8 Pictures of KP Duty Tasks You Probably Forgot About

Depending on branch and location, nearly everyone had to do KP Duty at some point in their Military career. Some jobs were more desirable than others, and it all came down to the luck of the draw. Since many people only had Kitchen Police/Patrol Duty for a short period of time, here are 8 pictures to remember what it was like!

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1.) Potato Peeler

Many Military Personnel & Veterans joke that KP really stands for ‘Keep Peeling’!

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Even if the location you were stationed at had an electric peeler, chances were you hand peeled many potatoes during your time on KP Duty.

It was just you, your paring knife, and a million potatoes. While not the most fun KP task, it definitely wasn’t the worst!

2.) Tray Duty

Tray duty seemed never-ending. As soon as you thought you were done, more and more would come back.

At least it was a simple process – spray the trays, load them in the rack, push them through the rack, and repeat!

3.) Outside Man

Outside man was arguably one of the best KP Duty tasks, especially if you were a smoker!

Not only that, but many times, outside men would be asked to dispose of cake trays and other excess food that hadn’t really gone bad – so that meant free snacks for you and your buddies!

Reconnect with those buddies here.

4.) Pots & Pans

Photo Courtesy of VetFriends.com

Scrubbing those giant pots and pans was sweaty work.

Plus, if you got a bacon pan, you were SOL!

Although it wasn’t the easiest task, there was plenty of work to make the time pass quickly and you generally got left alone.

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5.) Dish Washer

If you were lucky enough to have a dishwasher where you were stationed, this may have been one of your favorite tasks. Loading it up didn’t take very long, and then you could goof off and steal a cookie or two.

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Check out our Interactive Military Base Map to see if you can find yours.

6.) Mess Hall Duty

Photo Courtesy of VetFriends.com

This was arguably one of the worst tasks to get.

Civilians mostly handle mess hall now, so this KP duty job has gone extinct over the years.

7.) DRO/Dining Room Orderly

Dining Room Orderlies were basically waiters for the Officers.

DRO had its ups and downs – it could get annoying, but at least you got to eat like an Officer that day!

Check out our Military Rank and Insignia Chart.

8.) Grease Pit

Last but not least, the grease pit/trap.

Many cleaned it using nothing but an empty metal can.

Unappealing as this task was, it would get you in good favor with the cooks!


Those in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force all had to deal with KP/Mess Duty – no matter your branch, what was your favorite task?

Want to reminisce on your time in Boot Camp? Check out our blog 10 Basic Training Photos to Remember Your Recruit Days.

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