The soldiers have been living on field rations, many of them for months on end. The rations arenâ€™t bad. They contain the right balance of nourishment that the soldiers need but they are boring day after day.
Some of the Guardsmen were joking with me that their protective jackets donâ€™t fit them anymore because they have lost weight. This could be because the rations being sent include two â€œYorkieâ€ bars of chocolate, which, by the time it gets to Afghanistan, has invariably melted and leaked all over the contents of the ration box.
Nobody eats it because licking cardboard isnâ€™t fun in the desert. So the soldiers are not getting all of the calories that they should from these ration packs. There is a supplement for hot weather but they donâ€™t always receive it.
With British soldiers now having spent several years operating in hot weather it does seem poor that they still receive melted chocolate. Why not dried fruit? Actually, I recommend nougat! Nougat is nice.