I happened to catch this video on a Facebook and decided to jot down a quick list of the impedimenta these poor guys had to lug around Fallujah.
M16A4 rifle with Trijicon ACOG, Laser aiming device, weapons light or
M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and
Beretta M9 pistol
Helmet with Rhino mount and synthetic camo net
Body Armor, Carrier, loads of pouches
Ammunition load, generally 210 but these guys might be going heavier for a sustained fight
Gasmask with filters
Personal first aid kit/Bleeder pouch
Grenades, SMAW ammo, Det cord.
Communication gear, batteries, handset, etc.(Pro tip, these are not light)
Medic Pack, (Pro Tip 2, these are really not light)
AT4 Rocket launcher(s)
zip ties (used for restraints)
Camelback or 2 canteens
Buttpack / Sustainment pack
This is not to mention the various snacks, multi-tools, paper, pens, smokes, iPods, whatever other junk they accumulated in the layers of pockets and pouches. Also, clothes, belt, boots, elbow and knee pads, protective gloves, all weigh something too.
In the military, by either conventional wisdom or blind obedience to the rule book, (a.k.a. the Standard Operating Procedures), you are usually required to wear some or most of this stuff. I am sure you have seen the 300 pound "Mulisha" guy at the range, with the cross draw rig (for his primary pistol), drop leg mounted pistol (for the secondary), 21" machete MOLLE'd on the back, 12 or so magazines in various places, armor plates, but no water and a cigarette dangling from his perspiring mouth*. These guys in the video knew they would be in a sustained fight eventually. They trained for months and even years to be in the kind of physical condition to be able to drag that stuff with them up flights of stair without wheezing themselves into a little brown paper bag.
Take some time to review not only your kit but your lifestyle to make sure that you are realistically in line with your goals. Look at your gear and give it a hard look as to if you need it. You could probably do without the four knives. You will most certainly need water, navigation equipment, communication devices, medical equipment, and something to defend yourself with. If you are the Gray Man or the neighborhood watch guy or even the local militia guy, understand your physical fitness needs will be much greater than what a weekly a hour long Pilates class can give you. Like the saying goes, the more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed in battle. Whatever your battle may be.
*Note: This was a real life example taken from a range in Birmingham, Alabama, circa 2009. He did not carry water because, get this, he said he can always get it off of someone else. Don't be that guy.
I am currently reading a 1950 copy of "The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of a Nation", by Col. S.L.A. Marshall. Text deals with the combat soldier and the relation between the soldier's issued combat load of equipment and his morale and fighting ability while under fire, based on the lessons primarily from WWII. It's a worthwhile read, perhaps it should be the subject of a Praxis article in and of itself.
Train as if my life, and maybe your life, depends on it. Because it does.
My gray man gear is a GI butt pack with shoulder strap. In it I can carry a half-dozen magazines for the rifle, space blanket, gloves and some snacks...
On the outside I have a 1 qt canteen with cup and stove on one side and on the other a first aid kit carrier and insert (with highly modified contents).
I can grab a radio and clip it to the shoulder strap.
The weapon has a light, and I carry a multi-tool on my belt along with another light, pistol and mags...
For my AO (my property) I don't need much in the way of nav gear, and I can walk around without too much attention being drawn by it all. Others may need more, but I don't need full battle-rattle....
Ugh...militia members...cults of personality and insanity. The only redeeming value they have is that the memebrs at least spend some money towards basics, but beyond that the mentalities completely defeat the rest of the efforts they claim to achieve. All chiefs with little to no experience in real battles or no clue except to live up to the most irrational rhetoric. They can call me AFTER the collapse happens and they weed themselves out of the dangerous morons and the internal leadership feuds are resolved through attrition with their strategic and tactical failures. REAL leaders and sensible no nonsense ideals will then be in effect.
Sign me, Neal Jensen
I'm surprised fat boy thinks he will last long enough to need water! :)
Lite is right, drop the snivel gear and most of the other weight. Hard to fight effectively when you have been a pack mule up to or during the fight. US Military ground units pack weight they don't "need". Being a pack mule is not required if you over run the target quickly/effectively while executing a logical/tactical effective plan. Playing "WAR" is for children/fools. A one on one fight is stupid in war, overwhelm the objective, an move on to the next target. A knife or a hammer used effectively, gets it over with quickly. Misuse or swing either long enough and your in for a prolonged fight. Which requires tons of logistics, lives, money, ect.
To state a lateral corollary to Merle Morrison's comment, I'm a bit alarmed by anyone talking as if the rest of us are going to last long enough to need water. Like Neal Jensen says, for most of us the big culling will be when the economy collapses, before combat skills beyond warding off looters even come into play.
Thinking of it that way, a lot of us with lower BMI might be envying the "less fit" before things even get well-underway in our area (of course, that's part of the biologically-ingrained reason we all tend to find fat people morally appalling even in an age where there is no real reason to do so).
Be as fit and prepared as you can, but don't give up because you're not going to be a body-armored Marine running around in a hostile area of a foreign nation on the other side of the world...that's as silly as giving up because you can't afford a main battle tank (with logistics). If we all had everything we wished we had, we'd have a Constitutional government, sound money, and the prosperity of a free-market propelling us towards the inevitable choice of whether to embrace transhumanism during the imminent Vingean Singularity (frankly, I'd probably end up ruining that for everyone somehow, so it's probably just as well we're not headed there).
The situation is going to evolve with a lot of variation in local circumstances. No doubt someone is going to have a main battle tank at some point...and urban combat in an unfriendly neighborhood doesn't seem unlikely to occur. Restricting your urban combat to areas full of people you're defending (who know and accept that) seems like a better idea generally, but we're all going to encounter emerging situations different from what we anticipated.
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