Soldiers deployed to Poland to keep an eye on Russia should be ready to rough it — the Army says it’s axing “creature comforts” like fast food and fancy coffees. That means the regiments joining NATO next month will be asked to do without Whoppers, Subway foot-longs, and caramel lattes specially made by the Army’s Starbucks knockoff, Green Beans, The Wall Street Journal reports. The troops “are never going to see Burger King,” the Army’s top commander in Europe, Ben Hodges, puts it frankly. And they better steel themselves for the alternative: “Be ready for potatoes three meals a day for six months. The Irish have figured out how to make it interesting. I am sure you can, too.”
According to the Journal, soldiers have gotten too used to living large on burgers, Pizza Hut, and mall jaunts:
In Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers stationed at big U.S. bases got used to gorging on American fast food and shopping at military strip malls.
“We went a little too far on some of the luxuries,” says the regiment’s Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Muhlenbeck, a veteran of both conflicts. “We set a climate that soldiers weren’t in a combat zone anymore. They weren’t in the right mind-set to fight tonight.”
On the menu for Poland: austerity. “The standard of living is Spartan — Spartan, plus Wi-Fi,” Gen. Hodges told the soldiers, to some chuckling.
But no need to feel despondent yet for the troops, because their game plan is apparently to embrace the suck by going buck wild while they’re still stationed in Germany. “I am probably going to hit the American Burger King on post at least twice this week,” one sergeant tells the Journal. “And then I am going to get out to one of the German Pizza Huts.”