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Subdeacon Joe

Coffee and the Military

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http://www.wearethemighty.com/military-life/6-reasons-why-coffee-is-the-lifeblood-of-the-military?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=evergreen&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=coffee-lifeblood-military

 

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Very few things truly connect every troop from every era in the military quite like a cup of coffee. From the gritty First Sergeant who drinks it black to the fresh Lieutenant who likes a bit of coffee with their sugar, everybody’s veins in the military are filled with coffee.

Coffee has been a staple of the American military ever since the first Revolutionary patriot signed up to throw the tea into Boston Harbor — fueled entirely for their hatred of tea. Our love of java necessitated the creation of instant coffee in the Civil War, and we’ve been drinking it ever since.

 

http://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/brief-history-coffee-field

 

Soldier-Fare-3

 

Hot coffee makes ration bread seem ok. That’s how amazing coffee is.

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Regardless of rank, you can go almost anywhere in the military unquestioned and unmolested if you have a clipboard in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

 

Himself

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I was a Coffee Trader on my ship. We had an abundance of coffee. Other ships didn’t. I got permission to have a coffee mess in my launcher office. I would get 2 or 3 ten pound tins a week. The surplus was used for trade with sailors on other ships for stuff we needed like paint, epoxy primer, red lead, grease and the like.

 

Coffee was the lifeblood of our ship.

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25 gallons of boiling water add a 3 pound tin coffee . Allow to come to a rolling boil then add 5 gallons of cold water. 

Ambrosia

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Howdy,

One of my few pleasures in the Army was when a certain officer said that

he missed my coffee on MY day off.

I could make pretty good coffee with the stuff everybody else turned into ------.

I might possibly maybe kept me outta gittin shipped somewhere else.

Best

CR

 

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Two stories about coffee and my military career.

 

I met a lifelong best friend early in my career in the Army Reserve. After meeting his mother, she asked him how it was we got along so well, as it seemed we didn't have much in common and we were so different. He explained to her that we worked well together. That if the two of us were to be tasked with something nearly impossible, maybe placing a satellite uplink high on some mountainside, when we have no real clue how to do it. Between the two of us, we would get it there, get it figured out, set up and working. Then, out of the blue, I would pull out a thermos and say "Care for some coffee? It's a nice Kenya AA."

 

Once I moved to the National Guard, and into the Field Artillery, about halfway through my first field problem as the Medical NCOIC at the Battalion Aid Station, I noticed that instead of lower enlisted bringing soldiers back to the BAS, particularly late at night, it was the Battery First Sergeant or Commander. They would either stand and keep glancing at the coffee pot we had going 24/7 until they were offered a cup, or they would simply help themselves. That continued until the last Annual Training I attended with the battalion.

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My first Duty station in the Navy I was the squadron Duty driver for days. One of my duties was to make a gallon of coffee, pitcher of tea and a pitcher of lemonade for the wardroom first thing every morning. Not hard to do but you had to go quite a ways to get the 3 gallons of water needed. I was out sick so they assigned someone else to make the morning coffee. Poor guy was new and didn't know where the deep sink was so he used what he thought was water in the fridge. Turns out he actually used the lemonade to make the coffee. When I got off SIQ I resumed my normal duties. After the morning meeting the XO stopped by the duty office and gave me a direct order to never get sick again and left before I could say anything but yes sir.

That's when BM1 told me about the lemon flavored coffee. 

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I remember when I got to my ship the coffee on the mess decks was atrocious at best. It was one of the reasons I got permission to have a coffee mess in our launcher office. I swear, you could put powdered cream in the mess deck coffee and it would turn a hideous shade of gray. One day at breakfast I begrudgingly poured a cup of coffee and when I added the creamer the coffee had the most wonderful shade of "coffee with cream" coloration and it tasted damn good. It seems there was a new kid on mess duty and he actually could make decent coffee. Also, coincidentally, the Senior Chief MS was on temporary duty off the ship. We had great coffee for the 3 months that new kid made the coffee. The last week he was on mess duty the Senior Chief came back. Within a couple of days after that the coffee was pure crap again. There was darn near a riot on the Mess Deck one morning.

