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and the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. The Food and Nutrition Division, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army, was established in 1917 to (1) safeguard the nutritional interests of the Army; (2) inspect food supplied to the Army to ensure the proper amount and distribution of nutrients; and (3) obtain data on which to base intelligent alterations of military rations. During World War I, the Food and Nutrition Division of the Army conducted nutrition surveys at Army training camps to determine food consumption and wastage. Based on these early surveys, the first recommended nutrient requirements for the training of soldiers were developed in 1919. They were listed as follows: protein, 12.5 percent kcal; fat, 25 percent kcal; and carbohydrate, 62.5 percent kcal (Murlin and Miller, 1919).

During World War II the responsibilities for nutrition of the Office of the Surgeon General were expanded to provide more direct nutrition guidance. In 1940 the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the National Academy of Sciences was organized in conjunction with the defense program to help the Army establish a satisfactory standard for operational rations. From 1943 until 1947 the Surgeon General's Office accepted diets as nutritionally adequate if they met the recommended allowances of the FNB. Beginning with Army Regulation (AR) 40-250 Nutrition (October 28, 1947), the Office of the Surgeon General initiated the first use of a specified ''Minimum Nutrient Intake'' for military personnel. These standards incorporated an adjusted caloric standard for the extreme cold.

The military nutrient standards were patterned after the current FNB Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) with modifications to meet the needs of Army personnel beginning with AR 4-564 (February 9, 1956). The first Tri-Service regulation (AR 40-25, 1968) based on the RDAs with modifications was issued on July 2, 1968. The military nutrition standards were first termed "Military Recommended Dietary Allowances" with the May 15, 1985, revision of AR 40-25. The CMNR provided commentary to the Army during the revision process. This regulation also designated the Army Surgeon General as the Department of Defense (DOD) Executive Agent for Nutrition for the military. The 1985 MRDAs are adapted from the ninth edition of the RDAs (NRC, 1980) and are the current standard for all branches of the military.

Current MRDAs

The MRDA regulation (AR 40-25, 1985) is presently under revision.1 The revised standards will reflect changes in the nutrition knowledge base,


At the request of the Army Medical Research and Development Command representative, the Committee on Military Nutrition Research held a meeting on November 27, 1990, at the

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