K-F-S! (Uh-huh, uh-huh!) KFS is going to feed you!

--My former roommate and platoon-mate, Matt Lumsden (with apologies to The KLF)

In an era where retreat is termed a "tactical advance to the rear" and accidentally bombing a centuries-old church is spun into an incident of "collateral damage," it's rare to see the military (any military, not just the United States' armed forces) use sensible terminology. The Canadian Armed Forces are as guilty as their American counterparts, with the occasional exception. One of these is the KFS:

Knife. Fork. Spoon.

The term KFS isn't restricted to the Canadian Armed Forces, and seems to be in widespread use in many NATO countries. Essentially, a KFS is a set of aluminium or stainless steel eating utensils intended for use by armies in the field of combat. Typically, the three utensils lock together when not in use -- in the Canadian issue, the spoon lies flush against the fork, and the two slide together into grooves in the knife handle, with the convex side of the spoon facing outwards.

The Canadian version comes with a KFS Carrier, a pouch for carrying the KFS that attaches to a soldier's webbing, usually tucked underneath the canteen carrier. A velcro flap prevents the KFS from falling out. The KFS carrier also has a pocket suitable for carrying a pocket knife (either the woefully inadequate regular issue version or a Swiss Army knife).

As important as eating is, soldiers often lose their KFS, or parts thereof. With age, the velcro on the carrier flap loses its effectiveness, and the KFS may fall out. Individual utensils can be misplaced during dishwashing, stolen by less-ethical and utensil-deficient comrades or damaged via unauthorized activities. The trouble is that without either the fork or spoon, the other will not slide securely into the knife's grooves. Together a knife, fork and spoon form the KFS, the Holy Trinity of eating implements. Separate, they're useless, clanking pieces of silverware. Thus, individual KFS components are often found abandoned or lost at the bottom of kit lockers, in closets at the CQ stores or in the nether-regions of a soldier's rucksack.

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