It turns out the kid's secret was he cleaned the coffee maker daily and just followed the MS book of instruction on making coffee. It also turned out that the Senior Chief, being the D-bag that he was, gave orders to never clean the coffee maker and to never empty it out and to just keep making coffee mixing whatever coffee was left in there with the fresh coffee. Because of the near riot there was nearly a Captain's Mast that morning on the mess decks. The Captain appeared on the Mess Deck and proceeded to question folks while I guess he was deciding on what should be done to all of us rabble-rousers. There was no Mast. No one lost pay, got restricted or was reduced in rate. The edict of the Captain, the XO and the Supply Officer was that the Senior Chief would not be permitted to have anything to do with the making of coffee aboard the ship. I never did understand that Senior Chief. It was like he had something against us and his job. He left the ship a year before I did and I swear everything on the mess decks tasted better after that, especially the coffee.

 

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Thought that was Captain's MAST?

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57 minutes ago, Alpo said:

Thought that was Captain's MAST?

Yes it is...I didn't even notice that I typed it that way. DOH! :lol:

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The Cook sent a new boy to make coffee. Gave him instructions and the can of coffee.

Recruit found the boot in the coffee urn and threw it away. Coffee was crap after that. 

 

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One of the joys of being a Tanky was that we had coffee on the move.

 

Two of the vehicles I worked in when I was down South (Puckapunyal outside of Melbourne) had Boiling Vessels (BV) that could heat water on the move.

 

The BV would be filled and turned on and as soon as we hit a bound or a hold up for a defile the loader (or driver in the scorpion) was making the next brew:D

 

When we moved up North (Darwin) we had fridges in our cars, they keep a Magnum Ice Cream solid for days:rolleyes:

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Major Crimes said:

 

 

When we moved up North (Darwin) we had fridges in our cars, they keep a Magnum Ice Cream solid for days:rolleyes:

 

 

 

It stays around that long?

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34 minutes ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

It stays around that long?

There may have been a box or two of them in the fridge, no water but plenty of Magnums for a crew of three:ph34r:

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I remember we traded Coffee for Parts in San Diego at 32nd street Base. I also remember the coffee in the fire room on board my ship. They thought six spoons of grounds in a 25 to 390 cup coffee maker was GOOD! It was not! I made a pot one spoon to one cup as I was taught. They thought it was too strong! I guess the guys I worked with liked weak coffee!

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17 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Coffee was the lifeblood of our ship.

 

A retired Master Chief once told me, "The Navy runs on coffee, and so do I."

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When I was in the service, I recall working graveyard shifts at MacDill AFB, Tampa.

The crypto guys along with us telecommunication geeks would play Pinochle and drink coffee.

Many a time the small remaining coffee would have the water evaporated out of it, as the burner was left on, eventually leaving a thick sludge on the bottom of the pot.

Being guys, it wasn't an issue, as we would merely add hot water to the sludge, mix and add lots of sugar. :o

Remained awake many a shift.

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OTOH, there are those of us who served who never did and still don't drink coffee! :huh::o  My Dad. WWII, Army, and afterward drank coffee, black.  His brother, a WWII naval staff officer did not drink coffee! :o:o  I don't recall if he drank tea or hot chocolate.  I never developed a taste for the stuff even serving in the Air Force (Viet Nam era).  The only time I would drink coffee was when I was in hunting camp, packing into the mountains with an outfitter, where I knew the water used to make the coffee was boiled within an inch of its life...which was an effective way to kill giardia and sheep liver flukes, which halazone tablets will not.  I do drink tea, although the docs have made me avoid black tea, which contains oxylates.  (I also have to avoid colas, and spinach, all of which can contribute to me developing kidney stones! :( ) 

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4 hours ago, Father Kit Cool Gun Garth said:

When I was in the service, I recall working graveyard shifts at MacDill AFB, Tampa.

The crypto guys along with us telecommunication geeks would play Pinochle and drink coffee.

Many a time the small remaining coffee would have the water evaporated out of it, as the burner was left on, eventually leaving a thick sludge on the bottom of the pot.

Being guys, it wasn't an issue, as we would merely add hot water to the sludge, mix and add lots of sugar. :o

Remained awake many a shift.

