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Special Forces Veteran Terry Baldwin is continuing his series on the history of US Military equipment with the field pack, more commonly known as the buttpack. I’m sure most everyone knows that the US Military once developed and issued load carrying accessories officially called Field Packs.
Some improvements were made in 1961 which included enlarging the Field Pack slightly, incorporating a waterproof collar and extending the pack cover.
Strictly speaking, the canvas buttpacks that we are all familiar with should not have been worn much past 1978-79 (four years after ALICE rucksacks were adopted).
But clearly the most important reason the buttpack stayed in service so long was that “field soldiers” of all services liked them. Along with the fielding of the LBV, something called the Field Pack, Training was also introduced.
No, he was pointing out the same technique for wearing the chute also worked for wearing a ruck. And no, there is no technique for static line parachuting that puts the rucksack behind the jumper. The 82nd bought a quantity of nylon buttpacks on at least one occasion from a commercial vender in the mid 80s and issued them. Yep, the seem to have kept the same 8465-00-935-6825 NSN even with the last Woodland camo cordura version that was issued. I selected the examples in the display just to help illustrate the various characteristics of the buttpacks being discussed. I hope some of the younger readers and especially those still serving will also see value and relevance in these gear related lessons learned. I also dont like having to search for items inside (batteries, jerky, or gloves, etc), which is why I like Tactical tailor’s MAV large pouches.
What I have & am using now, is either the SOF issue SO -Tech go bag,or a EMDOM waistpack. Do you remember the US made ALICE pack made for the CONTRA’s in the late 1980’s?
I always wanted one, & meant to buy 1 or 2 (they had them in either Brigade QM,or US Cav) but got busy with other things. And I do seem to recall that Werbell(sp) of Brigade Quartermaster had a hand in their manufacture and then sold them for a time. Was issued a canvas buttpack at Ft Benning from 78-80 while serving in a mechanized infantry unit. Also did you notice First Spear just recently launched their version of an E&R bag that can attach to kit in a similar fashion as a butt pack? Yet I’ve never heard any explanation or even rumor of why someone thought the Y style would somehow be better.
We would probably need to contact one of the original ALICE designers to provide an answer. Sir, I would love a list of the sources you used, unless of course its all from personal memory? I did reference TM 57-220 as mentioned in the article and the 1977 version of FM 21-15, Care and Use of Individual Clothing and Equipment. The Army renumbered their manuals some years ago so if you search by title you can find them and also find more current versions if you are interested. Ah, the good ol’ buttpack, I used to have one when I was in, 2 actually and both were private purchases. I would agree that the canvas versions were more durable than the early nylon packcloth versions. US Marine USMC Marines,The Few, The Proud Military Street Chrome Zippo Lighter Features : This item can not be shipped outside the United States. 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) Director Mike Sparks: after 28+ years of military field experience and having solved the Soldier's load problem for myself back in 1995, I think enough-is-enough! Descriptors : *MOBILITY, *LOGISTICS, MILITARY OPERATIONS, MILITARY PERSONNEL, WARFARE, GLOBAL, INDUSTRIES, ARMY PERSONNEL, CAPACITY(QUANTITY), INFANTRY, TERRAIN, CYCLES, MILITARY APPLICATIONS, LIGHTING EQUIPMENT, ARMY, VIETNAM, SWITZERLAND. The following is our immediate solution and its worked for me for well over 10 years now in the field and it can work for YOU so that you can live in the field COMFORTABLY. I realize admitting that you want comfort is not allowed and a curse word ("snivel gear") in the who-has-a-bigger-penis ego-driven U.S. Unit leaders should in mission planning have a list of the weights IN THEIR MIND'S EYE of all TA-50, weapons and ammo and add up the loads for their various Soldier assignments and make DRASTIC ADJUSTMENTS ACCORDINGLY.
However, the following general SOP will get you "in the ballpark" for 99% of all situations except for extreme sub-zero arctic conditions. LES was developed, in the long term, for use by unit commanders to assist them in the decision-making process of determining a Soldier's combat load. While holding all other mission parameters constant, LES will calculate the maximum load a Soldier should carry, or the maximum velocity he can travel. The inputs required include basic information concerning the soldier (height, weight), the expected weather, the terrain, and mission conditions.
Environmental Medicine (ARIEM) to estimate the Soldier's core temperature and determine the likelihood that he will be able to complete the mission before becoming a heat stress casualty. The model continues to evolve, not in general structure, which we believe is correct, but in details and refinements.
An Air Force Loadmaster and three Australian Army Riggers deploy a helibox and a maxibox load from a C-130J Hercules as part of Exercise Pacific Airlift Rally in Thailand. You do not fire & maneuver with your ruck on your back ("Combat Heavy") nor do you need your ruck to survive indefinitely in the field. Whenever you get the even empty rucksack off your back---you shed at the very minimum 6 pounds of weight upwards to 100 pounds. If you are moving and it begins to rain, you put on your waterproof, but breathable GT jacket, otherwise you sweat in your brush-breaking BDUs and hopefully dry out by night's end. At night's end and you become stationary; you find two trees or bushes and tie your long poncho-tent cords to stretch them out. Open up Ecotat LWSB-MP, pull over and around yourself; you can keep your boots on if you want---tighten shock cords around your feet above boot soles to keep mud out from inside your LWSB-MP. The only variation is that in open terrains you don't have trees to tie your poncho-tent lengthwise cords to and material to cut stakes from, so you carry 6 tent poles and 6 x OD green plastic tent stakes---the stakes in your buttpack and the poles tied together into one unit attached to the LWSB-MP's stuff sack or on top of the buttpack. You live the same as you would in closed terrain except that you erect 3 poles in front and 3 poles in the rear of your poncho-tent to erect it and let the tension from the stakes pulling on the cords to keep the tent standing. If you become a casualty, the mylar space blanket, LWSB-MP available on your person can be placed around you by a Combat LifeSaver so you stay warm to not go into shock and die. The following pictures show how you can rig your buttpack so it can be quickly attached or detached from the rear of your ETLBV or LC-2 Load Bearing Equipment (LBE) fighting load. Of course, you could jump your buttpack attached to your LBE back and at first opportunity stuff the LWSB, poncho-tent, casualty blanket inside or strap them as a unit inside the LWSB stuff sack on top of the buttpack, leaving space inside for NVGs, a thin inslation layer of clothing like the field jacket liner or Brigade Quartermaster "Bivvy Wear Packable Thermals" proven recently by British Soldiers in Afghanistan since the current ECWCS insulation layers are too bulky and heavy to be carried along in a buttpack for staying warm after a long day's march.
