American Jewish soldiers will no longer have to subsist on non-kosher meals in the field, if they so choose.
The U.S. military announced last week that “Meals Religious Kosher” will be available through the regular military supply lines.
The military has contracted a private company, My Own Meals, to produce as many as 200,000 meals per year for three years.
The army estimates that 3 percent of its members have special meal requirements, said Joe D’Onofrio, vice president of operations at My Own Meals.
These include Jews who observe kashrut and Muslim soldiers who follow the dietary laws of halal, as well as vegetarians.
Although the armed forces stopped tracking soldiers’ religious affiliations after the Korean War, officials estimate that thousands of observant Jews serve in the U.S. armed forces.
Until recently, only soldiers stationed on military bases had access to kosher meals because of the high cost and impractical transportation requirements of kosher field meals.