Save the sludge for a couple of weeks until you have about 5 cups. Add 1 cup of water, 2 cups of sugar, and a 5th of vodka. 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Makes a heck of a good Kahlua

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31 minutes ago, Tennessee Trapper Tom said:

Save the sludge for a couple of weeks until you have about 5 cups. Add 1 cup of water, 2 cups of sugar, and a 5th of vodka. 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Makes a heck of a good Kahlua

 

Trapper Tom:

    Obviously after hours. :P Or maybe not?? :ph34r:

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CE07B940-ABD8-4F1E-8E2D-86D1A5B52F63.png

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My father was a former merchant marine who worked shifts in a Federal Gov't heating plant. He would arrive home at midnight and start the tin percolator on the gas stove and let it boil for a good while. Then drank coffee and read the paper. 

 

Church Key

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125 degrees in Iraq, I was drinking coffee. As a fire team leader in Afghanistan my whole platoon knew, do not speak to Gossett until the second cup. Missions before my coffee could be particularly violent, even if it was just guard duty!

I miss the Army life. 

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9 hours ago, The Reverend Malachi Gosse said:

125 degrees in Iraq, I was drinking coffee. As a fire team leader in Afghanistan my whole platoon knew, do not speak to Gossett until the second cup. Missions before my coffee could be particularly violent, even if it was just guard duty!

I miss the Army life. 

 

I was pretty much the same, except I called Kuwait home. I would also switch to citrus Rip It for missions.

For many years, whenever we were in the field, there was one medic, SPC Harrell, who would ask "have you had any coffee yet, Sarge?" If I said no, he responded "let me get you a cup." If I said yes, he asked if I wanted another. He was a former Navy Corpsman, and spent a number of years as a Doc with a Marine expeditionary force, and the best field medic I  ever met. He was also a laugh a minute, which is why he was the only medic under me who got by with calling me "Sarge."

A funny story about Harrell. He was quite vocal about how he hated the field. Wanted nothing to do with it. He preferred garrison life, working out of a nice clean facility, etc... We did a field problem where we were going to be in pup tents. He had two shelter halves and set up his own tent. He had it up, tight, and equipment stowed in textbook fashion, before plopping down to open an MRE. I looked at it and him, and commented that I thought he didn't like the field. He looked up at me and grinned "I don't Sarge. Never said I couldn't do it, though." 

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I used to tell people I did not know how I got through the army since I did not like coffee. Then I realized there was some alcohol involved.

 

Imis and i remember SOME of it

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38 minutes ago, Imis Twohofon,SASS # 46646 said:

I used to tell people I did not know how I got through the army since I did not like coffee. Then I realized there was some alcohol involved.

 

Imis and i remember SOME of it

Beefeaters Gin company put on an extra shift while I was in VN.  I did not drink only gin and tonic, I alternated with Gimlets.

 

IIFFV constructed some BOQs in 67, each of which had a refrigerator. The freezing compartment was exactly the size of a square bottle of Beefeaters.  I spent most of 67 buzzed, scared or drunk.  Was passionate about the O club and "Liar's Dice".  I have no recollection of coffee in VN.

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14 hours ago, The Reverend Malachi Gosse said:

125 degrees in Iraq, I was drinking coffee. As a fire team leader in Afghanistan my whole platoon knew, do not speak to Gossett until the second cup. Missions before my coffee could be particularly violent, even if it was just guard duty!

I miss the Army life. 

130 degrees in Nam and matching humidity. Still drank coffee at every opportunity. ;) Still do.

7D8A2114-5EB0-45E7-9BB4-1535002C78CE.jpeg

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20 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

130 degrees in Nam and matching humidity. Still drank coffee at every opportunity. ;) Still do.

7D8A2114-5EB0-45E7-9BB4-1535002C78CE.jpeg

Nice mug!  I was on the Tigris River, so we got some pretty significant humidity too. 

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Phu Bai, VietNam  hot , humid drunk

 

Imis who still dislikes the smell of coffee

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I feel nekkid without my coffee cup in my hand.

When I made E4 in the Navy, I had enough seniority to land a job running the coffee mess - got me out of the shop for a few hours every day. IIRC, it was either two joined 15 gallon tanks, or two 30 gallon tanks... I can't remember if it was 30 or 60 total... pretty sure it was a can and a half of coffee every time though... what would that have been... 4 1/2 pounds?

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I know the Air Force would have ceased to function without coffee. At 72, I still can't face the day without at least 2 cups to get my heart jump-started.

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