Is is legal to sell a US Military MRE? According to DCIS:
1. All Operational Rations are procured by the Defense Logistics Agency with taxpayer dollars and are Government owned until consumed by authorized personnel or disposed of if appropriate. RESALE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
2. Sale to and use/disposition by unauthorized personnel is a violation of Operational Rations Security. The potential for adulteration by unauthorized personnel is an unnecessary threat presented by the auction sales of Operational Ration items to unknown/unauthorized persons and such sales will be investigated and terminated.
From what I have been told that the sale of Military MREs could contribute to a terrorist threat. Why are they selling on Amazon?
Several years ago, there was some brouha from the DOJ trying to crack down on re-sale of real MREs online. They claimed the flameless heater portion was bad for parcel delivery and mumble-mumble, cough *securityterrorismhrmmhrmm* and for awhile, MRE re-sellers could not use the USPS to deliver them to customers (but FedEx and UPS delivered them fine). Some resellers just took out the flameless heater, and sold them anyway.
Hurricane Katrina saw the National Guard busting out MREs from their armories, and sure enough thousands of unauthorized civilians were enjoying milspec MREs (with heaters!) and the government seemed to ease-off their efforts to control MRE resale, after that.
Our tax dollars contributed to the creation and subsequent evolution of MREs, so I don't feel at all bad about carrying around a gov-issue MRE in my backpack for food-just-in-case.
The recent show "doomsday preppers" has caused a resurgence or fad for people to stock up on shelf stable emergency provisions, and who wouldn't want the "real deal" MREs over the (generally) inferior MREs for civvies? Although I can't name one off the top of my head, if you go to the mreinfo dot com site, you will find that some of the same packaging plants that manufacture milspec MREs, produce the civilian versions. The wrappings are nearly identical in form factor and color and labeling font, just the US Gov seal is missing, along with the warning that the package is government property, and not for resale.
Your best buy for real MREs is ebay.
Everything you ever wanted to know about MREs (including the legality of resale) can be found at MREinfo dot com. It may be that "officially", MREs are not for resale, but that does not stop them from being resold, and the DOJ has not been cracking down as hard in recent years, as they were, when ebay first went online.
If you get the real ones, just enjoy it, and keep it to yourself. :)