4 years, 9 months ago
U.S. Marine Cpl. Brian Knight, of Cincinnati, Ohio, with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, 1st Battalion 5th Marines, pauses briefly in the heat to rest with his heavy pack filled with mortar equipment, ammunition, food, and water in the Nawa district in Afghanistan’s Helmand province Saturday, July 4, 2009.
This Marine is carrying his backpack filled with food, hydration system, clothing, etc., and is also carrying ammunition, weapon, body armor, and other equipment. He is likely going “across the line” at 120 to 130 pounds. He is suffering in heat and with heavy battle space weight. For weight lifters like me, let’s put this in terms we can understand. This is like putting three York 45 pound plates in a backpack and humping it for ten or fifteen miles in 100+ degree Fahrenheit weather.
Battle space weight is a recurring theme at The Captain’s Journal, and will remain so. Money should be devoted to the weight reduction of SAPI plates in body armor and other low and even high hanging fruit. The weight of water is decided by God and cannot be altered.
Another salient point bears down on us. This is why women are not allowed in Marine infantry (or Army Special Forces), and why women suffered an inordinately high number of lower extremity injuries (leading to ineffective Russian units) when they deployed with the Russian Army in their losing campaign in Afghanistan. Just like God decides the weight of water, He also decides the physiques of men and women.
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