Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

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Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by greenbeetle » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:52 am

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA212050

Prettier version here
http://www.usariem.army.mil/pages/downl ... agePDF.pdf

Very interesting regarding self pacing, carrying loads closer to your core decreases V02, suggested weights of packs, long marches versus short ones, "fighting load" and "approach march load". They compare loads carried over time in different conlficts - 60kg for the US soldier in North Africa WWII...

Looks like they use computer models to assess risks and benefits of lightening loads in today's conflicts based on the enemy, terrain, mission, etc.

Sweet equations on pg 18. Wish we knew what the "terrain factors" were.

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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Bender711 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:05 pm

Awesome, been arguing with someone over how far you can really carry a 100lb+ pack. He said he did it all the time in the army but I'm guessing he judges 100lbs the same way he judges 6 inches. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by TacAir » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:16 pm

Army's been burying Snuffy under a ton of 'lightweight' shit for decades.

The best load bearing equipment designed to date is a Duce...
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by TDW586 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:22 pm

Bender711 wrote:Awesome, been arguing with someone over how far you can really carry a 100lb+ pack. He said he did it all the time in the army but I'm guessing he judges 100lbs the same way he judges 6 inches. :shock: :lol:

Nothing in that report says soldiers don't carry 100+ pound loads...
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by phil_in_cs » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:24 pm

greenbeetle wrote:Sweet equations on pg 18. Wish we knew what the "terrain factors" were.
Just a guess, but carrying a load 9,000 feet up and down mountains in Afghanistan and carrying it at near sea level @ Ft. Benning aren't exactly the same thing. Dry deserts like 29 Palms or Iraq, or the rain forests in the Philippines? How to quantitative that difference would be very difficult, though.

Saved the PDF to read later.

I carry 100lb loads to train, but it would be silly for me to try to carry that load on an actual bug out.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Bender711 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:33 pm

TDW586 wrote:
Bender711 wrote:Awesome, been arguing with someone over how far you can really carry a 100lb+ pack. He said he did it all the time in the army but I'm guessing he judges 100lbs the same way he judges 6 inches. :shock: :lol:

Nothing in that report says soldiers don't carry 100+ pound loads...
The reports at the beginning indicate that movement with more than 100lbs is slow (5km in 8 hours one said) and difficult.

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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by TDW586 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:37 pm

Bender711 wrote:
TDW586 wrote:
Bender711 wrote:Awesome, been arguing with someone over how far you can really carry a 100lb+ pack. He said he did it all the time in the army but I'm guessing he judges 100lbs the same way he judges 6 inches. :shock: :lol:

Nothing in that report says soldiers don't carry 100+ pound loads...
The reports at the beginning indicate that movement with more than 100lbs is slow (5km in 8 hours one said) and difficult.

Um...yeah, you move a lot slower with a 100lb pack on. And....?

Any infantryman has carried 100+ pounds on a regular basis.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by phil_in_cs » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:40 pm

Bender711 wrote:The reports at the beginning indicate that movement with more than 100lbs is slow (5km in 8 hours one said) and difficult.
I did 2.1 miles in 35 minutes this morning w/ 110lbs. Not that anyone was trying to shoot at me, and the terrain around is here flatter than a pancake.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Bender711 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:11 pm

While my first post was mainly meant as a thinly veiled penis joke the tall tales in question consisted of mountains and tens of miles with a 100 lb pack.

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Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Spd164 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:18 pm

TDW586 wrote:
Bender711 wrote:
TDW586 wrote:
Bender711 wrote:Awesome, been arguing with someone over how far you can really carry a 100lb+ pack. He said he did it all the time in the army but I'm guessing he judges 100lbs the same way he judges 6 inches. :shock: :lol:

Nothing in that report says soldiers don't carry 100+ pound loads...
The reports at the beginning indicate that movement with more than 100lbs is slow (5km in 8 hours one said) and difficult.
Any infantryman has carried 100+ pounds on a regular basis.
This. Hell, I wasn't even a grunt (MP) and my pack usually weighed in between 80-100lbs if I followed the gear list. Thankfully when it came time to do it "for real" in 2003 my 100lb pack was strapped to a HMMWV.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Keith B » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:06 pm

phil_in_cs wrote:
Bender711 wrote:The reports at the beginning indicate that movement with more than 100lbs is slow (5km in 8 hours one said) and difficult.
I did 2.1 miles in 35 minutes this morning w/ 110lbs. Not that anyone was trying to shoot at me, and the terrain around is here flatter than a pancake.
I'm still reading, but the exhibit used in the article seems to be lacking on details. Yes, I know all that stuff is heavy, yes I know Afghanistan can be a terrain nightmare. But if you do the math, thats a 10m per minute pace. BUT-----if we are patroling, taking frequent breaks to observe the area, then of course it makes sense to do a 5k patrol in 8 hours.

