Army and Marine Corps Pursuing Lighter Weight Protective Gear for Infantry

Original caption: "U.S. Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Rodolfo Castro, broadcast journalist, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, adjusts an improved outer tactical vest for Tech. Sgt. Christine Jones, photojournalist, 4th CTCS, during annual tour at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., July 27, 2013." U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Carolyn Herrick, public domain.

The US Military is looking into lighter weight armor for the infantry. Both the Army and the Marine Corps are looking into reducing the weight of the personal protective equipment (PPE, read “helmet and body armor”) carried by the infantrymen of both services. Although armor protection has increased greatly since the beginning of the 2000s, it has been recognized that this may negatively affect the infantry via reductions in mobility and agility, as well as increasing the rate of injuries., citing the GAO, reports:

Army and Marine Corps officials stated that the PPE provides significant additional protection when compared with equipment used prior to operations in Iraq in the 2000s. However, they also noted that providing this level of protection adds significant bulk and weight to the total load on Soldiers and Marines, which could impede mobility and hinder combat effectiveness.

According to service-provided data, the typical total load in 2016 for Army and Marine Corps ground combat personnel averaged about 119 and 117 pounds, respectively, of which the primary PPE represented about 27 pounds based on equipment sizes (see figure). Officials stated that these totals have increased over time based on the incorporation of new PPE and other equipment.

Recognizing that the weight of PPE and other equipment could have negative effects on personnel performance, the Army and the Marine Corps have coordinated and developed goals for PPE-related weight reductions and are pursuing some efforts to reduce overall load burdens on personnel. The two services coordinate through formal working groups and informal methods to develop and improve PPE.

Army and Marine Corps officials stated that while they prioritize protection and operational capabilities when developing PPE, they have overarching goals of reducing weight, in addition to improving the form, fit, and function of equipment. These goals have led to reductions in the weight of some PPE. The Army is also developing a goal and plan to reduce the weight of hard armor plates by 20 percent by identifying and eliminating excess ballistic protection.

In addition, the Army and Marine Corps are pursuing other efforts to reduce the weight of PPE, such as by giving commanders the option to employ varying levels of PPE at their discretion and studying the effects of integrating PPE with overall combat loads. Finally, the Army and Marine Corps are exploring research initiatives that may reduce the total load on ground combat personnel, such as improvements to logistics and aerial delivery capabilities, load transferring systems, and other enhancements to equipment.

Read the whole article at

It is no secret that the modern infantryman is overburdened. The typical US Army infantryman today carries up to 80% of his body weight in equipment during a foot march. Further, a greater proportion of that equipment is today carried as part of the soldier’s combat gear (e.g., armor), meaning the soldier is carrying more of his maximum load more of the time. More or less all of this equipment is “mission critical”, but the weight has to come out somehow, which means each piece of kit – everything from armor to webbing to water bottles – must be subject to a weight assessment and reduction program. However, on the flip slide, reducing weight too much could compromise the durability, reliability, or effectiveness of each system. Thin out the armor plates, and more rounds might penetrate. Lighten the web gear, and it might break more easily. Reduce the weight of ammunition too much, and it might not be effective enough. All this together makes for a very tough problem that will require both careful study and sound engineering to solve.

Fortunately for the soldier, materials technology is improving apace, which means there might be technological solutions in the near future that could mean none of the critical characteristics of armor systems would have to be compromised to achieve a weight reduction.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Audie Bakerson

    ” Fortunately for the soldier, materials technology is improving apace, ”

    And the brass’s ability to make up for that weight reduction by making them carry more brass will continue too.

    • Athr

      And later a heavy load of a ton of light polymer ammo haha.

      • iksnilol

        Too bad the G11 never got anywhere.

        IIRC you could carry like 500 rounds of it for the weight of 210 rounds of 5.56.