Main body compartment has white 'DURA'-panel liner: provides added water resistance and increased visibility of contents. Multiple gear loops for additional gear attachment points (works well with the X-System from Spec.-Ops. 3 zippered compartments: main body compartment has "storm-fly" zipper cover for extra element protection. We need to grow up and start taking war seriously which means every time going to the field carry actual live ammunition so we are carrying realistic loads so we don't use up rucksack volume with field living comfort gear done badly and having the trust and confidence that we treat our Soldiers like professionals so they return the ammo at exercise end and not go "postal".
The current sports t-shirt, shorts and running shoes APFT should be junked in favor of a 6 mile march for time with full combat equipment; rucksack, LBE, basic load of ammo, helmet, BDUs, boots. The expertise of the natural "gear gurus" should be tapped and have them designated as a "Master TA-50 Specialist"---an additional skill identifier (ASI). An Army bureaucrat informs us that Company Commanders can buy with unit funds whatever gear they need for their men from the GSA Catalog and CTA 5900 (not Army "type classified" but available for purchase: "good enough" using Army funds) but this is something that's not pro-actively done and known about.
Every year, every Major Army Division (Airborne, Air Assault, Light, Mechanized, Armored etc.) and separate unit (2nd ACR, 172nd Arctic Brigade, SF, Rangers) has ITS SOLDIERS select by vote a field gear representative who will travel to Fort Benning, Georgia to decide for the rest of the Army what off-the-shelf Soldier gear to buy and what gear to develop. Next, 3 weeks of Basic Training BS harassment games should be replaced with 3 weeks of in the field survival training by sending trainers to U.S.
The APFT needs to be changed to a "Combat Heavy" ruckmarch for time and from now on the Soldiers who actually carry gear into battle decide what gear is bought and how new gear is developed with ruckframes that become all terrain carts and folding human and electric powered bikes fielded in experimental light units as DoD Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs) to quicken those dismount-centric units that will optimized to hold lodgments and move through the most restricted terrains and not be supplied with a high-technology, stealthy, band-tracked, C4I digitally-connected, air-transportable Air-Mech-Strike armored fighting vehicle (21st century tanks) that other mounted-centric units acting as shock action suppliers for mobile warfare through less restricted terrains should have. The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of a Nation (SLAMOAN) is Marshall's most important book yet its also his most ignored. That in event of ammunition resupply being cut-off from the nation-state war machine pipeline, ammo will be shared, taken primarily from the cowards who don't fire their weapons by those that do. SLAM argues in the book that whatever the great captains said about what was vital to carry by the Soldier should be over-ruled by DATA and FACTS drawn from EXPERIENCES.
SLAMOAN is welcomed by lemming narcissists outfits like the USMC because it foists the lie that all the individual has to do is be a dumbass and subliminate himself into the organizational "borg" and all his ammunition, food and water needs would be met.
Thus, the French Paras entered the Dien Bien Phu valley overloaded and were soon cut-off from air resupply by VietMinh anti-aircraft guns. He certainly wasn't amending his thinking and his writings which continued to sing the praises of reliving WW2's total war footing inundating troops with supplies on mythical linear battlefields where they can easily reach them. Clearly, SLAM's "killer ants" that infest an area slowly on foot, supplied by "hives" is easily smashed by long-range artillery "fire beetles" since we in the west are not going to out-ant number Third World Countries in total war mobilization let alone limited wars where civilian life continues unabated. The Killer Beetles are tracked TANKS that move the Killer Soldier-Worker Ants cross-country to include across water under a protective shell that can also stop and burrow to exploit the ground for protection. First, state our dismounted mobility levels and the maximum weights possible and stick to them.
Of the two score military books and manuals which I have written, this essay which first appeared in 1949 has had by far the most instructive history and consequence.
I was therefore delighted when the publishers of the new edition agreed with me that its genesis and aftermath must be made part of the story.
The basic theme is elementary and should be beyond argument: No logistical system is sound unless its first principle is enlightened conservation of the power of the individual fighter. The secondary theme, in 1949 a radically new idea, as yet unsupported by incontrovertible scientific proof, is that sustained fear in the male individual is as degenerative as prolonged fatigue and exhausts body energy no less. About the evolution of the essay, and as to the course I ran, I am reminded of the Irishman whose horse ran last in a field of sixteen.
As is fully explained in Men Against Fire, I was able to advance a tactical solution for the problem, though I still could not answer his question.
