View Full Version : BAS/COMRATs vs Meal Card

12-28-10, 04:21 PM
I read through the Marine Corps Order which covers this topic but did not really find my question to be answered. I am an E-3 Marine who lives in the barracks. My situation is one that I have been on light duty and will continue to be light duty for several months as I am going through the medical process for a severe knee injury. Without being limited to light PT (only an exercise bike and light elliptical machine use) I am not able to exercise enough and am gaining weight due to the horribly unhealthy food that is served in the mess hall. While having a meal card, I cannot afford to purchase my own food from the commissary and eat healthier. Unfortunately I do not see anything in the MCO about this type of situation and am not sure how to approach my chain of command with my request for ComRats. I do have the proper form (NAVMC 10522) to apply for ComRats with my Commanding Officer, but any help on how to pursue this issue would be greatly appreciated.

12-28-10, 04:36 PM
If your reason is the food in the chow hall is unhealthy, you would need a signed statement from your doctor at your BAS.

R Landry
12-28-10, 05:30 PM
Does your mess hall have a choice of grilled or baked meats in lieu of fried meats? Are there some some sort of green veggies? Are there whole-grain breads available? If so, you should be able to gin up some sort of healthy chow.

Let us know what's available and we might be able to help out, food choice-wise.

12-28-10, 05:45 PM
Dont talk trash about the mess hall...... I eat their every meal and know every chow hall on base. The chow hall is healthy,,, the salad bar is where you should be hanging out at not at the fast food line... sounds like you are going to gain weight because you dont PT enough---go to the pool,,, knee injury??? lift weights...... comm rats.. sounds like you want to buy that big bag of Doritos and your DIET soda..

12-28-10, 06:01 PM
I have a hard time believing it's the chow hall that's the issue. Mess halls are required to serve portions based on a set plan. Do you remember in boot camp when you tried to get mashpotatoes AND mac and cheese? ONE STARCH RECRUIT! The same applies in the fleet but mess halls usually let you get away with it. That and portions, they are required to give you only so much, if you have no self control and ask for more then they serve you or you go back for seconds then that's not the mess hall's fault.

Like already noted, there's plenty of options at all mess halls. Salad bar, soups, fruit, various drinks, and usually at least 2-3 options for main meals. It's up to you to be a big boy and not over eat or eat unhealthy. COMRATS isn't going to take care of you nor should you rate it unless your doctor specificlly says you are required to eat "x" food that isn't provided at on-base mess facilities. More then likely they will tell you to watch what you eat at the mess hall, PT more and that you are not getting COMRATS because you are gaining weight. In most Marine's eyes they'd see COMRATS as a chance to gain even more weight.

Furthermore, a knee injury doesn't prevent you from doing crunches or pull ups. You may not be able to run but you sure as hell can do every other aspect of a workout to ensure you are getting your PT in and burning calories you consume at the chow hall.

Don't take it as a negative comment, take it as a comment to better improve your eating habbits and PT routine to stay within regs and off BCP.

12-28-10, 06:11 PM
Thank you for all the quick replies.

I definitely do not mean to "talk trash" about the mess hall. I feel that they do offer a good variety and the workers are always very kind. That was definitely not my intent on this post. In the perfect world, if I were able (allowed) to make it to the mess hall during actual lunch and dinner hours on a regular basis I feel that I could work with what is available and eat quite healthily. The problem is, more often than not this is not the case and the only option I have is the fast/quick chow line. Now even there, I get my barbecue chicken sandwich (7grams fat), fruit, and a salad. Sometimes I have time (usually dinner as I am released for the day) to go through the fast line where you can "custom build" a sandwich and that way I can get more veggies and have something that is more filling.

So to HOWARDROARK3043, no, I am actually quite health conscious and I do understand my options to stay healthy. Without knowing my situation and essentially calling me ignorant, I do take offense to such a useless comment. If you must know I completely tore my ACL and tore my lateral and medial meniscus and had my knee reconstructed and the medial meniscus removed. This is not just a sprained knee. It is common sense that on top of the limited PT that I can do (which I did state I do PT that I can when I can), that a healthier diet would allow for me to stay in better shape until I can get back out and run and be active like I wish I could be now. I would also like to comment that I am currently well within weight standards for my height.

From the responses I am getting, it is looking like I do not have a valid Marine Corps reason to be allowed to purchase my own food, but like R Landry stated, maybe I am unaware of other mess hall options that are on base and readily available to me. I am currently at Camp Lejeune. If anyone has any recommendations based on what they know is around base for healthier food with some variety I would appreciate the comments!

12-28-10, 06:23 PM
I am currently at Camp Lejeune. If anyone has any recommendations based on what they know is around base for healthier food with some variety I would appreciate the comments!

I eat at Subway every day for lunch right at the annex. Yes I pay $7 for a meal each time but after a week I end up with a free meal on my rewards card (for the most part). That's $35 a week (if you buy a foot long meal) with a free meal on the weekend. You can easily go with just a 6 inch meal and walk out of there each day paying less then $6.

If you can't afford $70 a paycheck for lunch then you may have other issues :D

Also, there's a weight-loss/healthy style food vendor inside the food court at the PX. I've never eaten there cause I have no desire to give a damn about that stuff anymore BUT from the looks of it they serve meals that are strictly counted and properly grouped for a low impact meal. There's also the sandwich trailer over by the old bus station on the corner of where 2/2 is and the gym (G street I think). They sell decent meals that are by no means LARGE portions and for the most part are not that bad at all.

