Don’t Bring Apricots on a Tank

Informant Background:

This Informant is a staff sergeant in the United States Marine Corps with numerous tours under his belt. He’s currently a MECEP in the USC Naval battalion. He’s married with a kid on the way.


Informant’s Story:

“I never really rode on any AMTRAACS [armored transport] or tanks or anything, but I’ve heard from around the corps that you should never bring any apricots in the vehicle with you. Apparently if you do the tank or whatever will inevitably break down. I don’t know where the hell you’d be getting apricots from in the middle of Afghanistan or why you would bring them in a tanks, but it’s definitely a thing.”


This superstition started WWII. This is because every time a tank broke down, apricot rations were always on board.  This would make sense as rations were generally distributed evenly among armor crews, and statistically if a tank were to break down, you would most likely find the orange fruit. Ever since then, tankers and APC crews have been deathly afraid of apricot. A modern take on this has transformed apricots in to “Charms” candy. Like apricots in WWII, charms today would be fairly evenly distributed between all rations and would likely be present in the event of a mechanical malfunction.