        • PK

          I’m more excited about the optimized 6.5mm cased telescoped. That ammo shows genuine promise in both terminal effect and weight when compared to 5.56x45mm, although I bet the issue remains that if they save say 15lbs on the standard load, 15lbs or more of new gear will be found to jam in there…

          • Form Factor

            CT is good, even tough neighter in its current case architecture, nor the utterly unaerodynamic, heavy, and stupid recoiling 6.5….

            Far better CT rounds are possible.

          • PK

            The current gen 6.5mm is staggeringly good for small CT ammo, in my opinion, especially the modern methods of mass production. The fact it’s all been ironed out for production in the billions of rounds instead of short trial runs with no thought to mass production at all, leads me to believe that eventually we’re going to see it as the standard ammo for small arms.

            If even better CT than that is possible, I’m delighted!

          • Form Factor

            Being into the technical and physical facts – Neighter its case architecture, its propellant efficiency, nor its aerodynamics are anywhere near the slightest to whats possible. So yes a better advanced CT configuration in all those areas will come.

          • Art out West

            One thing from the article that concerned me was the phrase: “eliminating excess ballistic protection”.
            This sounds like the soldiers and marines will get not only lighter, but also lower quality armor. It is my understanding that the armor they currently use is designed to withstand 7.62X54R and .308.
            I wonder if somebody decided that this level of protection isn’t necessary, and perhaps the new armor will only withstand 5.56, 5.45, and 7.62X39 (since these three calibers are the primary things that our soldiers face).
            Just wondering-

          • Form Factor

            No they are made to withstand 7.62×63 AP tungstencarbide core

        • The G11 stats were greatly inflated because they were based on carrying 2×45 round magazines and then 28x15rd stripper clips.

          The mags are about 15″ long based on the images of them next to the weapon. So you would need like a legit Quiver to carry multiple mags, and then based on how long the mag and spring were, your weight savings would be seriously cut down.

          Had everything else worked well, the super long single stack mags would have done it in.

          • iksnilol

            As far as I know it could be loaded with the stripper clips directly, no ?

          • No, you popped out the mag and then each stripper clip would be shoved in – you couldn’t top up the gun with the mag inserted.

            To be fair the stripper clips looked like they worked great, but still – fighting WW3 against a massed Red Army assault with 2×45 round mags and 28 stripper clips?

            It’s amazing that no one called them out about this and that the program was allowed to proceed for so long.

          • iksnilol

            Doesn’t seem too different from todays rifles. You can’t top them up with the gun in a ready condition. With the G11 you could at least have one in the chamber while topping up.

          • But you are going into combat with 90 loaded rounds, after which you must reload under fire with stripper clips.

            This is even more absurd when you consider that the entire purpose of the G11 was to fire in 3-shot hyper burst – effectively giving you 30 trigger pulls before being forced to reload both magazines with stripper clips.

            And this was intended to happen during a defense against a mass mechanized assault during WW3….

            I don’t see how anyone could have thought this was a good idea.

          • iksnilol

            I think it’s a great idea. Stripper clips allow you to top up whilst the gun is still ready to fire. And clips are lighter and simpler than magazines.

          • Just Saying

            Im eating Ananas.

          • iksnilol

            Nice. Ananas is a very healthy and refreshing fruit.

          • Just Saying

            Now im eating salmon and drink pure lemon juice. Thats verry important.

          • iksnilol

            HONOR ON YOUR COW, you drink lemon juice undiluted unlike the weaklings!

          • Just Saying

            Exactly what i tought when i tasted it first today, at first buying it i tought its some juice, than found out its pure, but i really kinda like it.

            Nice profile pic btw.

          • iksnilol

            I ate raw lemon once back in the previous age of fire. You see, I ordered some pretty good chicken fillets which included fries and salad. And that salad had these thin slices of lemon.

            And here’s younger me thinking “well, I paid for it… and throwing food is a sin” so I ate it, and together with the chicken it was both refreshing and fulfilling. Surprising, honestly.

