They don't even put Charms in MREs anymore. Because if everyone is just going to chuck the candy out the Humvee window, that's just a gross waste of high-fructose corn syrup.
And that is candy corn's job.
Those who aren't new to the service and have ever deployed with Marines probably saw the same scene at some point. Hungry Marines pour into their MREs and take out their favorite parts and toss the rest into the MRE box (a process known as ratf*cking). Let's face it, some MRE parts are definitely better than others.
Look, I like wheat snack bread, and I don't need jalapeno cheese spread to eat it.
No matter what an individual's tastes were, one item was always discarded: the Charms candy. The reason for that was a mixture of superstition and because the younger guys knew someone would slap the candy out of their hands or out of their mouths for the cardinal sin of even opening the wrapper.
The look you get when the smell of Charms fills the humvee. (HBO)
The simplest answer is that Marines grow up in the Corps learning that Charms are just plain bad luck. Whether it was learned from saltier Marines or experienced firsthand, those things might as well be pure evil.
"The Charms also contain FD&C Red 40."
Eating Charms is like begging for the world's largest thunderstorm to rain down on you and your platoon – even in the desert. Or they might set off a roadside bomb. Some think you'll get mortared just for opening an MRE with Charms in it – unless you bury it.
Some troops have been known to donate them to the more persistent local children – at high velocity. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Grant Okubo)
The luck varied as much as the flavors did. As Sgt. Kenneth Wilson told Agence France-Presse just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a lemon-flavored Charm could cause a vehicle breakdown. The green ones were the ones that brought the rain. Raspberry meant certain death.
You might as well be eating apricots.