It doesnt read to me that they were walking 10m a minute because that was as fast as they could go.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Redbad » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:50 pm

Whatever else you get from reading this report, the summary at the end where post march abilities in critical military activities (marksmanship, etc) were measured should be highlighted. Heavy loads carried over long distances will impact one's ability to hit a target.

Much of the data in the report was from road marches with with heavy packs. There is a huge difference between a road march and a cross country march in difficult terrain.

Just because one can carry 100 pounds (and some of the loads described were up to 70kg, which is in excess of 140 pounds) doesn't mean that it is tactically wise to carry 100 pounds. Someone with a 35 pound pack (or lighter) that can move fast will be much less likely to become zombie bait.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by whataburger » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:23 pm

I was an M1a1abrams Tanker and our motto was "Why carry the weapon when the weapon can carry you?" LOL :D
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by PotatoMuncher » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:40 pm

As a former Army Combat Medic, my STOMP and ruck sack easily weighed into the 80+lb range, and it fucking SUCKED. It probably also didnt help that I volunteered to hump extra belts of ammo for the 240B gunners. Doing 10-15 miles to the range, "reacting" to a far ambush, moving to the firing line, shooting downrange, etc. really took a toll on everyone. I normally tagged 36-38/40 targets on a normal qualification day, and I was lucky to get 25-28 after those reaction drills.

During those marches, I missed being an MP. All we did was strap down our rucks and roll. Then I got attached to an armor company and god damn I loved it. Makes me wish I had a bug-out tank.

Im definitely saving this PDF for later. Im totally reading this during some future free time. This interests the hell out of me.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by GunsUp » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:14 pm

Similar, but more updated paper...

"The Modern Warrior's Combat Load"
http://thedonovan.com/archives/modernwa ... Report.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

For a real unit if afghanistan the average fighting load is 63lbs, approach march load is 101lbs, emergency march load is 131 lbs.

It recommends a max fighting load of 48 lbs and a max approach march load of 72 lbs for a young, healthy adult male.

It also indicates that humping huge amounts of weight should be no problem for that person on an "emergency" basis:
Circumstances could require Soldiers to carry loads heavier than 72 pounds such as approach marches through terrain impassable to vehicles or where ground/air transportation resources are not available. Therefore, larger rucksacks must be carried. These Emergency Approach March Loads can be carried easily by well-conditioned Soldiers. When the mission demands that Soldiers be employed as porters, loads of up to 120 pounds can be carried for several days over distances of 20 km a day. Although loads of up to 150 pounds are feasible, the Soldier could become fatigued or even injured. If possible, contact with the enemy should be avoided since march speeds will be slow.
All this being said, I limit my BOB to 60 lbs... I am fat, but I also have a big strong frame, and I am in decent physical condition. I can hike 20 miles in a day through relatively rough terrain with a 30 lb pack, and I can do 10 full-depth 250lb free weight squats and not be sore the next day. However, I don't regularly hike around with huge weight, so I am not going to try and do it in an emergency when an injury would be catastrophic.

I think generally trying to hike more than a 10 miles with 100 lb pack would not be a healthy decision for very many people. Even if you are in great physical condition, the risk of injury is high and there won't be a anybody there to evacuate you when you mis-step and blow your knee out.

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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Jeriah » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:27 pm

I'm very interested in this report's mention of "double packs," that is, on carrying a second pack on one's chest. For a military user, it makes plenty of sense to have the ammo weight carried on the front of a chest rig, but I'm thinking more about the idea of a "chest pack" that serves as a counterweight to a civilian hiking (bugout) pack.

What I'm imagining is something like an FLC (Fighting Load Carrier) vest, with a pair of Kifaru Long Pockets or Back Pouches, one on each side of the center opening, vertically. This would offer a lot of capacity to get weight out of the main pack. The FLC would have to connect somehow (this is the hard part) to the shoulder straps and waist belt of the main (back) pack. I think if played right it could really help balance out a load. Obviously not compatible with a fighting chest rig, but if you're not running one...
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Kutter_0311 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:53 pm

Jeriah wrote:I'm very interested in this report's mention of "double packs," that is, on carrying a second pack on one's chest. For a military user, it makes plenty of sense to have the ammo weight carried on the front of a chest rig, but I'm thinking more about the idea of a "chest pack" that serves as a counterweight to a civilian hiking (bugout) pack.

