R Street's Kevin Kosar has written a history of whiskey in the military for KCET. He traces the intertwined relationship of booze and troops from early America to the present:
"Whiskey, as any enlistee will tell you, is popular among America’s fighting forces. Military installations’ drinks shops (“Class 6” stores) are stocked with a galaxy of intoxicating drinks — beer, spirits, wines — but whiskey is especially popular. And it isn’t just any whiskey — it’s the American-made bourbons, ryes and Tennessee whiskeys that really move off the shelves.
Certainly, the popularity of whiskey among soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines can be explained partly as a reflection of American taste in general. Americans purchased more than 30 million cases of American whiskeylast year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
But for military men and women, whiskey holds an additional appeal beyond its glorious amber color, robust flavor and mood-alleviating powers — it may even be more American than apple pie (which seems to have been invented in England). Whiskey has been with the America’s armed forces since the earliest days of the republic..."
Read the whole piece here.