I highly recommend the Subway Diet though. The only issue you have to overcome is getting in line before the rest of the base does. That's why I usually don't walk in until closer to 1300.

Old Marine
12-28-10, 06:44 PM
Gibby916: I doubt that you realize that meals in the Mess Halls are very healthly. There are dieticians who recommend each and evey meal that is served. The cooks just do not go into the mess hall and decide they are going to have whatever that day.

Maybe it would be wise to stay out of McDonalds, Burger King, or what ever fast food place you have on base. As stated by another poster, all mess halls have salad bars for your enjoyment. Stay away from all white foods (bread, spuds) and only drink water. No coke, beer or any booze.

Reach down, get a hold of yourself and loose some weight, otherwise they will send you away.

12-28-10, 06:53 PM
Old Marine: I am not over weight. I am not out of any USMC standards. I am not going out to eat at fast food restaurants. I am on medication because of my knee and cannot drink alcohol even if I wanted to (even though I am 25). I am sure that the meals at mess halls are healthy enough based on the average person being able to PT regularly. That is not currently the case for me which is why I am seeking advice. Please read my entire post before talking down to me.

Vandrel: I do like your suggestion. You are right though, I have seen them get very busy around lunch. On days when I am given enough time for lunch I will definitely try and make a run to Subway for something healthy to mix it up.

12-28-10, 07:47 PM
All physical training does not put stress on your knee. You should have no reason to not being able to pt regularly. Do mass pull ups, crunches, weights and that should have little stress to your knee.

12-28-10, 08:02 PM
spotts: Definitely agree that not all PT does not stress my knee. If you were to read my post, I state that I am doing Limited PT...as in what I am allowed to by the Sports Med doc and my BAS. I do appreciate input, but again, my question was not about whether or not pull ups and crunches stress my knee, but how can I eat healthy/healthier with the choices I have available to me. If everyone is just going to jump on my case stating that I can still PT (which again, for those who cannot read...I do daily PT and physical therapy 3x per week) then just have a moderator close the thread because it is a waste of everyone's time. I came here for ideas, not to be told that I am fat and lazy when I am not.

12-28-10, 08:31 PM
Ah, guess when I screwed up my knee when I was in we didnt have a Sports Med doc. We took some Motrin and sucked it up.

12-28-10, 08:42 PM
spotts: If you also read my post you would see reconstructive surgery was involved. It is people like you instead of try and help your junior Marine succeed you just tell them to suck it up when you don't even understand the situation (in the instance simply because you failed to read the question at hand). Then you decide to again, act like I am just being lazy by stating you didn't have a Sports Med Doc when you were in even though Sports Medicine docs have been involved in recovery of surgery patients since the 1960s in the Marine Corps. I respect your hard work and service but please don't waste my time.

12-28-10, 08:47 PM
If you think the Chow hall is unhealth, what the hell are you going to buy with the COMRATS cash cause you can't cook any uncook food such as meat! Plus where are you going to store the perishables at? I'm sure your roommate will get ****ed cause you'll be using up all the space in that mini-fridgerator not to mention that the freezer is quite small as well. Unless you live in one of the brand new barracks built in the last few year on Pendleton that has a small kitchenette, I wouldn't even bother to apply for COMRATS untill you get a place out in town. till then your stuck in the barracks! also some great advice up above about work outs that don't involve using your knee. the Pool is also a great place to rehab your knee and work every muscle!

12-28-10, 08:57 PM
Thank you to all who posted something constructive. This is just turning into a bash on my question. To those who want to continue to post, please feel free but I will no longer be checking back.

Old Marine
12-28-10, 09:41 PM
You asked a question and you got answers you did not like. That's life in the Corps.

In you post you said you were gaining weight because you were eating in the mess hall. That tells me that you have been eating the wrong foods that you get who knows where.
End of story.

12-31-10, 06:50 PM
gunnz,,,, this is the new Marine Corps,,,, LCpl did not get the answer he was looking for ---so he gets sassy,,,,

12-31-10, 09:53 PM
gunnz,,,, this is the new Marine Corps,,,, LCpl did not get the answer he was looking for ---so he gets sassy,,,,

This guy said the same thing

But then this guy corrected him later

So stop being like this kid

12-31-10, 10:07 PM
Gibby916: Stay away from all white foods (bread, spuds) and only drink water. No coke, beer or any booze.

This :thumbup: also stay away from sugar. Sodas with caffiene wick away moisture from your muscles too. So stay away from caffiene to allow your body to heal. I know it's tough, sounds like a rugged injury, but I am confident you will be fine. Do what PT you can. Ask Doc if he can get a rundown on what exercises you can do to burn calories and that will allow the injury to heal properly.

12-31-10, 10:19 PM
May I ask why the regularly scheduled hours are difficult for you to make? Main line is usually open between 2-3 hours each meal. Are you a shift worker? Why does your job prevent you from making meal times?

If possible, you could raise your concerns with your immediate chain of command, and see if you can come to an arrangement where they let you go to chow earlier to let you catch the healthier line.