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Because they are assembled wrong? 

In context of what we were otherwise talking about, I pulled out my DG3 to check weight and my trainer / fmr 11B friend put it on. So excited by the comfort, not just because Crossfire awesome, but because: 

His MOLLE II pack (all of them, from Basic to AFG, including the paid for replacement after first issue one stolen) dug in. The plastic frame against his back was uncomfortable. 

The frame? Against your back? 

Made him stop, showed photos of proper config. "The plastic frame dug in?" Yup. NO shoulder strap unit with the pad your shoulder blades ride on. Just Two Shoulder Straps, attached direct to the frame. Swears on a stack of bibles he is recalling this properly. 

What?! 

Anyone else encountered this? 

Seemed to be why they would overload the assault packs when they could. Anything to get away from the MOLLE II ruck as configured. 

Original Post

You gotta remember... not every Soldier is a gear guy...just like not every cop is a gun guy.

This is also true for the crew working at CIF / RFI activity / Supply Room.

Some people just don't know what right looks like.

My issued MOLLE ruck was put together correctly.. by me. I got it in an RFI shopping cart in bits and chunks and went and asked for the manual....you would have thought I asked for a beer and a blowjob.

They located a manual, I worked through assembling it and getting everything adjusted for me and then let my SFCs and SSGs use it as an example to do theirs. By the time they got done.. several PFCs just back from OSUT had already started showing their squadmates and the next thing you know the Company was complete -and generally correct.

We didn't BUDGE from the RFI building until each and every Soldier had all of their RFI gear assembled and sized correctly. 

Some Soldiers had to go back and argue -with senior NCO wingmen- for properly sized helmets and armor as the retired- 30 year in service E6 bubba with the "experienced eyes don't need to measure" -went into conniption fits about us being behind schedule. 

He didn't like being told his schedule wasn't a consideration in the matter but Soldier safety was the end all be all of why we were there.

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It's amazing what bad info / knowledge gets passed on or what's just accepted in the Army due to complacency. 

Also Army kit always seems like it was designed by a committee of people who have never worn it outside of the wire or in the field- their TA-50 just sits in their wall locker their entire career. I used to get shit from dudes (including NCO's) for buying my own gear until people started to try it out and realize their life in the dirt didn't need to suck nearly as much. The MOLLE II pack is a great example of hot garbage that a lot of Joe's think is just how it is until they hump an ALICE / MALICE.  

The other enemy of the Grunt's ruck is ridiculous packing lists put out by officers that live in a TOC... but that's a rant for another day...

@Community Member posted:

It's amazing what bad info / knowledge gets passed on or what's just accepted in the Army due to complacency. 

Also Army kit always seems like it was designed by a committee of people who have never worn it outside of the wire or in the field- their TA-50 just sits in their wall locker their entire career. I used to get shit from dudes (including NCO's) for buying my own gear until people started to try it out and realize their life in the dirt didn't need to suck nearly as much. The MOLLE II pack is a great example of hot garbage that a lot of Joe's think is just how it is until they hump an ALICE / MALICE.  

The other enemy of the Grunt's ruck is ridiculous packing lists put out by officers that live in a TOC... but that's a rant for another day...

Officers write packing lists?

@Community Member posted:

I hate my MOLLE II ruck because no matter what I do I cant keep it from squeaking loudly every step I take. Ive tried taping the contact points between the frame and pack, etc, nothing helps.

Its been sidelined twice for an ILBE.

Odds are it is the straps / frame contact point(s) that are sqeaking.

It's gonna sound weird.. but a little smear of Vaseline between the strap and contact point of the frame can make a difference. 

I wouldn't go out and drop an entire container of Vaseline on every contact point on the frame though..

I would start with the straps that bear the greatest load and / or are the tightest first.

Work small.... in this case less is more.

And... remember -those myopic fucks at CIF who cannot see a 1 foot rip in a poncho when issuing it suddenly develop super powers when you are trying to turn something in- are going to be looking at your gear eventually.

@Community Member posted:

Wait... you've never had a CO or BC put out a packing list?

Hell I've even had my CO insist on doing PCC'S/PCI's on our Joes after we do. Multiple times. Even told one of my Team Leaders to turn off his ACOG so he didn't wear out his batteries. Can't make this shit up. 

I've seen the CO or BC put out the 1SG or CSMs packing list. Never seen them write one up themselves. Never been in a IN or light unit though.

PCIs I kinda get. When I was at Fort Hood we had a guy that shipped all his gear for his PCS. 1SG took him to the field and had him sleep in a duffel bag. Someone should have caught that before it became an issue.

I was taught early on that officers should check for mission essential kit. Maps, radios, COMSEC equipment, training materials, specific weapons or accessories, etc. Let the NCOs worry about ammo, food and water.

Then III Corps decided that COs needed to check BII before dispatching a vehicle...

@Community Member posted:

Hey!  Somewhere, sometime, when you least expect it, that extra pair of boots in your assault pack and shelter half in your ruck WILL save your life!

My favorite is wet weather boots, which aren't a real thing. Those are the MOPP boots; they aren't there for rucking in the rain.

I never followed the packing list and as a result I never took two duffels, an assault pack and a ruck on a 5 day FTX.

I was always taught that first line supervisors did PCCs.  You do them routinely, as part of checking up on stuff, and as announced preps for big events.  PL/PSG and CO/1SG (even seen BC/CSM) do PCIs as a formal event for major operations.

However, personally, was never big on formal PCIs.  I like an informal check-in with guys not in leadership positions, to see how well 'the word' was trickling down.  You got to eyeball some stuff in vehicles and on their kit, while discussing what we were about to do, and their understanding of their role and the level above.  But if NCOs are not doing their job, then a PCI it is.