Then after Omaha Beach, as is described in this essay, I dealt with companies whose battle experience had variously gone the whole gamut from utter defeat and mass panic to preserved order under heavy pressure, and distinguished achievement. Since I am not a scientist, the organic reaction to fear is not a proper part of this statement. At about the same time there was a study in the University of Utah for some months to determine how long this truth had been kicking around underfoot; that is to say, that all of the basic evidence was in the hands of scientists, but none had bothered to add two and two to make four of it. Programs were projected for lightening all line items which the infantryman must carry into battle. Completed data often may point to the existence of a pressing problem, but within a bureaucracy thousands of minds must be in tune to evolve the technical solution affording the bettering of a system. In Korea, when the scientists were double checking the laboratory data, I was viewing off-and-on the same problem in quite another dimension, and going on to a startling tentative conclusion.
My field notes convinced me that we need to take a fresh look at the recovery interval which follows troop exhaustion. On the other hand, the remnants of the 7th Division elements, which 1st marine division brought out over the ice of the Chosin in an heroic exploit, had been enveloped by the enemy for the greater part of one week. There is only a suggestion here that the recovery period is in ratio to the duration of the extraordinary, pressure resulting in exhaustion. One trouble is that we are slow to alter our procedures even after ordeal by fire has shown where they are at fault; this is due to the drag of orthodoxy which is a quite different thing from tradition. Two anecdotes, both dating from 1956, both bearing directly on the thoughts expressed in this essay underscore my meaning. H-hour for the whole campaign was determined by an estimate of when this troop body would close on the position. Since that word has in recent years become a catchall, covering everything pertaining to the administrative and supply establishments, it is necessary that I be exact as to how I use it here.
Logistics becomes, in fact, the very core of generalship -the thing that is ever the main idea-to get military forces into a theater of war in superior strength and husband that strength until they shall prevail. In modem armies, more is being written about moral value than in the preceding nineteen centuries. A decisive decrease in that load is possible, once we recognize that our use of the machine can be accommodated to this end. Nothing benefits an army, or any part of it, which is not for the good of the individual at the hour he enters battle. For it means that the logistical limits of this human carrier should not be measured in terms of how much cargo he can haul without permanent injury to bone and muscle, but of what he can endure without critical, and not more than temporary, impairment of his mental and moral powers.
Take Marshal Maurice de Saxe for example since his grasp of moral problems was on the whole profound. Making all allowances for the more limited movements during battle and the short killing range of all weapons during the wars of de Saxe's times, it must still be conceded that on this point he sounds like an ass. In fact, careful research, after first revealing the historic roots of most of these elementary logistical concepts would also enable us to trace their growth right down to the present. But why in common sense during World War II did we put infantrymen across defended beaches carrying three full rations in their packs?
A MORE critical and debatable issue than the amount of rations to be carried is the weight of the fire load, since fire is the mainspring of mobility and men can't shoot with empty guns. Outdoing Scharnhorst, von Moltke in his time decided that 200 rounds of ammunition was a more fitting load for the sturdy Prussian.
Following World War I, several general staffs, and particularly the French, gave some thought to the proposal that with the improvement of first-line transport through motorization it had become possible to relieve the Soldier of carrying his own ammunition reserve.
For example, during the last two years of operations in the Pacific, the rifleman put across a beach generally carried eighty rounds for his M1 or carbine.
It was presumed that in the close-in fighting he was likely to meet, five to eight grenades would give him a wider margin of safety than double the amount of his rifle ammunition. In the event, such calculations were found to have little practical relation to what took place along the line of fire.
When you examined company operations in atoll fighting in detail, it was evident that the Soldier who used grenades at all was almost as rare as the man who fired as many as eighty rounds from his rifle in anyone day of action. Which is to say that the load of grenades the line was required to carry did not promote either increased safety or greater firepower. With all hands carrying eight grenades, the number of men making any use of that weapon at all was consistently less than six per cent of the total in any general action.
Having been a grenadier in the Army before I became qualified at anything else, I have a natural sentimental fondness for the grenade.
I agree that there are conditions of terrain, and situations that involve movement through entrenchments or against houses, where the grenade is all but indispensable. But common sense says also that if it is mobility we want, there is no more justification for loading men with grenades they are not likely to use than to send them forward burdened with so many sticks and stones.
I doubt that any combat officer of the last war below field grade would agree that this idea has any merit whatever. The bayonet is not a chemical agent the mere possession of it will not make men one whit more intrepid than they are by nature. The bayonet needs now to be re-evaluated by our Army solely on what it represents as an instrument for killing and protection.
In the Pacific fighting of World War II, more men were run through by swords than by bayonets. In the European Theater, the basic individual ammunition load for the Paratrooper was eighty rounds for his carbine or M1 [Garand], and two hand grenades.
Despite all that weight, the most salient, characteristic in operations by these forces was without "doubt the high mobility of all ranks.
Further, at every point they pressed the fight hard, and the volume of fire over the whole operation proved to be tactically adequate, though supply remained generally adverse. The 82nd and 101st Divisions jumped into one situation where for two days all their elements were engaged by the enemy and only those groups fighting close to Utah Beach had an assured flow of ammunition.
But until the airborne front was passed through by the seaborne forces, many of these riflemen were completely dependent on the ammunition they had jumped into Normandy with-eighty rounds and two grenades. Yet in the whole show, covering the five days of operation down to the crossing of the Merderet by the 82nd and the capture of Carentan by the 101st, there is only one instance of a detachment having to yield ground temporarily because it ran short of ammunition.
In the beginning Shettle's group survived without any loss of morale the temporary embarrassment caused by lack of ammunition.


Fundamentally there are two reasons for the chronic tendency to load the Soldier down with too much ammunition rather than take the opposite chance. The willing fighter will spend his last round if convinced that the tactical situation requires it.
