Morale: Chinese Troops Get Forked


September 24, 2009:  Many Chinese are criticizing the PLA (People's Liberation Army) for slighting their ancient culture. This all began when many PLA vehicles were seen in Beijing, some of them new mobile field kitchens. These are carried in a large 6x6 truck, and on their side have the PLA food service logo, which features a fork and a spoon. While spoons have been used Chinese for centuries, the fork is particularly associated with the west. The army food service logo did not feature chop sticks, and that shortcoming, many Chinese found offensive.


Currently, there are a lot of military vehicles driving around China's capital, Beijing. This is all in preparation for a big parade on October 2nd. The Chinese army has modernized rapidly in the last two decades, and a lot of the military trucks rolling around the capital are new. Progress has been particularly striking when it comes to logistics and supplying food. In the past, Chinese armies were notorious for their lackadaisical logistical arrangements, particularly when it came to feeding the troops. But in less than a generation, Chinese troops have come from very impromptu arrangements for obtaining and preparing food, to mobile kitchens and MRE-like field rations.

The troops appreciate all this progress, especially the senior NCOs, who experienced the bad-old-days, when they were new recruits. The much improved food service is particularly popular, especially for soldiers who grew up in some of poverty stricken part of the country. For these troops, the chow in the army is some of the best they ever had, and there's lots of it. The troops still use chop sticks, for the most part, to eat with, logos notwithstanding.





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