            Thank you.

          • Just Saying

            Age of fire? Are you refering to Darksouls? “And thus began the Age of Fire”, “The fire fades and only dark remains”.

            Type in google: Darksouls 1 opening cutscene, and while youre at it, watch the Darksouls 3 opening cutscene too, its gorgeous.

            And btw, its one of the hardest unforgiving games ever, it will tear up your a**ho*le like no other.

          • iksnilol

            I know, that’s why I referred to it.

            I’ll admit, I don’t miss the age of fire. I much prefer the age of dark… ironically, I find it to be more enlightening.

          • Just Saying

            Even tough most people completly misinterpret it. They say humans can be theyr “true” form again, but soulless husks are not humans they are emty vessels, the Dark Soul is what gave humanity, which is lost in the Dark Age.

            At the end, Kathee just manipulated the humans, look what the Abyss does, Dragons and Primordial Snakes can live in there, not humans tough. With the side effect that he gets feeded with humanitys souls by his darkwraiths.

          • iksnilol

            Well, that’s pure unadulterated humanity for you. Besides, it’s better to get it over with. The flame must fade one day. Might as well not postpone it, the age of fire is just humans being slaves to the gods.

            Freedom or death or sumthin’ like that.

          • Just Saying

            Both in Ds2 and Ds3 a 3rd path is shown. The united crowns completly stop the curse, you dont have to restart the age of fire but can go and find an alternative part “beyond the scope of light, beyond the reach of dark”.
            Lord Aldia as example, once a normal human, now became a posthuman archtree-being – that even… seems to be kindled (something first being seen and named in Darksouls3!)

            And in Ds3, it says “the unkindled will rise” which are humans, acutally free from the curse, (unless you level for free at this one cursed guy and get the accursed Darksign!)

          • But the gun is not ready to fire and cannot be topped up. The gun is empty and the stripper clips are loaded into the detachable magazines. It’s not like using stripper clips with a bolt action rifle.

            So, fire 90 shots. Remove both 15″ magazines and place on ground. Sling rifle or place on ground. Pick up one magazine. Remove one stripper clip from pouch and feed into magazine. Remove another and repeat. Remove another and repeat. Pick up rifle and insert magazine. Put rifle down and pick up other magazine. Remover stripper clip from pouch and insert into magazine. Remove another and repeat. Remove another and repeat. Pick up rifle. Insert spare magazine into parallel mag well. Continue fighting the commies.

          • noob

            IIRC that the G11 had the magazines mounted so you had one in the middle that was your magazine you fed from (and doubled as the charging handle) and then another reserve full mag on the gun off to the side parallel to the first magazine.

            To top up, you’d swap your part used mag with the full reserve one, and then start stuffing stripper clips in part full mag.

            I have never seen video of how this was done.

            In my more depressed moments I look at the outside and read that the G11 was designed with a “smooth outer shell” to be “easily decontaminated”.

            Maybe they figured that on the CRBN battlefield, punching a hole of any kind in an enemy’s suit would cause them to succumb to VX gas pretty quickly so nobody carrying one of these guns would live long enough to reload.

          • Well if no one is going to live to reload, what was the point of carrying all that ammo in the first place 😉

            Yes, the G11 was designed to carry a second (and I think possibly a third) magazine in waiting parallel to the central magazine. I believe that is because the magazines are 75-80% as long as the barrel, so could not be readily carried any other way.

            You can find a good video of the G11 in the ACR trials, as well as the first link that appears on youtube when you search G11- a great video from Japan with soothing elevator music in the background. The later video shows the stripper clip loading and then magazine insertion of the G11 – it’s special – especially when you imagine doing it in a 80’s CRBN suit.

    • “130lbs of lightweight gear” – yep, that’s its own whole separate issue.

      • USMC03Vet

        You could have shopped or drawn a picture for a far better result. I know James is a master of the meme arts.