But the closer we look at the details of the fire fight in World War II, the clearer it becomes that in the conditions of modem warfare, defeat because of an ammunition shortage is among the things least likely to happen. The fact remains that some of our most creditable operations have been sustained in just this manner. The action of the artillery was not less intrepid and decisive because the guns were down to ten or twelve rounds per day. To save the bone and muscle of soldiers toward the preservation of their fighting powers is probably as desirable an object as any we can seek to give us greater efficiency in the future. There is still no general awareness that the human carrier, like his former army mate, the mule, has a logistical limit, which if exceeded, will inevitably cause a loss of supply and mobility, and may produce complete breakdown.
Machine guns are only quick fire and the atomic bomb is only a big bang-both are new only in quantity power and effect. To REFRESH our minds on certain of the portents of World War II, we might also think back to the beachheads.
The loosely assembled supply dumps while they are forming always look as if a great storm had just passed through. But to the eye trained to see through this seeming chaos and note the beginnings of a system, these things are routine. Yet it is strangely the fact that little thought has been directed toward this aspect of war by anyone, other than simply to note that it happens. While there is some substance for this belief, it is still only a segment of a large and more disturbing truth. Soldier suit will discard a weight he finds he cannot carry under the extraordinary stresses of battle. If those who have thoroughly observed the nature of the battlefield cannot accept the thought that the derelict Soldier is alone the great waster of materiel, then it must follow that the fault lies rearward. Ron Sapp, SSG Writes: Retrieving POWs deep behind enemy lines made me an expert on survival.
Rothco Model 8590 M-65 Field Jacket in Woodland Digital Camo are on sale at a special price! Buttpacks of any kind, even the smallest that I mentioned, can be a real pain if you are predominately involved in mounted (vehicle based) operations. Mine was one of the woodland camo nylon ones (like the one in the lower right in the picture). I remember those has side release buckles which made opening them a bit easier than the metal slides on previous OD nylon ones. They’re excellent for patrolling, although anything related to vehicles or being seated, they are horrible. Personally,I liked the buttpacks that came with those,all you need to do is add a few additional pouches to the outside,& your good to go. Gives us older guys a good memory jog,& gives the new kids both, an idea of what was used (and the extent f its success),and what can be done with a little time and thought.
I had the nylon version and I don’t if they were commercial copies or actual surplus but they were pretty cheaply made, both of them ended up busting seams around the bottom, I think from the foil packs the individual parts of MREs came in. I made this web page after reading the gear debacle in Afghanistan and the Rakkasan 1SG's call for going into combat "Combat Light".
The only exception is sub-zero temperature conditions where you must carry a full size sleeping bag and extra layers of insulating clothing. The model is supported by a variety of evidence that represents construct, convergent, and concurrent validity.
Variations of LES have been developed by Dynamics Research Corp, Willmington MA, using Windows and requiring more memory and a faster processor. Empty rucks should be able to be collected at any time and moved by unit transportation (cargo parachute or CopterBox airdrop) or sent back to be refilled and sent forward with ammo, water and food. This elimination of the 6-10 pound rucksack "pays" for the following "buttpack environmental field living module".
Close head shock cords to trap further heat and go to sleep, drying out your BDUs by the morning. The poncho can be used to drag you like an expedient SKEDCO type MEDEVAC aid for 1 person rescue. In worse case scenario, you can clean teeth with wad of toilet paper from MRE and rinsing water in mouth. You would have the option of jumping the buttpack with Combat Light module INSIDE your rucksack so you do not have a bulge at your rear in event of the likely rear PLF. One E-tool per every 2-man buddy team because only 1 can dig at a time while the other provides security and it must be on his ETLBV not his rucksack! Individual Fighting Gear sublimation: the two canteen covers on your ETLBV should be covered, multi-use pouches and the canteens themselves flexible, collapsible so if they are emptied of water can be stuffed in the buttpack and the pouches used to carry AMMO, grenades etc. Camel-Bak on your back puts 70 more ounces of water available on the move, and should have a purification filter so any water source can be used to pump fill the reservoir and the two 1 quart canteens.
If we are not there yet, then we damn well better develop some actually-weighs-the-same-as-live-ammo DUMMY (cannot kill anyone) AMMO, grenades, bullets, rockets, missiles so we can train realistically as we should fight. If we can achieve 4 mph with "combat heavy" loads with rucks on our backs, then when we cache the rucks we should be able to go 4-7 mph "Combat Light". These gear experts would go to Natick Labs and be school trained on the proper fit and wear of ALL Army equipment and have field living (Level "C" survival skills) taught to them so they can advise Commanders that a hot weather desert boot is NOT a mountain boot and how to properly size Soldiers for body armor so a bullet doesn't sneak by and kill them.
Apparently its ok for units to fund-raise to build up a unit fund or this purpose, too so not having the money is not an obstacle. Every unit has at least one "gear guru" right for this job; a pro-active Soldier who studied field gear and on his own tinkers and tests what works and does not. Army should IMMEDIATELY---THIS MEANS RIGHT NOW DAMN IT--PURCHASE AND ISSUE ECO-TAT LWSB-MPs, MYLAR CASUALTY BLANKETS AND BUTT PACKS TO EVERY COMBAT ARMS SOLDIER TO SOLVE THE SOLDIER'S LOAD EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. Army SERE Level "C" school at Camp MacKall, NC and then having them take-over the last 3 weeks of every cycle's training before graduation. However, even on the first idea, he has failed to fix the American Army and marines Soldier's Load habits because of entrenched cultural narcissistic mentalities that he did not adequately attack and demolish. He misses the mark because its not just the officers who insist on overloading Soldiers because they think we are supermen, the enlistedmen themselves think they are supermen and it only gets worse once they start to get killed. According to SLAM, he could and should trust the organization to carry his rucksack for him by trucks and they will always get through to him. Nation-state wars are NOT the only form of conflicts, there are sub-national conflicts where THE INDUSTRIAL CAPACITY OF THE ENTIRE NATION-STATE IS NOT, REPEAT NOT GIVEN OVER TO RAIN SUPPLIES UPON FIGHTING MEN. SLAM contradicts himself constantly by saying tracked amphibious vehicles can carry the Soldier's load so he's light on his feet then says their development is not important, clearly he's confused since he lists them as needing roads when even in WW2 LVT-4 Alligators were cross-country mobile to be wherever the infantry wants to go. EVERY Soldier has at the minimum a M113 Gavin light armored track to move him at 60mph on roads and preferably cross-country with stealth and 30 days of supplies with complete armor protection. For long-term operations a hardened FOB "hive" constructed of ISO container BATTLEBOXes can be linked together in myriad ways to form walled perimeters filled with dirt for hardening, buried underground etc. When the animal finally passed him, he leaned over the rail and whispered: "Pray, what took you so long?" In July, 1918, I marched with my Regiment to the front on a balmy, starlit night and was astonished to see the strong men around me virtually collapse under the weight of their packs when we got to the fire zone after an 11-mile approach on a good road.
