The ORIGINAL gathering place for a merry band of Three Percenters. (As denounced by Bill Clinton on CNN!)
The Corps is getting so high tech it's hard to recognize by us VN era grunts, but no question much of that is for the good. Arriving in country west of DaNang with 7th Marines, I remember being handed the tiny typical Marine issue field pack and being counselled immediately to dump it and find an Army pack or even an ARVN pack. My first buddy got wounded and on the way to some hospital somewhere told me, "You can have my pack till I get back." This delighted me, "Don't be in a hurry," I said. When he came back it was traumatic. His pack had a fiberglass backboard of some kind, heavy, but really distributed the weight. I was so desperate for a good pack I asked my family to send me something. A month later a trail pack from Sears came in complete with aluminum frame. Lasted about a week before 60 - 80 pounds of humping collapsed the cheap aluminum. Eventually I got an ARVN pack and kept it the rest of my tour. When I medevaced once with malaria my greatest fear was returning to find it gone. Two things a grunt cares most about: his feet--meaning boots, but more often meaning dry socks--and his pack. I was one tour, 2 year material so I don't know about long term effects. But I've been on humps where fit young men nevertheless dropped dead from heat stroke up some of those highland trails, their packs full of a week's rations, too much ammo and fragmentation grenades and on top of that an illumination and HE 60 mm mortar round or three. Or maybe a can of 7.62 for the machine gunners. It doesn't take long before you're only carrying what you know you need. In those days not much science to it--if it hurt too bad to carry it, you didn't. Once I was given an unopened box of AK ammo captured one day in some skirmish or other and told to hump it back to the valley. Yeah, right. That officer got a hundred yards away and I found a nice deep endless hole to consign that box of 500 AK rounds to, couldn't have felt more right about it either. Anyway, if a little high tech can make the main common suffering infantry has put up with through endless millenia--the things they carried--more power to science.
Yes, I know that Marines aren't soldiers, but for the sake of anyone calling themselves Infantry, The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of a Nation is a great read...
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