Author Topic: The Overweight Infantryman  (Read 458 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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The Overweight Infantryman
« on: January 11, 2017, 05:35:48 AM »
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 05:38:07 AM by rangerrebew »
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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Re: The Overweight Infantryman
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 12:38:28 PM »

Online dfwgator

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Re: The Overweight Infantryman
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 12:46:07 PM »

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: The Overweight Infantryman
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 12:57:22 PM »
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Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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Re: The Overweight Infantryman
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 01:14:51 PM »

Offline Taxcontrol

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Re: The Overweight Infantryman
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 01:19:37 PM »
Battle rattle - Infantry term for what you carry into combat
Ruck out - Full load i.e. what you carry when you move from one location to another

As a former Infantryman and squad leader, the ever increasing weight of what is required of the infantry is indeed a problem.  There needs to be a concerted effort to reduce the weight battle rattle (lighter weapons, body armor, water, first aid kits, gas masks, helmets, etc) along with an effort to reduce weight and improved carry of ruck out (rations, extra ammo, fuel, water, weather gear, sleeping bag, radios, batteries, crypto gear, crew served weapons, etc)

Consider that while a mech infantry squad has their vehicle that can carry gear, there is often not enough room for all that is needed.  This situation can be improved with support (HQ) elements providing common carry (2 1/2 ton trucks) and and common logistics (rations and kitchen, etc)

So I guess I am saying, right idea, wrong reasons.

Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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Re: The Overweight Infantryman
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 01:25:15 PM »
in terms of the initial article, military theorist S.L.A. Marshall wrote a very influential book called "The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of a Nation", which essentially made the argument that militaries tend to overload their infantry, to their detriment.

It's a point worth discussing and keeping in mind, but much easier as an aspiration rather than as something achievable.  Yes, it is true that carrying heavy loads adversely affects the fighting ability of your troops.  But so too does lacking adequate ammunition, water, food, weapons, and other gear.  It's easy to say in theory "you're carrying too much", but then the question becomes what you leave behind.  Take less ammo?  Less food, or water?  Maybe don't bring any mortars, machineguns, or extra ammo for the same?  No sleeping bags (practical in summer, but in mountains, in winter?), or shovels, or extra batteries for the radio? 

Offline driftdiver

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Re: The Overweight Infantryman
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 01:51:33 PM »
I was in the Air Force and did spend a year assigned to an Army post overseas.  Made me really glad to be in the Air Force but didn't teach me anything about the infantry.

My Air Force time did teach me that combining the sexes in closes environments is a recipe for discipline problems.  Even in my crypto shop the women didn't pull their weight.  Some of the equipment was quite heavy and they were given a pass so the rest of us had to do more.
Fools mock, tongues wag, babies cry and goats bleat.

Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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Re: The Overweight Infantryman
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 02:30:27 PM »
Some of the equipment was quite heavy and they were given a pass so the rest of us had to do more.

That's basically what happens everywhere in the military.  The men end up doing a disproportionate share of the heavy work, either because the women generally can't, or because they do it more slowly even when they can.  That works okay in training when you have fully staffed units and can spare the women heavy lifting, but when the fecal matter hits the rotating blades, and you may not have as many people as you'd like, it can be a real problem.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 02:33:20 PM by Maj. Bill Martin »


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