What I'm imagining is something like an FLC (Fighting Load Carrier) vest, with a pair of Kifaru Long Pockets or Back Pouches, one on each side of the center opening, vertically. This would offer a lot of capacity to get weight out of the main pack. The FLC would have to connect somehow (this is the hard part) to the shoulder straps and waist belt of the main (back) pack. I think if played right it could really help balance out a load. Obviously not compatible with a fighting chest rig, but if you're not running one...
I could see this working pretty well, if you do it right. I'd try tying one long pouch to each shoulder strap. You may also need to tie the bottom down to something, so they don't swing and bounce too much. I could see doing this over a chest rig with your fighting load, since the first thing you want to do is ditch your ruck, anyway.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by TDW586 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:18 am

The only time I've ever seen double packs used is when someone goes down (injury, heat casualty) and someone else has to carry their pack.

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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:39 am

I find a few things here interesting- Jeriah, the chest pack was being discussed in another thread at one point (sorry, I can't find it now), and I've actually done it- strap a second back pack onto the front, then the back- pack, so the straps of the front pack don't slide off the shoulders. While it DOES balance you out, allowing a more natural movement, and therefore faster, the downside is that you still have all that weight being supported by knees, ankles, and spinal column that were never meant to handle that. The risk of injury increases exponentially, IMO.

Which brings me to my second item. When I was in the army, it was a 50 pound pack, weapons, ammo, and you hiked wherever the heck they sent you. In the last 30 years, they'd replaced an awful lot of the equipment I was issued with newer, more lightweight materials, superior designs, etc. Yet the load on an infantryman is now TWICE what it was 30 years ago. Somehow, I don't see that as being "progress", but more like "military intelligence", which is a well known oxymoron.

CAN a soldier carry 100 pound pack? Sure. But, find one who LIKES TO. Good luck with that. Rucking around a load that feels like a houseful of furniture all day wears a person out, I don't care what level of training or fitness they happen to be at. Eventually, performance is going to suffer, whether it be at firing on-target, or just regular day-to-day tasks. Personally, I wouldn't want a medic working on me in that sort of shape- I want him on the ball, and sharp. When you get to that level of tired, you start shooting AT things, which is different from shooting your target- you are just so tired, that you simply don't give a damn if you hit it or not, you just put lead downrange, and- if you think about it all- you're thinking about how you won't have to carry THAT ammo with you when you get up. Every shot is making the load that much lighter. It's a simple fact- soldiers are human, too. Subject to all the same limitations and weaknesses the rest of us are- they're just trained to keep on going despite them.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by phil_in_cs » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:19 am

Vicarious Lee posted elsewhere that when he was working @ a VA hospital one of the more common disabilities in younger veterans was back injuries from humping these crushing loads.

GunsUp touched on an important issue - there's a load you can carry in an emergency, a normal maximum load, and also a "smart" load that you can carry over long stretches. Getting those mixed up can cause injury.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by jeepinbandtrider » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:08 am

One of my buddies who was a grunt got out almost an inch shorter than when he went in lol. It sucks.

I've done the "double pack" think before when in basic training, MCT, and a few times when going on detachments and it's not something I'd want to do on a regular basis. Basically it was a measure taken when we needed to move all of our gear right that second and didn't have time to go back for a second trip. IMO it's not something that wouldbe a long term deal.
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by oldsoldier » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:44 pm

I was a grunt for 13 years. Our STANDARD packing list was in the 50 lb range. Not including water, or ammo. 70lbs was the norm. Yes, its heavy, and sucks. I am short-I think for every mile ever humped on a road march, I did two, with the double stepping or airborne shuffle. And, to top it off, Alice packs are EXTREMELY uncomfortable when humping-at the time, of course, I didnt know this, but I have since hump 60 lb loads with a quality internal frame, and its like a dream. ALICE packs can carry heavy loads-SFAS, you will carry somewhere from 100-120 lbs-but, that doesnt make it easy. As an infantryman, when we did approach marches, we carried what we needed for 3 days-food, water, ammo. Snivel gear was usually optional, to a point. i spent many, many nights with a woobie, wishing for a proper fart sack, to save the 6 lbs. But, I lived, so it doesnt really matter.
I havent read the article yet, nor have I had any road marching experience since 2004. But, I can tell you, an average ruck for a grunt was 70 lbs-and usually more, because we would put rocks in each others packs, out of love :)
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Kutter_0311 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:43 pm

jeepinbandtrider wrote:One of my buddies who was a grunt got out almost an inch shorter than when he went in lol. It sucks.
I was 5'8" when I enlisted, and I'm 5'7" now. My feet were size 7, now 8.5W...
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Re: Army "Loads Carried By Soldiers" report

Post by Boondock » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:52 pm

oldsoldier wrote:
But, I can tell you, an average ruck for a grunt was 70 lbs-and usually more,
Yup. And figure on adding 20-40 pounds if you're in the company mortar section.

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