A Smart Marine with a Good Idea? Quick-Clotting Body Armor

The running joke in the Marine Corps is that one tends to get their common sense and intelligence back with their DD-214. Having been in and living it for years, there is certainly some credence to the joke which often gets nods of understanding when told. However, its possible for Marines to break the cycle and eek out a good idea.

All joking aside, many Marines I knew and still know are some of the best and brightest human beings I will ever know. 

In steps a Motor Transport(!) Marine with a truly solid idea, fusing body armor and first aid into a single unit. Body armor or “flak jackets” as we Jarheads call them can be and are often pierced by ballistic-velocity debris.  One Corporal Matthew Long came up with the idea of then having a tear-proof package of clotting agent and painkillers installed inside the armor itself. In short, this greatly increases the treatment of the wound as the wound mechanism itself starts the treatment.


Photo courtesy of the United States Marine Corps via Business Insider

The idea was the result of of an internal Marine Corps Logistics Innovation Challenge, which seeks to use warfighter’s experience as a mechanism for innovation. According to Business Insider, Cpl. Long’s idea and nearly two dozen other projects are being considered for additional research and development. 

Oorah, Cpl. Long!

Oh, and check out Business Insider for additional details. 

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Would not hot shrapnel destroy any medicines on contact?

    • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

      not necessarily

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Well im not a doctor but it seems that explosive fragments as a painkiller delivery device would have marginal results at best.

        • Iggy

          “Give this man two grenades of morphine stat!”
          “We’re all out doctor!”
          “Fetch me some C4, I’ll have to IED him”

          • noob


          • noob

            Notorious IED?

  • TheNotoriousIUD
    • Gus Butts

      This is Tom Clancy-length article writing.

    • Stephen Paraski

      Interesting story. Pretty much the case in any urban area in US. But it is a solution to cause and this is the reason the Liberal Agenda is so biased against guns. I think the Election proved that most Liberals live in urban areas that have these daily shootings over things such as sneakers, coats, drugs or a “disrespecting look”. That is why some of nations best Trauma Hospitals are in inhospitable areas.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I’m glad you read that and managed to walk off with a partisan political opinion.
        Smoldering hot take dude.

  • Nicks87

    That first pic makes me cringe and now my PTSD is starting to flare up. #Triggered.

    • Peter (BE)


    • JumpIf NotZero

      Whoa… You didn’t shoot an AR-15 did you!?

      • Badwolf

        I see what you did there -Gersh

  • CommonSense23

    I don’t think this guy has much live tissue training. Applying quick clot to the outside of a wound is just going to help anything and just make it worse for the first medical responder.

    • Risky

      Yeah, when we worked on our pigs it took two guys to apply it effectively. One to pull the packed gauze and hold the would open while the other poured. You had to be fast or the wound would fill back up with blood and just wash out anything you got in there.

      Unless we’re talking about something substantially different than the powdered quick clot (which I understand they don’t even use anymore) then this really wouldn’t work.

      The painkiller idea is interesting… but sometimes it’s difficult for someone to know where they’re injured or even if they’re injured at all. You want to feel it so you can make sure you’re treated for that injury. It’s be a shame to bleed out because you just never felt the hole.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        I’d like to do live tissue TCCC, but can’t justify the cost as a citizen. Everyone I’ve talked to has said there is just no replacement for it.

        • Robert Harper

          There really is nothing better for trauma training, it not only teaches a lot but gives you a confidence boost like nothing else.

    • imachinegunstuff

      The old granule quick clot is no longer in use. The term Quick Clot is now applied to combat gauze and the granuled versions were all turned in in 2012, likely before this guy enlisted. Quick Clot created combat gauze and the packages still read QUICK CLOT prominently on the container. When I was getting out everyone called Combat gauze Quik Clot.

      • CommonSense23

        Right. But how exactly is applying combat gauze to the outside of a wound going to do anything beneficial. Its not going to slow bleeding internally. And for triage purposes it can lead to misidentifying the importance of a wound.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Agreed. This does seem like pretty obvious TCCC stuff and nothing that would require the input from an 18-D.

    • ozzallos .

      Knowing nothing about quick clot application– Would the penetration be enough to drag quick clot through into the wound channel? Bullets drag all sorts of crap in with them all the time in ballistic testing through all sorts of mediums… Of course, something tells me “not enough to matter” is the answer I’ll receive.
      Just curious.

      • CommonSense23

        No. Even with the powder version which is no longer used.

  • .45

    Healing Beril, here we come. (A little weird that only one dude in that Spetznaz team would have it, but there ya go.)

    If you don’t get the reference, it’s because you aren’t a dweeb playing old Ukrainian video games like me… Get out of here Stalker!

    • Hoplopfheil

      You stole my reference! Well done sir.

    • wetcorps

      My first thought too.

    • Mazryonh

      Why stop at the Healing Beril when you could get Ghost’s Stalker Suit? Better yet, just bring along some anti-bleeding artifacts with you.

  • Ron

    We will get further and at a lower cost with better training at TCCC. One of the hardest problems I had as a MEU training officer was getting the live tissue portion of the training done, because it had to be done at a secret locations that were often moved to avoid PETA-types protesting them.