But to my juvenile mind the experience signified only that it is a lot easier to move away from a battle than to go into one, which any fool knows. When at last my field notes were complete, they said to me that there was one truth about the nature of fear which men had missed through the ages.
Such details do not stay in my mind and those who are interested in them have a plethora of learned writings to ponder. If that's the wrong I date (or the wrong school) it's because I kept no file on the business, feeling no interest in the experiments.
One Army board set up its own test apparatus, complete with treadmill, etc., to measure human stress under assorted, loads at varying distances. After a wearing approach march and entrenching, two rifle companies went into perimeter on adjoining ridges.
When the 7th Regiment emerged on the Koto-ri plateau in November, 1950, it was met with bitter cold and the first spark of enemy resistance simultaneously.
The cold, the privation and the suffering at the hands of the CCF had been extremely harsh throughout. Another difficulty is that the practical lessons that we learn in war and apply under the gun are too often obscured in the pursuit of some other object under the conditions of peacetime training.
Israel's general campaign into the Sinai wastes was to begin with a battalion attack on Queisima, not far from the oasis called Kadesh Barnea in the Bible.
But the night advance through the dunes and into the wadis was a killer and the men staggered and stumbled. It will then go on to that first high range, marked 1,500 meters, where the enemy artillery is based. Though the enemy vise steadily tightened, he still rested his troops till he felt they were ready to march and fight. Let us therefore take the definition of Sir George Colley, who described logistics as "the scientific combination of marches, the calculation of time and distances, and of economy of men's powers." This is much more satisfying than anything to be found in our own dictionaries. Further than that, I think we can all agree this does not mean numbers of men and weapons solely. Yet modern works on the art of command have almost nothing to say about the economy of men's powers. Until recently the most sturdy and reliable Soldiers were drawn from the agricultural population.
Two hundred years ago an army could go through a campaign with what it carried in its train and on the backs of its Soldiers. In the study called Men Against Fire, I dealt somewhat narrowly with the problem of conserving the average man's power on the battlefield. It considered man only as a being who can think-who gathers moral strength from his close comrades-who needs every possible encouragement from them if he is to make clear decisions and take constructive action in the face of enemy fire. But unlike the mule, the jeep, or any other carrier, his chief function in war does not begin until the time he delivers that burden to the appointed ground.
If he is to achieve military success and personal survival his superiors must respect not only his intelligence but also the delicate organization of his nervous system.
You cannot read far into war without noting that among the great leaders of the past there has been a besetting blindness toward this subject. In fact, it is chiefly the high commanders who have laid this curse on the back of the fighting man right down through the ages. But the researcher would look in vain for proof that they are based upon field data rather than upon a blind adherence to tradition. Maybe when Napoleon was on the march there was a sound reason for upping that figure from three to four. In fact, we learned by actual survey on battlefield that only some three per cent of the men along the combat line touched any food at all in the first day's fighting. But compared to this reality, we continued until the end of the war to overload our forces with food every time we staged a major attack.
We can write off the general policy with the simple statement that troops usually had to carry ten times as many cartridges as there was any likelihood they would use. But these good intentions bore no tangible fruit, though in the course of World War I such weapons and equipments as the grenade, trench knife and gas mask had been added to the Soldier's over-all weight.
This special dispensation was simply granted him that he might the better carry eight hand grenades, or in some cases five.
Research showed further that the grenade was rarely put to any practical use in the initial stage of an amphibious attack. In the First World War, I was convinced that the throw as taught was bad for American practice, and therefore conducted the first experiments that resulted in its change.
In fact, that might be better, for they would then drop off their ballast at the earliest possible moment. That weapon ceased to have any major tactical value at about the time the inaccurate and short-range musket was displaced by the ride. Their observations are to be trusted more than the most positive opinions of any senior commander who has had no recent experience with warfighting. That should be done in accordance with the record, and without the slightest sentiment So considered, the bayonet will be as difficult to justify as the type of slingshot with which David slew Goliath.
That was the attack by the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry, at the Pommerague Farm during the advance on Carentan, France, in June 1944. When the Paratrooper jumped into Normandy on June 6, 1944, he also carried these things: 1 rifle and carrier part, 1 English mine. They moved and hit like light infantry, and what they achieved in surprise more than compensated for what they lacked in firepower.
That happened at Le Port Bridge near the mouth of the Douve River where for three days 84 men of the 506th Parachute Infantry, under Capt. If, act by act, we could weigh out our whole infantry experience from the last war, we would discover a frequent repetition of the lesson of this small incident.
