It wasn’t unusual to have 3 MREs a day the first few days of a deployment or if in a remote location. Other times, the MRE depended on the schedule for the day. I agree that mostly it was at lunch, however, if you’ve got a lot of folks running on reverse cycle, then it might make more sense to have the hot at lunch and supper, since that would be a more likely time for the night shift to be awake. The fact that they have midrats says that they’re running shifts.
MREs because meals are not available is part of business. This sounds like someone is just shortchanging troops who COULD have 3 meals if someone just wanted to make it happen.
I thought breakfast was the best bet at a chow hall, because it is hard to screw it up.