  • USMC03Vet

    That picture is so out of place with the article I’m triggered and not even on the range.

    • Paul Rain

      It’s so in place for the kinder, gentler military that I am.. also triggered.

      So, there are what, less than 5000 troops on the ground in Iraq now. Trump campaigned on the basis of not engaging in wars for stupid PR reasons.

      Isn’t this a time when the Army and Marines should be focusing on getting leaner and meaner, raising physical standards, getting more offensive firepower to intimidate potential enemies? Instead.. let’s try to make sure that less persons from protected groups fail out of the IOC because they can’t carry moderate weights on hikes that 14 year old boys can do, by reducing weight at the margins.

      • Form Factor

        “moderate weights” … youre a total idiot. Do you know how much no matter how tough and strong Marines STILL have damaged knees after service….

        With using better technology to make lighter armor for the same protection you – have much less cost in medical help after service.

        MORE mobility and increased combat effectiveness!!
        Less fatigued Soliders with MORE shot Accuracy!
        = more of your wished offensive effectiveness

        And why on earth using new body armor magically prevents from focusing on other areas. Do you think there sits a SINGLE person for planning…… my god.

        • Porty1119

          As I understand it, troops in WWII carried half of what our guys do now.

          The amount of orthopedic injuries is staggering.

          • PK

            The average weight carried in basically any conflict through history, in comparison to what modern soldiers in some nations including the USA carry, is laughably light.

            Many military branches treat each soldier as a pack mule, and it’s been more and more of a problem as more and more gear is considered absolutely essential to their function.

        • PK

          ” Do you know how much no matter how tough and strong Marines STILL have damaged knees after service….”

          Is the answer all of them, all of the Marines and Army? I bet it’s all of them. Is it all? It’s all.

          Turns out that regularly walking around carrying the equivalent of another person as your minimum gear… that ruins joints. Go figure!

      • USMC03Vet

        Sadly when requirements go down, they never go back up.

  • I’d be curious to know how much of the weight is in Kevlar vs rifle plates.

    There are now standalone Level IV plates that weigh 4.4lbs (RMA #1199) a piece. If you used those front and back with two side armor plates of the same material, and used a plate carrier without Kevlar backing, you’d be in the neighborhood of 15lbs with COTS gear.

    • PK

      Plus helmet, plus arm/neck/groin armor, goggles… hey, look, we’re back at almost 27lbs again.

  • Form Factor

    MOST IMPORTANT = weight distribution to the hip not the shoulders! Much less tiring and better balance, far less stress on the spine.

    • PK

      Knees still get ruined, but it’s something.

      • Form Factor

        Ofcourse, but its really a lot better in the other areas.

    • MSG1000

      *Takes notes in case of WWIII draft.*

  • The Dude

    Army and Marine Corps looking for lighter weight body armor for infantry, so why did you decide to show a photo of air force pogs playing dress up?

    • Logic

      because yellow ofcourse!

    • dannytejas

      The first 3 words of the article.

    • USMC03Vet

      cuz they are the infantry of the airforce!

      • Kirk Newsted

        They were photographers. Read the caption.

        • USMC03Vet

          It was a joke. A common one regarding non infantry claiming to be the infantry of x. FFS.

          • Kirk Newsted

            It might be a joke if photographers had ever claimed to be the infantry of the air force.

          • Devil, others just don’t get us…

    • Because that’s what was available that showed the vest clearly and was in the public domain.

      • The Dude

        I don’t think you understand what clearly means.

        • Think what you please, I guess.

          • The Dude

            I’ve got great news for you, it’s not a clear picture and the iotv isn’t new. There are tons of pictures of actual grunts wearing the iotv. You’ve failed.

          • Reality

            DONT YOU DEAR to insult the HOLY Nathaniel!

          • The Dude

            All glory to Nathan, he defies logic and sense.

          • Well, heck, put in your application, then.