1 is the belief that it is good for his battle morale -that he is less likely to fight vigorously if harassed by the thought that his ammunition is running short. 2 is the equally fallacious belief that ammunition shortages have often been a cause of tactical disarrangement in past wars, and are therefore to be avoided at all costs. The defense, during the "eight days" of the encirclement, was on short supply for nearly all weapons.
We miss some of the most important implications of Bastogne if we fail to weigh these facts in proportion and relate them to the largest problems of operating field forces with maximum economy. You saw the same kind of wastage on the field of World War I, particularly in the Argonne where the pressure was almost unremitting. The omission may be partly due to the circumstance that we conclude too easily that we cannot control it.
If, in addition to being willing, he is also intelligent, he will make that decision at once when the moment arrives that his only alternative is to surrender to his own physical weakness and quit the fight. It is so for the reason that by the time the decision becomes necessary, his physical condition is likely to be such that he cannot think clearly.
This Military Field Jacket is the perfect coat to bring on your next winter camping or hunting trip. Maybe, since the item was already in the system they decided to keep the old NSN (with the update) but later they changed the design too. You can wear them with a ALICE, although if you run a civie bag that is longer, rather than short and wide like the ALICE, its an impossibility. In all fairness,I dont remember if they refused to hold it, or if I just didnt ask.Either way,I have never seen another.
Once I purchased my H harness and did some adjusting on the kit it was basically a part of me (until those long movements back from Sicily as a SAW gunner. I always wanted one of the canvas ones, they always looked so much sturdier than the nylon ones. YES, you need hard shelters to survive on this planet spinning through space at 66, 000 mph and we propose we face this reality with our self-sustaining ISO container BattleBox system which should form our forward operating bases overseas and eliminate garrison buildings and lawn care mentalities here in the U.S. However, if you have to just stay ALIVE until morning in sub-zero temperatures, the set-up below will do this though you may not be COMFORTABLE. The commander then enters into a dialogue enabling him to adjust the combat load or modify other conditions which would lead to successful mission completion.
The model has proven to be a rich source of insight in the analysis of complex designs for avionics architecture. If you have to move rucks using your own power, attach "wheels" to them and tow or push them as all-terrain carts or on all-terrain bikes. Item a, the LWSB-MP straps on top of the buttpack or directly to your LBE rear and acts as a kidney pad or stuffs inside it. Or if the situation is less threatening, remove your boots and socks and close lower end of LWSB-MP around bare feet for restful sleep. If you have to go into action you are ready to shoulder weapon and return fire, to include running---you are not caught zipped up in a sleeping bag.
However, at first opportunity you can in a matter of seconds clip the buttpack to the back of your LBE without fumbling around with flimsy ALICE clips and shed your rucksack at a cache point or into some form of unit transportation. Most Colonels I've run into are concerned more with form than function and are not technotactically oriented enough and candid. The Army's Master TA-50 Specialists would also train the Soldiers in their companies how to wear and maintain their TA-50 as well as be pro-active about getting better gear.


GSA catalog is on CDs Supply Sergeants have so it takes a bit of looking when it should be on the www for all Soldiers to see. Thus, SLAM misses the ultimate solution to the Soldier's Load problem: having every Soldier embedded into a M113 Gavin light armored tracked tank THAT HE CAN SEE AND TRUST TO BE THERE BECAUSE IT IS THERE WITH HIM.
While in the FOB, beetles with long-range tube and rocket artillery insure the "hive" isn't demolished in a replay of the French Paras at Dien Bien Phu and nearly happened to our dumb marines at Khe Sanh. Next, create self-sufficient troops that have SERE skills and lightweight equipments that will supply them water and climate-protect them against the earth WITHOUT NEED OF A RUCKSACK. The Quartermaster Climatic Research Laboratory ran other parallel tests and published reports of same which continued into the late 1950s. It is folly to press them beyond endurance when just a little rest will work a miracle of recovery. In the case of these men, Major General Oliver Smith felt that at least 48 hours total rest was essential. Right after publication, that Army translated the book into Hebrew and made its principles a part of operating doctrine for all troop leaders.
Even so, he made the decision to postpone for one hour this triggering assault while his men lay down in the sands in their great coats and slept.
The beach is defended at the waterline by about two companies, working heavy mortars and machine guns, along with small arms.
By sunset these same men are supposed to assemble on the range beyond that one where they meet the battalion coming up from the west coast.
Out of such plans and exercises in peacetime, when no precautionary words are spoken, we recreate our own myths about the potential of our human forces.
No system can go far wrong if leaders at every level know what is to be expected of their people under fire and are prepared to raise practical questions when planning staffs overlook elementary precautions. Each day's movement was regulated by his measure of how far the column could go, short of exhaustion.
But the odd part of it is that among higher commanders that branch of the art most apt to be treated with a broad stroke, though it calls loudest for the sketching-in of minute details, is the logistics of war.
For if it did a general would be only a glorified cattle drover, and we would say of him what Col. It seems to be taken for granted that the introduction of the machine into warfare is tending to produce automatic solutions of the prevailing problem of how to get more fire out of fewer men. Now the drafts are filled with men from towns and cities, more than half of whom have never taken regular exercise or participated in any group game.
But in the European Theater in the last war, every Soldier had to have back of him some ten tons of materiel. FULLER once said that adherence to dogma has destroyed more armies and lost more battles and lives than anything else in war. The main theme was that the reason all movements in minor tactics tend to fall apart is that we have not rooted our tactical thinking in a sound appreciation of how the average American thinks and reacts when hostile fire comes at him. When they do not do so, they violate the basic principle of war, which is conservation of force. Either they have not deemed it worth mentioning among the vital principles of command, or their thoughts about it were badly confused.
