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February 05, 2004

The Soldier's Load


In 1950, Brigadier General (then COL) S.L.A. Marshall wrote a book called "The Soldiers Load and the Mobility of a Nation" Marshall was a reservist who pioneered the use of interviewing combat troops right after combat (hours, literally) to gather both historical information and lessons learned, a practice now institutionalized in the US Army Center for Army Lessons Learned, CALL. This book was written on his own time and own dime - and details the impact of loading up the troops with stuff. As far as I know, the only official studies done by the US military was by the Marines, using the Makin Raid in 1943. That's changed. Here is the results of CALL's analysis of the soldier's load in in Afghanistan. I also have the OIF version, but it's big enough I have to figure out how I want to host it.

The Modern Warrior’s Combat Load
Dismounted Operations in Afghanistan
April - May 2003

Simply put - they've got too much to carry. And anyone who has had to wear all this stuff (just think of the batteries alone!) knows what I mean. But at least we're thinking about it.

I know some of you will be sucking this one down, and badgering me for the other! 8^D Sorry, but you'll have to have that resource hog Adobe Reader in order to read it.