          • st381183

            Why are you so defensive? Grow thicker skin. It was a legitimate point, you speak of Army and Marines, never mention Air Force, and have a picture of Air Force personnel. It might be of concern for vets who think you don’t know what the hell youre talking about.

          • Trolling me like that won’t work. I can read my own posts, you know.

          • The Dude

            Nothing worse than a writer who can’t stand to be corrected.

          • Ebola might be worse.

          • The Dude

            That picture is Ebola

          • USMC_grunt2009-2013

            Why didn’t you join the military at some point if you’re so into military weapons and all things tactical?

          • Way too fat and lazy.

          • USMC_grunt2009-2013

            Clearly. Too lazy even to find the correct picture for the article you’re posting.

          • I will be more careful in the future. Don’t want to offend anybody.

          • Squirreltakular

            Explain to me what a correct picture would have been. They aren’t looking at a specific product. They don’t even have an RFI out. Who cares? Do you always get your panties in this much of a wad over a simple picture?

    • pcjunkie429

      Exactly what I was gonna ask. I read the headline, then saw the picture. I said out loud, “Dafuq?”

  • RSG

    Average combat load of 118 pounds is outrageous in the desert. The hajis of course wear cotton dresses. We need motorized valets with automatic following/tracking capabilities with the ability to gauge the speed of the moving troops and adjust when necessary. Not sure how that becomes a solution in the mountains or through hard obstacles, though.

    • PK

      A load of 118lbs in any environment that requires any mobility on foot is pretty outrageous, honestly!

    • Something like the Boston Dynamics “Big Dog” as a robotic mule has been proposed.

      Biggest issue is power. Batteries are not at the point where they would be viable, and a gas powered engine would likely be pretty loud.

      It would be great if they figure it out though…well, until we’re overrun by weaponized robo mules.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Those solid-state Li-Ion batteries are pretty promising.

    • USMC03Vet

      The worst part is the amount of water you have to pound constantly while doing it otherwise you gonna die, which adds more weight.

    • USMC_grunt2009-2013
      • Yeah, robodogs are an interesting idea if they can work out the power source.

        • USMC_grunt2009-2013

          Thanks professor. That was profound.

          • Squirreltakular

            Gods forbit he comment on his own article.

            It’s a shame that four years in the grunts couldn’t teach you how not to be a whiny girl. Your NCOs must be proud.

          • USMC_grunt2009-2013

            Hahahahaha he can comment all he wants. I like trolling fat people.

          • USMC_grunt2009-2013

            Also, I was an NCO.

      • RSG

        Whoa. That’s amazing. Wonder how close that is to being finished. I’m surprised the folks at MIT haven’t solved this.

  • Uniform223

    Thank you GAO for your insightful opinion on the subject…

    Reduced weight in body armor is always a goal but is always seemingly unattainable.

    “Army and Marine Corps officials stated that the PPE provides significant additional protection when compared with equipment used prior to operations in Iraq in the 2000s. However, they also noted that providing this level of protection adds significant bulk and weight to the total load on Soldiers and Marines, which could impede mobility and hinder combat effectiveness.”

    Well, so does a bullet.

    Here is the thing. Even if they manage to reduce the weight of body armor, soldiers and marines will always find a way to make up that weight difference for something else they feel they need on/in there kit.

    • Juggernaut

      This is kind of like squeezing extra MPG out of a gasoline engine- it’s doable but at some point the desired result comes at high cost and the result is negligible, at best.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Mobility and protection is a tradeoff. At some point, troops have to be able to lighten upsignificantly if they are going to catch and destroy an enemy, which is the best force protection.

  • DIR911911 .

    article about the army and marines , picture of air force members , welcome to TFB

    • All three services use IOTV II.

      • =^-^=

        Nathaniel. How much propellant in grain does M855 and M855A1 use? And whats a good chamber pressure for it without too much erosion? 55000/ 56000/ 57000/ 58000psi?