And such dictum runs directly counter to the principles of war and the sound leading of Soldiers. One can even give Stonewall Jackson the benefit of the doubt for following Frederick's rule-of-thumb during his campaigns in the Valley. We did it time and again in landings where "hot cargo" shipments of food were coming onto the beaches right behind the troops and almost tripping on their heels. And that water consumption was only a fifth what it became on the second day and thereafter. Both sides used it during the Russo-Japanese War, and most armies likewise used it in World War I. But we deviated from it, not primarily to lighten the Soldier's load but to make room for other types of ammunition. But we have stubbornly clung to it-partly because of tradition which makes it inevitable that all military habits die a slow death, but chiefly because of the superstition that the bayonet makes troops fierce and audacious, and therefore more likely to close with the enemy. All that may be said of such training is that, like the old Butts Manual, its values derive only from the physical exercise. A situation arose during the siege of Brest in August 1944, when the 29th Infantry Division found that an improvised slingshot was useful in harassing the enemy. 6 packages of K-ration, 1 impregnated jump suit, 1 complete uniform, 1 steel helmet and liner, 1 knitted cap, 1 change of underwear, 2 changes of sox, 1 entrenching tool, 1 gas mask, 1 first-aid pack, 1 spoon, 2 gas protective covers, 1 field bag with suspenders, 1 packet of sulfa tablets, 1 escape kit, and a set of toilet articles. It is hard to prove historically that this is untrue, because the history of all past wars becomes pretty blurred when it attempts to focus on the firing line. The Soldier who is always willing and eager to use his weapons has a reserve in the duty belt of the man next him who will go along into battle but will not fire. The more dismaying spectacle is the wastage of personal supply, the vast amount of packs, weapons and ammunition tossed away by troops already moving inland in search of the enemy. Eyewitnesses reported it of Gettysburg, saying, too, that of the thousands of rifle thrown away by Soldiers, by far the greater number had never been fired. At the top, where there are relatively few men who have ever carried sixty-five pounds into combat, there is a disposition to charge off this kind of wastage, saying that it is part of war's necessary expense, caused largely by the men in the ranks who are duty shirkers by nature.
Many will say, I know, looking back to their own experience in battle, that troops learned automatically to discard the things they did not need, and that therefore there is no problem.
The weight you save by not carrying even the empty ALICE rucksack (6 pounds) essentially "pays for" the Live Light Package at your buttpack. Unfold mylar blanket shiny side up to reflect your heat back to you (about 15 degrees F) so its not lost to the ground via conductivity and stretch out inside your poncho-tent as a floor. Use GT jacket as extra insulation or pillow for head by stuffing into unused LWSB stuff sack. Same men also have a Leatherman or Gerber multi-tool type utility device to make up what was lost by not having a M9 WCB. Even then extra material should be removed to improve cooling and shoulder sleeve pockets added. The packboard shelf should be able to carry a wounded Soldier like Kifaru's cargo chair does. The Army is strangely an organization that goes "camping" yet hasn't trained itself how to "camp". Some out-of-touch Army General does NOT select some political yes-man to be on the board to keep the troops ill-equiped and "in their place". SLAM ignores non-linear, sub-national conflicts and his entire construct to get weight off the individual Soldier collapses.
Next, SLAM's model of the lemming infantry "ant" was killed by "raid" artillery smashing its nests (forward operating bases) . Waggoner warmed to the subject, gave me a private lesson in bio-chemistry and imparted the confidence which enabled me to proceed.
After the theory was launched, medical laboratories in several of our main universities took it under study, and by varying tests proved it to be correct.
The opening paragraph of the first study acknowledged that the research had been stimulated by this essay. The brigade charged on to take position atop a ridge blocking the route of withdrawal for the regiment. At the end of that time, he concluded by personal inspection that the ones which I had escaped wounds and frostbite could march out with the column from Hagaru-ri and do normal duty.
There is more to be learned about man under pressure than we yet know and the areas for, profitable research which remain unexplored are wide indeed. On Monday, there was to proceed a two-battalion exercise, an attack by marines on Sardinia, with the Navy doing its part. But that can only be true if men's powers before and during battle are more carefully husbanded than they have ever been. And the field army that had to rely on its organic transport during an extended advance found itself soon beached high and dry. For it is conspicuous that what the machine has failed to do right up to the present moment is decrease by a single pound the weight the individual has to carry in war.
So far as may now be learned, no one of any importance saw fit to question whether that figure of 200 rounds had any justification, either in tactics or logistics. And about all that may be said for the bayonet, ,too, is that there is always a chance of its being used to advantage.
It is a small irony, however, that these killings took place about six minutes after the main charge had subsided. Once on the ground, most of them ditched every piece of equipment they considered unnecessary.
Likewise, the hard-pressed unit has an ammunition reserve on one or both of its flanks, since pressure is never distributed evenly along the length of a front and it is a responsibility of the less heavily engaged to make their supply available to the forces carrying the fight. McAuliffe kept banging on VIII Corps' door and repeating that his lines were in danger of being overrun because of his ammunition shortage (a condition gradually eased by the air resupply missions) there was no operation of the last war in which American troops fought with higher morale and confidence.
In the late 80s some components of ALICE like the suspenders and ammo pouches were replaced with the Load Bearing Vest (LBV). Anyone remember the issued assault pack that had horrible straps and would rip with any grunt amount of weight?
The study presents historical examples of previous military cycling operations at the turn of the century, during both World Wars, and the Vietnam Conflict. Against cunning, 21st asymmetric-overmatch-seeking enemies who have "home field advantage" of being able to cache and hide their supplies amongst closed terrain and often sympathetic populace, U.S. Why carry 6 pounds of volume when you can carry instead 6 pounds THAT DOES SOMETHING FOR YOU; ie; allows you to live comfortably (YES!) in the field? Lay on top the need for combat mobility 4-7 mph which requires smart loading and constantly improved equipment, its clear that a Soldier from every Company in the Army should go to "gear school" to become a Master TA-50 Expert.
