Coffee is delicious and maybe even an integral part of your work day, but did you know that the tasty beverage has a rich history in the American military experience?
Since the Civil War, coffee has played a part in the life of the soldier. Civil War Captain Robert K. Beecham wrote in his book Gettysburg: The Pivotal Battle of the Civil War, that “The power of the soldiers to endure the fatigue of the march and keep their places in the ranks was greatly enhanced by an opportunity to brew a cup of coffee by the wayside.”
This tradition of coffee and the military particularly fascinated marines Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez. When Haft and Suarez joined the Marines they expected a tough journey, but they didn't anticipate an obsession with coffee. As their enthusiasm with the beverage grew, they began to realize that they had joined the ranks of many soldiers before them who relied on the drink as a way of life.
In The New York Times Haft and Suarez wrote of the importance of the ritual that drinking coffee provided. "We would often share with our platoon sergeants and squad leaders while we gathered around a map and discussed our plans for the day. Whether in the forests of North Carolina, the mountains of California, or the deserts of Afghanistan, the ritual provided a sense of continuity."
Haft and Suarez went on to write a book about their discovery of the link between coffee and American soldiers.
Check out the slideshow above for more on coffee and its history in the military.