        • =^-^=

          Nathaniel chan plies answer ; ^ ; And whats its case capacity with M193? And how long exactly is its neck where it holds the bullet?

          • Off the top of my head, 26.5-27.5 for M855, 26.1-28.6 for M855A1 depending on spiral, 55,000 PSI working pressure is OK for either and about right for A1’s current iteration. Case capacity for M193 is the same as any 5.56mm, roughly 30.5 grains. Neck is toleranced at about 5-5.15mm.

            Why do you ask?

          • =^-^=

            Just making some loads, ive once seen powerly in your article
            ^-^/ , 30.5 is usual most sites say yes, max is LakeCity brass with 30.06 grains of water, which the military brass right.

            So how does powerly calculates it? I mean it knows case lenght, COAL, and projectile lenght. Does it calculate how much the bullet is in the case, but it doesnt knows the neck lenght for that right..?

            M855A1 has much less chamber volume left compared to M193.

            And it says i should add 0.1grain capacity for a boattail when its around .22cal. But how does it know the type of boattail, short/or long? I dont know :c

            Is the 30.5 grains the full case or just to its neck?

            And what about bearing surface? Does powerly calculate it? M855A1 has a lot more than M193.

            Whats the usual maximum Energy without exeeding 55000psi, i can get out of a 16inch barrel with a 55 to 60grain bullet, like M193 that has a lot of chamber volume?

          • Powley calculates the net capacity by calculating the cylindrical portion of the bullet that protrudes beneath the case mouth and subtracts that from the total capacity. In this calculation, it is assuming that all bullets are flat-based, but it doesn’t make a huge difference even if they are boattailed.

            Powley does not really estimate bearing surface or crimp strength or throat dimensions. It also is only correct for the IMR propellants in its suite, and many of those are old. In this way, it’s pretty limited since these things can make a lot of difference. When doing estimates, I usually check Powley against real-world results for whatever application I want to make an estimate for, and use that as an adjustment for my hypotheticals. For example, I can plug values for the latest iteration of M855A1 into Powley and crank up the pressure value until I hit the measured velocity of about 3,020 ft/s:


            That spiral of M855A1 has a measured working pressure of about 54,000 PSI, so I know if I want another round with the same working pressure, I plug in 53500 CUP into Powley (equiv. to 65,000 PSI, but that’s irrelevant since this is an adjustment value anyway) for the new round and get an estimate. It’s a little messy to do it this way, but it shouldn’t steer you too wrong as long as you get results with the same listed IMR powder in Powley. Example, in that calculation for M855A1, it lists 3031 as the “appropriate” powder. So if I am estimating a new round, I want it to also say “3031” if I’m going to apply the same adjustment. Unfortunately, you can’t force that Powley to use a particular powder, so you really need to make an adjustment figure for all the powders you are likely to need.

            Having said that, Powley has some limits. It doesn’t play well at all with certain rounds. 6.5 Grendel is probably the worst one. I’ve never gotten Powley to give velocity values even remotely close to what people measure from their rifles for that caliber. The calculator doesn’t seem to play well with that round even with an adjustment, either. I don’t know why this is, but Powley just doesn’t work with the 6.5 Grendel especially. It’s a little wonky with some other rounds, too (6.8 SPC, .264 USA), but it’s real bad with the Grendel.

          • =^-^=

            Mhh :c thats unfortunate, because i really want to know with what type of power and how many, i get how much Energy at maximum without exeeding 55000psi, out of a 16inch barrel.

            A 59grain bullet with a tiny 1.1mm boattail, that is after the neck only 1.1mm into the case. So it has good chamber volume.

            Do you think i get 3100fps with it? Or is it too fast, what velocity do you think? Have you any better program?

          • You could try QuickLoad for $150, but at some point you’ll need to start loading and chronoing your own rounds to really be sure.

