Alongside a gallery of 25 images, Selfaison wrote:
If you ever wonder what food is like on a US Navy ship. Here it is. The USS Nimitz (CVN 68). This is all food that myself or one of my close friends were served. This was served while we were deployed or at sea. Food is one of the only things to look forward to when your out there. This was unacceptable for the men and women putting their lives on the line. I want to bring awareness to this problem. Someone higher up there needs to see this. Military or not, Please share and comment especially if you have your own pictures of horrible food you’ve received while in the military, I know you all got them.
***Updated with pictures from the comments. Please continue to add pictures and videos***
U.S. Navy U.S. Army U.S. Marine Corps Navy Times Military.com Military Times Decelerate Your Life
A quick search led to a stock photograph labeled with the original poster’s name taken on March 20 2017. It was not whether the person in the image was the same person sharing the images:
PACIFIC OCEAN (March 20, 2017) Master-at-Arms Seaman Kevin Selfaison, a native of Stockton, Calif., fires an M240 machine gun under the instruction of Master-at-Arms 1st Class William Elliott, a native of Perris, Calif., during a live-fire exercise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is currently underway conducting Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in preparation for an upcoming deployment. COMPTUEX tests a carrier strike group’s mission-readiness and ability to perform as an integrated unit through simulated real-world scenar
Some photographs were captioned with descriptions or more information, including “raw” foods (roast beef and salmon), moldy pita bread, and eggs which were either gray or saturated with water. No fewer than three images or videos showed food that was too firm or desiccated to be pierced with a fork, numerous stills showed moldy produce (or ham), and several involved insects on salads or vegetables.
Moreover, images and videos appeared to have been added later and submitted by other sailors, and videos showed sailors “bouncing” meats off the table or indicating that the food was not only unappetizing, but also impossible to consume due to decay or it having dried out completely.
Civilian commenters expressed concern and frustration upon seeing the images, remarking:
This is unacceptable. These men are employed for the protection of our country and they serve them food like they are in prison. Stop being messy, whoever is in charge of this and not caring. What’s going on when our men and women can’t be given quality food. This pisses me off[.]
Others relayed their own stories of what they claimed was indifference toward military food quality:
One time I was on kp (helping the cooks) and the lady in charge said put the milk out, some one questioned it and said “but there’s still 5 hours left till lunch”. The lady in charge said “that’s what we got insurance for, a lil bubble gut ain’t ever hurt no one”!! Ever since then I refuse to eat the lunch they make, I’d rather eat an MRE..
And some commenters debated the veracity of the poster’s claims:
This guy who posted this will be unemployed soon🤣🤣 good laugh though people really believe this🤣🤣
One such observation appeared in a share of the post to a private group, where a member responded:
Lol fuck off. This is fake as shit. I was on subs and we ate GOOD. I mean, fuck the military for sure. But we ate good at least.
However, another commenter disputed that claim:
Bullshiet…I was on a sub and the only time we ate good was when we just pull out to sea, the chill box/freezer is broken, the admiral is visiting, or deployment is getting extended. Other than that, those salmon tastes like cardboard, powder milk, powder eggs, Thanksgiving food all the time, crappy midrats, prison rejected can foods.
A commenter on the original post shared photographs they claimed were taken during their time serving on the USS Nimitz, these showing burned hot dogs. In an October 28 2020 post, they wrote:
From 3 years ago when I was on the boat . Crazy how nothing has changed[.]
On October 13 2020 (ten days after the post was first shared), Stripes.com reported that the USS Nimitz was docked in Bahrain:
The USS Nimitz became the first U.S. aircraft carrier to put the Navy’s coronavirus-related port call procedures to the test in Bahrain when it pulled into port last week [prior to October 13 2020].
With the guided-missile Cruiser USS Princeton, the Nimitz arrived at Manama for a scheduled visit that began last Wednesday [October 7 2020] and ended Sunday [October 12 2020], said Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the Bahrain-based U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the 5th Fleet.
During their stay — a working port call for logistics and maintenance — the ships’ sailors and Marines got to “rest and unwind in designated areas on the pier” that complied with U.S. and host nation measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the service said in a statement on Sunday [October 12 2020].
Claims made in the post and comments resembled occasional discourse on Reddit’s r/Navy, including an August 2016 thread about “food experiences”:
Ask /r/Navy: What kind of "food experiences" have you had in the Navy? Best/Worst Galley, I-Can’t-Believe-They-Call-This-Food, Ship Store/Vending stocking decisions, and other "tasty treat" stories. from navy
In April 2020, a post to r/Navy encompassed issues above and beyond food quality:
A commenter on that thread replied:
lol I’m on a DDG. We’ve been non-stop for the last 8 months, when we pulled into homeport we were told we could not leave the ship, see loved ones, etc… (CO’s decision). We were in port for 1 week then we went out again. So far it’s been 2 months since we’ve seen any dry land. People’s moral is at an all time low, people are getting sick (not Covid), and we are working 16-18 hours a day. Our current XO is also garbage, did a birthing inspection and threatened us with going to Inserve standards because none of our racks were made to HIS specifications (Wool blanket layed out on the mattress (sleeping board) like a sheet with the U.S. in the middle. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone attempted to off themselves soon.
On July 29 2020, a user of r/Navy again complained about the quality of rations:
Selfaison’s post about food aboard the USS Nimitz clearly struck a chord with readers (former seamen among them), but it was also difficult to verify claims made in the post. It appeared as though additional images, some shared in the comment thread, were added after the post began circulating — and that some of the images might have been from other ships or environments. On the other hand, it wasn’t difficult to find supporting complaints about the quality of rations served to men and women on Navy ships all across social media.