Small Wars Journal

Weight of War (Updated)

Weight of War: Gear that Protects Troops Also Injures Them by Hal Bernton, Seattle Times. BLUF: "Military studies acknowledge that combat soldiers are carrying too much weight - often more than 100 pounds. These loads have contributed to soaring numbers of injuries, and higher costs in disability payments."

Update: Military Struggles to Lighten Soldiers' Load (Part 2) by Hal Bernton, Seattle Times.


What is the point of lightening a Soldier's load when we as leaders just pack on more stuff?

A Soldier is required to carry a standard amount of gear that is dependant upon current TTPs and SOPs.

Tragically leaders across the board continually adjust the standards of what will be carried. When the load becomes lighter it allows for more stuff to be carried thus continually keeping roughly the same amount of weight on the Soldier's back.

carl (not verified)

Mon, 02/14/2011 - 3:04pm

Mr. Real:

Here is a link to a very good Small Wars Council thread on this very subject.

Risk aversion is a dominant theme.

(Small point regarding the C-17. It might be more accurate to say the Defense Dept doesn't want it. The USAF, quien sabe? But anybody who might have to depend on airlift probably wants rather more of them.)

Stephen Real (not verified)

Mon, 02/14/2011 - 2:38pm

This is outrageous!
Totally outrageous!

I can not believe, after ten years of war, we still have not even attempted to lighten the load on the fellas.
If I was in charge?
Heads would be rolling today!
I am so damn furious, because of that video, I am finding it very hard to contain my emotions.

We buy F-35 engines we don't need, and transport planes the US Air Force does not want, and we subject our US soldier to this?

I feel like taking my proverbial "two by four" out of the garage to start cracking heads! I can not express into words how upsetting this is making me.

Can I get a witness please?