          • =^-^=

            Yes, im not sure i want to spend so much money :c. And what is that Pressure thing. If i type in the said 26.1 grains of powder, and then velocity to not exeed 55000psi.

            And than click the Pressure thingy, it increases velocity and greatly decreases powder. How does that is meant to work?? And why does it get less then you stated 26.1 grains.

          • =^-^=

            Yes, im not sure i want to spend so much money :c. And what is that Pressure thing. If i type in the said 26.1 grains of powder, and then velocity to not exeed 55000psi.

            And than click the Pressure thingy, it increases velocity and greatly decreases powder. How does that is meant to work?? And why does it get less then you stated 26.1 grains.

          • =^-^=

            whops, it sayd it couldnt post it, so i clicked again, now its double posted

          • You don’t type in the grains of powder, just let the computer throw out a meaningless estimate for you. It won’t be correct. Use the case volume.

          • =^-^=

            ? but when i dont enter the propellant charge no result comes, just nothing happens, even when i click the pressure buttom

            Also what do you mean with meaningless estimate, sure its not 100% accurate, but what im wondering is how it possible has less grains of powder than your stated 26.1?

      • USMC_grunt2009-2013

        But Air Force POGs don’t ever have to worry about getting shot wearing it or going on long patrols in horrible conditions. Nathaniel the Wise strikes again.

  • jonp

    Instead of making the chics pull their weight and come up to standards lets just lower the standards and get everybody killed. SJ for all no matter the cost!

    • Form Factor

      Quote: “Do you know how much no matter how tough and strong Marines STILL have damaged knees after service….

      With using better technology to make lighter armor for the same protection you – have much less cost in medical help after service.

      MORE mobility and increased combat effectiveness.
      Less fatigued Soliders with MORE shot Accuracy. “

      • jonp

        And get those chics that cant come up to current standards onto the battlefield one way or the other.

    • No one

      Maybe if you weren’t a complete dolt and actually looked at soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, you’d see even the big 220+ pound guys are coming back with permanent knee and spinal damage from current gear loadouts.

      But you’re right, this is clearly just a plot by SJWs! “60% disabled rate from returning soldiers? what’s that!?!?”


    BTW the troops in the pic are in the US Air Force.

  • USMC_grunt2009-2013
  • USMC_grunt2009-2013

    I Google’d “IOTV II” and these were all on the first page of image search. It was really, really hard. Took hours. I can see why you didn’t want to go through all that trouble, leaves more time for preaching to the world about your limitless knowledge on all things military and combat related. You know, from your long and storied career as a Delta Force operator. I knew as soon as I saw you, that you are one hardcore war dog. 😉

      • USMC_grunt2009-2013

        Cool picture bro. I’m on my phone so I can’t screen capture, but Google tailors search results for people with Google+ accounts (which I have.) I got different results.

  • Cap’n Mike

    An infantryman will always carry 100 pounds of the lightest weight gear technology can devise.

    • Well hopefully that means he’s at least getting more out of sacrificing his knees to Uncle Sam.

      • Cap’n Mike

        Most would probably choose more ammo.

  • Phillip Cooper

    “Army and Marines looking for lighter weight armor”

    … so let’s use a pic of Air Force…


  • Phillip Cooper

    A Big part of this is the allowing of women into combat arms..

  • Eric

    Given the title I find it intersting the individuals in the photos are airmen….

  • cwolf

    Weight is only one variable.

    Heat buildup is also important.

  • The answer for the weight reduction on the armor uhdp. Armor companies have been making body armor out of it for a decade. It’s bulkier than steel or ceramic but weighs a fraction of either. That’s ultra high density polyethylene. It has to be 2 inches thick, but if weight reduction is your goal it gets you there. A hybrid of uhdp and steel or ceramic might be the way to go. One inch of poly may slow the bullet down enough to allow use of a lighter alloy backing plate to stop the round from penetrating. Say an aluminum/magnesium/titanium alloy.