The allowances per day for catering purposes are based on a ration
scale costed at current prices and known as the daily messing rate (DMR).
The ration scale is the same for all three services and contrary to
popular army belief the RAF are not supplied with caviar and fine wine
etc at public expense. The rate per day is the amount that the catering
organisation has to feed each individual serviceman or servicewoman.
The scale is costed to the supply source of the food items. When the
source of supply is more expensive due to local conditions the DMR is
set higher to take account of local costs. A general overseas ration
scale exists for overseas bases and attachments. This scale has a higher
calorific value to take into account the conditions of heat, cold or
humidity that can be encountered.
RLC Catering Units feed the Army generally using detachments of cooks
attached to units.
During mid 2015 the daily messing rate (DMR) was approximately £2.54 per
day per soldier in the UK. With this amount RLC cooks, in barracks have
to provide three meals per day as follows:
Main Meal £1.27
Third Meal £0.89
These figures are adjusted on a monthly basis.
Ration scales vary according to location. The home ration scale in the
UK is designed to provide 2,900 kilo calories nett that is, after loss
through preparation and cooking. The general overseas ration scale used
in overseas bases, includes an arduous duty allowance, to allow for
climate and provides 3,400 kilo calories nett. In field conditions,
where personnel are fed from operational ration packs, 3,800 kilo
calories are provided.
Army cooks are trained at the Defence Food Services School - Army (DFSS
(A)) which was established in April 2004 as part of an organisation to
serve the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Before this, it was
known as The Army School of Catering, founded in 1943, as part of the
Army Catering Corps. DFSS (A) is located at Aldershot.