September 10th, 2010
10:35 AM ET

U.S. troops in Afghanistan may get back their fast food

Concessions were banned on bases at one point because they took up space for supplies.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan may soon get their burgers back.

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill, who took over as the senior non-commissioned officer in Afghanistan this month, told Stars and Stripes on Thursday that he was reversing a ban on fast food concessions such as Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken that had been instituted earlier this year.

“For troops to be able to go and grab a burger or a piece of chicken or whatever, I don’t really think it’s that bad,” Hill told Stars and Stripes.

The concessions ban had been put in place by Gen. Stanley McChrystal in February as the military was boosting its troop strength in Afghanistan. McChrystal said the concessions took up space on bases and in supply lines.

“This is a war zone - not an amusement park,” McChrystal’s senior NCO, Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall, said at the time.

But when Gen. David Petraeus took over command in Afghanistan during the summer, he allowed a review of the fast-food policy.

Hill told Stars and Stripes he decided to lift the ban after consulting with other senior noncommissioned officers.

In a report on the blog of the International Security Assistant Force Afghanistan, Hill stressed the role the restaurants play in the military’s mission.

“Not one Burger King or Taco Bell can replace the importance of believing in the mission and providing outstanding leadership. It just enhances what they already have,” he said.

Individual base commanders will have final say on whether the restaurants can open on their installation, Hill said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Haze

    It's a taste of home... Not the best taste, but a taste nonetheless. I think they should be granted that priveledge.

    September 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SailorDad

    A taste of home is what all people need(comfort food is part of home) especially those who are far away from home and under constant threat of danger and death.

    September 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lacrosseson

    So long as it doesn't hinder their job, I say give 'em what they want.

    September 10, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ken Dyer

    Canadian soldiers enjoy Tim Hortons, ha ha ha!, suck it up yanks!!

    September 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Ha Ha, just wait til we open up a Dunkin Donuts...then who'll be laughing, eh?

      September 12, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. ZOOMER165

    GIVE THEM THE BEEF, THEY NEED THE COMFORT FOOD FROM HOME. HELL YEAH BURGER KING AND
    TACO BELL !!! THE GOOD LIFE.

    September 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Alex Winter

    BREAKING NEWS - Obama blames Republicans - BREAKING NEWS

    September 10, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The Truth

    As a Vet that served in Iraq I know first hand taking a break from the routine food served at the DFACs and going to one these fast food stands does a lot for morale. Those who never deployed overseas or spent considerable time away from the U.S. other than for vacation don't realize how a simple trip to an American brand resturant helps you relax and for a moment feel at home. As long as it does not impact the mission they should be welcomed onto any base. This is not some freebie service given to soldiers, they pay for the food out of their own pockets.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kbaredge126c

    Give them whatever they want, and send the bill to Lars and Bach burner.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Percy

    Finally now we have a soldier's General in charge.Thank You General Petraus for caring about the ground troops!!

    September 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joseph L Cooke

    The sergeant needs his azz kicked up between his ears.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Canuck

    Bach Burner
    Why dont you get off your a** and sign up and go over there and tell the soldiers that you dont agree with their menu or the things they do to R&R? You are SUCH A LOSER that I dont even know why I wasted the time to comment back to you!

    September 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mamagacho

    If our troops want the small comforts of home, they should have them. Give them back their burgers. They have earned them!

    September 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeepers

    Those people are there putting their lives on the line...being separated from their loved ones...missing the births of children. Surely we can manage to let them have a burger now and then. I thought the ban was a shameful slap in their faces. There are just some things that should not have a price tag put on them.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fallowt

    U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have long been banned from consuming alcohol under U. S. Central Command's General Order No. 1, a broad blanket order which imposes restrictions on U.S. troops serving in the Middle East, that among other things bans alcohol consumption. The restrictions are intended to ensure that the behavior of U.S. troops is in line with the local Islamic traditions of the region.

    So, our troops can't have any beer because it might "offend" the Islamic people, and then some jerk says they can't even have a hamburger? Phuck that, phuck all you azz-kissing commanders who bend over at our troops' expense.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. A soldier's Wife

    As a wife-to-be of a US Soldier over there, I know first hand how happy it makes him (and all the troops) when they get a "taste of home". Whether it's Burger King, a Cup of Joe, or a simple care package with beef jerky, they love and appreciate it; and it let's them know we will never forget them.
    It doesn't matter if you agree with the reasons we are there, or even who put them there; bottom line is YOU get to have your BK (or your healthy buffalo burgers, or anything!) at anytime you want it. There are sooo many SMALL pleasures that we take for granted on a daily basis; we need to all take a moment to thank those- past, present and future- who sacrifice for us (and the families that are back home supporting and missing them!)
    I love you, Sgt. Hernandez!!

    September 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      I served in Iraq for 3 tours, and getting Care packages was for sure a good time, and we couldnt' wait to get them. Good luck to you and your soon to be husband. You wives are the battery that keeps us going, and going, and going. Stay strong for him honey, and tell him to stay safe, and keep his six cleared. Charlie Mike.........

      September 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leah (TXanimal)

      Send him a box of taco sauce from Taco Bell. Best care package I ever got...made any nasty chow hall dish seem like a gourmet meal ;)

      September 10, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
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