster@mail.mil.

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