MRE Basics: Reading MRE Date Codes

For more information on date codes and anything else you might want to know about MREs, please visit

This is the first in what should become an occasional series called MRE Basics, where I’ll take one small aspect of MREs and go into more detail than I can generally give in a regular MRE review. This first one looks at something that a lot of people not familiar with MREs have asked me about–the date codes. It’s important for someone interested in buying MREs to know exactly how old any they might find for sale are. But since they use the Julian Date Code method of dating rather than simply putting the date on the packaging it can be kind of confusing. Reading a Julian Date Code is pretty simple once you see a few and know what to look for. While this is a longer video than I had intended, if you really just want to learn how to read a four-digit date code I explain that in the first minute of the video. The rest goes into further detail about where you can find the codes (outer bags, most components inside the MRE and on the cases themselves) and how you can determine the date even though the code only gives the last digit of the year of manufacture (does a “0″ indicate 1990? 2000? 2010?). It’s not the most exciting video I’ve ever produced, but I hope that it will be useful to some people.

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Post time: Sep-06-2017
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