Some DA civilian with a ponytail going through perpetual mid-life crisis does NOT decide what items are bought or developed, THE SOLDIERS DECIDE. LCPL Jason Rother and thousands of others have paid for this naive outlook with their lives.
There are no huge supply dumps languishing everywhere; the supplies start life in the Killer Nest pod and travel all the way to the FOB hive for use. One of them, I now recall, made its findings by examining men undergoing major dental surgery, as to the count of male sex hormones excreted through the urine before and after. That Sunday morning, we gathered on the flagship and with Admirals Walter R Boone and Charles R. We too often ascribe to successful men a godlike infallibility, instead of weighing all things in the light of reason. Henderson, that it was the habit of the troops to bolt their three rations as soon as possible and then scrounge around for more. In the American Army in France of 1917-18, our commanders usually adhered to-the practice of requiring troops to carry a full ammunition load during the approach march, even in moving into a "quiet" sector.
And it is a somewhat larger irony that the one junior officer who actually closed with the bayonet and thrust his weapon home was subsequently relieved because he was not sufficiently bold in leading his troops.
They did this without order, and often before they had engaged any of the enemy or joined up with any of their comrades. Their stand had the greatest strategic consequence, since this was the bridgehead where V and VII Corps were to ultimately link. The marches were not pushed the less forcefully because many men were weaponless and ammunitionless until they were within a mile or two of the enemy.
But they only gained this kind of wisdom by hard experience, and it is invariably in the first battle that the greatest damage is done. With plus sized “Recon Packs” and “Optimized Buttpacks” being produced by various manufacturers. The tactical use, mobility, speed, distance, and load carrying capacity of bicycle troops during each of these periods are discussed. He wished to know why it was that in the atoll operations, if troops were checked three times by fire, even though they took no losses and had moved not more than a mile, their energy was spent and they could not assault.
Still later, during the Korean War, one of the research organizations serving the Army put scientists into the line to make comparable tests of fighters before and after combat, with general results, as I recall, doubly confirming what had already been substantially proved. Then outside his tent he heard some truckers singing the marine hymn and his heart leaped up. This load is the greatest of all drags upon mobility in combat and I submit that it is not due to unalterable circumstance.
It is universally recognized that the secret of successful war lies in keeping men in a condition of mental alertness and physical well-being which insures that they can and will move when given a competent order.
What the Great Captains thought, succeeding generations find it difficult to forget and challenge reluctantly despite an ever-broadening human experience. It was a reflex to a course of training which had stressed that the main thing was to keep going. About three-fourths of World II combat fatigue cases were broken the first time they went into action. I just knew I hated it as an AG and because of that I currently have an affliction for Assault packs.
To beat the guerrilla at his own game of mobile, light infantry warfare David Hackworth-style we have to be significantly smarter and tougher than we are now through a holistic and honest bottom-up approach that leaves no stone unturned to rid every ounce possible from our Soldier's backs and places superior firepower and supplies on alternate transport platforms. Its the individual Soldier's lives that are at stake not some bureaucrat in a comfy office with one retirement already under his belt longing for the good 'ole days when the equipment they had sucked and everyone liked it. It comes mainly of the failure of armies and those who control their doctrine to look into the problem. The Soldier himself makes the error-as we learned in too many cases-when he uses the grenade to clean out the unseen interiors of such places as underground air raid shelters and thick-walled blockhouses, and then takes it for granted the job is tactically finished. The H-harness that came with that system distributes and stabilizes the soldier’s load much better than its predecessors.
TM 57-220, Technical Training of Parachutists, describes how to rig M1956 and later ALICE LCE to be worn under the parachute and parachute harness.
The impact of recent technological improvements in the bicycle industry is examined for possible military application. A more precipitate, but less bold, leader would have started lunging from the hour when Hagaru-ri and Yudam-ni became enveloped and, 1st marine division would never have come down the mountain to the sea. The slide keepers kept items like canteens from bouncing the way they had with the earlier wire hanger attachment system. However, if you are primarily doing dismounted operations than a buttpack might be well worth considering for your mission.
They do a great job keeping everyone miserable and without esperit de corps during garrison hours; the field Soldier's attire should be guided by FUNCTION decided by the mud-Soldiers.
The rucksack is a "LOGPACK" that can be passed to the FOB for filling up with supplies but not be seen as individually owned and kept.
The second bounded from its sleeping bags, fought like tigers and held the position until finally ordered by battalion to withdraw.
And moving the Field Pack to the rear of the soldier on the belt line better offset the weight of loaded ammunition pouches and frag grenades on the soldier’s front side. Although sometimes they are now referred to as waist packs or fanny packs and can be worn separate from LCE if desired. With the general, as with anyone under that rank, the very acme of leadership comes of the ability to lift the powers of the average man-in-the-ranks to the highest attainable level and hold them there. I would say that a modern pack with approximately the same volume as the M1961 buttpack would be the Goldilocks solution, not too big and not too small (TAG used to make one that was just about right). Non-able bodied, wounded Soldiers can be towed on carts and bikes and SKEDCO plastic sheets. It is therefore especially curious that there is less competent military literature on this subject-the economy of the powers of fighting men-than on any other aspect of war.
And each year the board will see what industry and Natick Labs have "cooking" and provide feedback. Bikes and carts enable dismounted and unarmored mounted maneuver away from the Killer Beetles as required. In short, if you intend to carry something bulky or heavy then an Assault Pack or 3-Day Pack or even a full sized rucksack would be the better choice than an overloaded buttpack.



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