View Full Version : Soldier's Load Solution (somewhat related to BOB)

01-24-2013, 12:21 PM

I found this group's information back in '05 when i knew my ruck was full of sh*t. Enjoy!


Just prior to the invasion of Aitape by Task Force 705, Lieut. Col. H. C. Brookhart loaded himself with every thing which the order had said that the line infantryman was to carry during the landing.

The burden, exclusive of helmet and uniform, weighed approximately 46 pounds. Thus decked out, Brookhart presented himself to the commander, Brig. Gen. Jens Anderson Doe.

"What in hell have you got on?" asked Doe.

"This," replied Brookhart, "is what we say should be in the rifleman's load." "Then for God's sake get rid of part of it!" So instructed, Brookhart cut back the load to include the following items:

change of underwear

light woolen sweater


2 canteens of water

extra socks

aid pack

2/3 of one ration



30 rounds of rifle ammo

He arranged that troops would put into a B-bag these items-mess gear, change of shoes, remainder of ration, clean uniform, change of underwear, change of socks-which would be brought forward by first-line transports. Toilet articles had been included in the packload. Otherwise, this was all that the line formations carried.

Brookhart kept careful check of the results of this experiment. Looking back at it, he felt that he might have risked halving the ammo load which was hand carried. His check showed that only a minor number of riflemen had expended as many as 15 rounds on the first day.

01-24-2013, 12:36 PM
Bookmarked to read later.

Thank you!

01-24-2013, 12:46 PM
Yep, one of the first publications we read in Basic Officers Course is Soldiers Load and Mobility of a Nation. It said that you should not carry over 1/3 of your body weight in gear.

Also one of the first books to be tossed out by our leaders. The weight of just armor, ammo, water, etc. alone surpasses that.

Gear has gotten lighter but they just give you more of it to carry.

01-24-2013, 1:29 PM

Delta Bravo
01-31-2013, 8:26 PM
Generally great advice - weight always an issue.

But trade-offs come into play depending on availability of resupply, forward movement of support vehicles, etc.

Go into the Bush or Indian Country where no resupply for weeks, and load-out priorities shift, as we all realize.

So then depends on how much "living off the land" is possible, and changing priorities accordingly.

02-01-2013, 1:05 PM
Depends if you are leaving or staying...

02-01-2013, 4:25 PM

The sarge
02-01-2013, 7:52 PM
I disagree with the gear has gotten lighter statement. The newer flak jackets are insanely heavy. I currently am issued one of the lighter variants and its miserable to wear for extended periods. 30lbs on its own. Add a full camelback bladder, mre, ammo, first aid gear, rifle, and pistol and your already at 100lbs or better. Then add a radio, combat knife and all the other crap we end up carrying. Running around with double your body's weight sucks.

02-01-2013, 8:02 PM
^ This

When I was assigned to Force Recon Marine unit? The "MIAK" (Marine individual assault kit) and FSBE (full spectrum battle equipment) was nauseatingly huge. ALOT of gear, around $10K to be exact.

Never deployed with them, yet the guys showed me "how to". Made the statement "ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain" have a whole new meaning.

Anyhow now, with infantry - my home - I've learned to carry ALOT of stuff... But what I NEED versus what I think I need. Something only experiences have helped improve.

OP - thanks for the reading, it was good stuff.

02-02-2013, 6:38 PM
If you can find a copy of the Army's FM 21-18 field manual. It lists the different loads for soldiers on foot patrol.

02-03-2013, 12:42 AM
what a soldier needs...due to a military logistical supply chain and ration drops isnt the same as what a civilian needs....

Combat loadout PDF (http://thedonovan.com/archives/modernwarriorload/ModernWarriorsCombatLoadReport.pdf) breaks it down by function.