HooAH Bar Going Civilian

The Army’s HooAh! nutrition bar is coming to a Wal-Mart near you.

Army secret unwrapped (Washington Times)

Heard, understood, acknowledged: A toothsome U.S. Army secret is about to go civilian. It’s sweet. It crunches. It remains fresh for three years. And come June, the HooAH! nutrition bar arrives on store shelves nationwide for red-blooded Americans who fancy a special-forces snack.

Developed as a high-energy combat ration for Army Rangers and U.S. Marines almost a decade ago at the Army Soldier Systems Center in Massachusetts, the HooAH! name and formula officially have been licensed by a trio of California brothers who know a good thing when they see it. “Everybody respects the military, and everybody wants a part of the cutting-edge technology,” said Christian D’Andrea of Los Angeles, who bought exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute the bar with brothers Mark and Paul. “Retailers are really pumped,” Mr. D’Andrea said.

The brothers have replaced the bar’s camouflaged wrapper with a star-spangled version to catch the eye of consumers at 15,000 stores nationwide — including Wal-Mart, 7-Eleven and CVS. It’s the nosh, the brothers say, “to help you soldier on.”

Along with soy protein, dried fruit, chocolate and 17 vitamins and minerals, the HooAH! bar is chock-full of military tradition. The name itself is derived from the Army acronym “HUA” — “heard, understood, acknowledged.”

Of course, the official bar is labeled “HooAH!” for Army troops on one side and “Oorah!” on the other side, meant for Marines, who prefer “Oo” to “Hoo.” Currently used by special forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bars will be part of the servicewide Meals, Ready to Eat (MRE) system of field rations next year.

Hilarious. Back in my day, the candy bars that came with MREs not only had no nutritional value aside from packing lots of energy-giving calories, they were bloody awful. That they’ve improved them so much that civilians are clammoring for them is good news indeed.

One presumes the SEALS will be getting a Hoo-Yah! bar.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    My wife, being related to Chesty Puller, will be holding out for an OooRAH! bar.

  2. ron says:

    In my opinion, one of the better success stories in the military development process is the improvement of MRE’s. My first encounter with the MRE was in July 86. While some were edible, some were better classified as meals-not-so-ready-to-eat. Freeze dried meat stuff and the Old MRE #4 — Omelet with ham; these were some frightening concoctions sure to make the soldier resist the urge to overeat in the field. Still, they were a step up from the previous types of rations. Now, the army continuously works to improve the flavors and the options, up from 12 varieties to 24, and cater to the religious and lifestyle choices of the troops (vegetarian for instance). I know I sound like the salesman for the army, but I will gripe in a second about the things I don’t like, so I must give loads of credit where it is due. The candy bar mentioned is one of the results of their great work.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Ron: True ’nuff. I had my first MREs in the summer of ’84. Dehyrated pork and beef patties, some stringy mystery meat with veins in it, etc. They were already much better by Desert Storm.

  4. mhking says:


  5. Kent says:

    Didn’t some Army folks used to claim that MRE stood for “Meals Rejected by Ethiopians?”

    I’m glad to hear that the quality has improved markedly.

  6. LJD says:

    Properly referred to as Mr. “E”s. Because it’s often a mystery what’s in them.

    Or Meals, alReady Eaten.

    I wonder how the marketing campaign will promote not being able to take a dump for four days to the civilian populace….

  7. kappiy says:

    If the MREs are at the same distressed level of delectibility as the neon-orange, soupy mac and cheese I ate several years ago as a guest at Ft. Knox, I feel horribly sorry for the soldiers. One would think that a $50 billion budget might find some room for decent food.