    • Drew Coleman

      Live tissue training = treating wounds on animals and such?

      • CommonSense23


      • Paul Forel


        Eagle Dustoff RVN ’70 – ’71
        ATLS Camp Parks (goat)

    • CommonSense23

      Live tissue is hands down the best training you can receive in the military in my opinion. It blows my mind we are forced to often train off base cause of the Peta types you mention. Its cheap(at least it should be) effective training that saves lives.
      Plus it is awesome for actually seeing real world terminal ballistics.

      • Cory C

        Is this done to dead animals or live animals? Not judging. I like Bambi just fine, but I’d beat his face in with a brick to save the life of a soldier.

        • CommonSense23

          Live. But sedated to the point the animal is completely unconscious.

          • Cory C

            No kidding? Wow. What kind of animal? Also, do they ever make it? I assume their shot? Just curious.

          • CommonSense23

            Pigs and goats. And they are euthanized when training is done.

          • Cory C

            Thanks for the info. Fascinating stuff.

  • Gus Butts

    This guy will go a Long way in the Corps! 😉 Bad puns aside, the Quick Clot idea reminded me of when I watched the movie Shooter with other service members and everybody gasped when Marky Mark used Quick Clot on himself. None of my civi friends would even know what was going on.

    • Wow!

      Can you feel the burn? Luckily I never had to.

  • Kivaari

    Sounds like a bad idea to me. How long will packets of quik-clot stay viable? Carry a blow out bag with a couple packs. Penetrating or perforating wounds need more than topical application.

    • Avery

      My primary concern against this is non-ballistic debris that would adhere to the vest then get carried through with penetration. I’m not sure, but wouldn’t you want to clean the wound before applying QuikClot to prevent sepsis?

      • Kivaari

        Stopping the beeding is important. The debris fron clothing or armor can be cleaned out during surgery. Surgery often takes place within 2 hours of being shot. Infection from the foreign matter is managable once the wound is cleaned. Penetrating and perforating wounds are often treated with tampons. Stuff the wound full of absorbent material and work on rapid transport to a surgical unit.

        • CommonSense23

          Please stop spreading the tampon myth. They are absolutely useless for penetrating trauma, and often times do more harm by just reducing the amount of blood leaving the wound which can mislead the first responders if they need to treat multiple wounds are personnel.

          • Kivaari

            In my era we used “sponges” (gauze). I understand there is a new tampon-like injection device that shoves balls of tampon-like material into the wound. Stopping the bleeding and communicating to the others involved in care, transport and eventual treatment doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

          • kyphe

            The company Tampax made huge volumes of field dressings out of the same type of material they used to create tampons which is not surprising given that the first modern menstrual pads were originally for field dressings. Reports of soldiers being treated with Tampax became confused with the idea of being treated with tampons which is their most famous product.

          • Kivaari

            Thanks. We always had (and have) piles of sponges and rolls of gauze for such wound treatment. I used boxes of “sanitary napkins” to treat post surgical wounds. I remember keeping track of one wound that took 77 pads. That surgical wound was on me.

          • CommonSense23

            Gauze is fine. That special injection device is fine. But tampons have extremely little absorbent material.

  • Cosworth

    I don’t think this guy has much medical training. A penetrating wound is likely to cut through arteries deep in the wound causing massive blood loss. “Stopping the external bleeding” is OK for superficial wounds, but I doubt many in combat wounds are superficial. If they are deep the blood loss is probably mostly internal and adding blood or even plasma to the patient is what is needed until he can be transported to a hospital where doctors can determine what is damaged and perform surgery.

  • Dan

    Can we just design bullets that have a cavity in the rear with a percocet and a tampon?

    • noob

      and then issue them to the enemy? or fight an enemy that mostly uses our captured gear.

  • noob

    Still trying to figure out how to make a self-sealing warfighter.

    Maybe some kind of clotting foam that expands like urethane draft stopper?

  • duh

    It would be better to redesign the boolits so it applies the quick clot as it creates the wound.
    Skip the middle man altogether!

  • Wow!

    I actually thought of this idea a decade ago and made several prototypes using an elastic plate carrier of sorts, so when the band is punctured, the band also compresses downward giving pressure to help push the torn tissue together and help the clot. There are a lot of issues I found:

    1. You need a lot of clotting agent and it will only spray all at once when first punctured, after that it just leaks uselessly all over the place.
    2. Clotting agent will get in places you DONT want it to go in. Have a nice heart attack like you just ate 5 fat burgers and a milkshake. There is a reason quickclot stopped using the old powder bags.
    3. It won’t be held in place. To get a wrap strong enough to localize pressure, also means to cut off circulation, and on places like the abdomen or chest, that isn’t a smart idea. Reminds me of those CAT warnings “Do not apply to the neck”.
    4. The stuff will just make it harder for real medical care to be applied because there is junk all over the place mixing in with everything. All that has to be torn off and removed before treament can start.

    But who knows, maybe someone can find the solutions where I (and surely many others) have not. I can’t conclusively say such a thing will “never” work.