Also, best case need for a PCI I ever saw - new JAG officer at Fort Polk doing the XVIII Airborne Corps 12 miler - his ruck fell apart during the roadmarch due to improper assembly, and he didn't have a helmet band inside his helmet - just the old basic suspension sitting directly on top of his noggin, secured in place with the 2-point chinstrap.  He was not a happy guy for 12 miles.

I found the Army's medium ruck fairly comfortable, both with PC and without.  They could have done much better with the MOLLE and internal arrangements, as it is essentially a copy of the old Spec-Ops T.H.E pack with an external frame, but it is still better than almost any other recent issue pack I ever worked with.

Tankersteve

I fought the "mobility checklist" at my unit tooth and nail. It was all "must check this block" regardless of if it made sense. remember this is for an Air Force unit, and it's based on an example in a regulation. At my unit, there were a bout a dozen of us who really deployed, six hours notice, for months at a time. We fought our upper leadership on this dog and pony bullshit. Unfortunately my direct boss was a worshiper of the book rather than the mission or common sense. An example:

All the personal hygiene item requirements were supposed to be a 90 day supply.  It said so on the top of the list. Lower in the list was such things as shampoo and deodorant. Shampoo , you were supposed to have two bottles. No size listed, two bottles. Deodorant, was supposed to be 3 cans/sticks. No size, but must be 3 to achieve the 90 day supply. I had one of those crystal clear ones you could get at the PX. it was supposed to be good for a year. It filled the intent, x3. Good for a year, said so on the package in bold letters. No go on the check list. Must have three. Shampoo, must have two bottles. One of my teammates was bald. Not shaving the remnants, bald. Down-checked for no shampoo, and no comb. I had a brand new toothbrush in its plastic package. They were going to gig me on not having a toothbrush case/cover. I said bullshit, and dropped it into a Nalgene bottle I had with me and proclaimed that my toothbrush holder. This set off a rebellion within the crew of us who knew better than these guys. 2 bottles of shampoo- two single use hotel bottles of shampoo coming up. , same thing with the deodorant, 

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The same sort of fight went on with our mission equipment. They refused to update the LOGDET that spelled out the required equipment for the deployment teams. A three person quick react crew was supposed to take half an aircraft pallet of gear. We cried bullshit. We had our stuff down to one PortaBrace Run bag apiece plus one case, and were still able to perform all the required elements of the MisCap. 

 

List vs mission, it never ends

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@Community Member posted:

I  Unfortunately my direct boss was a worshiper of the book rather than the mission or common sense. An example:

All the personal hygiene item requirements were supposed to be a 90 day supply.  It said so on the top of the list. Lower in the list was such things as shampoo and deodorant. 

One of my teammates was bald. Not shaving the remnants, bald. Down-checked for no shampoo, and no comb. 

 

HAHA ... now that made me laugh. Thanks !! I needed that. Reminds me of a shipmate who was Sicilian and needed to shave approximately every 10-15 minutes. They gigged him every morning ... EVERY morning. They even stomped off to the head to watch him shave in person and see the facial growth return microseconds after the razor passed ... no matter, gigged.

>>> back to the regularly scheduled bitch session about Army rucks.

To be honest, I'm glad I'm hearing this. I used to complain a lot about the Navy and all its bullshit. Quite frankly, the Army sounds worse. Hard to believe ...

 

@Community Member posted:

It wasn't just rucks that were an issue..... when I was re-classing the cadre at the school was convinced....and i mean CONVINCED that the rear ESAPI went INSIDE the vest, between your body and the soft armor, because the rear plate pocket was supposed to be used for your camelback/hydration bladder.  

This one time at Dona Ana, part of Ft Bliss, I had a helluva conversation with a CSM about IBA carriers, soft armor panels, and projectile resistance because my soldiers were washing their carriers.

@Community Member posted:

It is amazing what you can learn when you read the instructions and watch the instructional DVDs provided with issued equipment.  Who knew that the thick sleeping bag is supposed to go inside the thin sleeping bag and not the other way around? 

x/S

Sometimes, Reading is Fundamental.  Assembly instructions for the sleep system are on the label inside the sleep system components, right?

However, not all relevant information is as well disseminated.  Was 1985 really the last update of FM 21-15 Care and Use of Individual Clothing and Equipment?  

Specialty Plastics/Specialty Defense provided an instructional video and printed pamphlet for the first issue of MOLLE II load-carrying equipment .  Distribution and quantities I don't know.  I have a copy of it.  On VHS.  

Of my many pet peeves regarding the Army, people not taking the time to put things together right is one my biggest. While I'm not gear guru, I do try to read the manuals, because knowing how to put things together generally means it's more comfortable for me. This usually leads to me trying to teach others, with varying levels of success, particularly with rucks. Some people are convinced that if you put the load lifter straps into the slots directly above the shoulder straps (like, with no space between the two), it somehow makes the pack ride better. When I try to explain that this completely negates the purpose of the load lifters, they usually respond with "But now it rides like an ALICE!" ...I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

@Community Member posted:

What are those USMC packs like?

Apparently,  pretty good.  They have a premium resale value,  which is one indicator of how much people want them.

 

The ILBE is reportedly more comfortable if you aren't wearing body armor  while the FILBE interfaces better with body armor.  The  FILBE also has  handles to lift your pack to don it, an easy mode for the ILBE or any other pack.

Last edited by Community Member
@Community Member posted:

The ILBE is reportedly more comfortable if you aren't wearing body armor  while the FILBE interfaces better with body armor.  The  FILBE also has  handles to lift your pack to don it, an easy mode for the ILBE or any other pack.

Can confirm both, I ran the ILBE as my primary large ruck for several years and while heavy, really appreciated it's ability to take massive loads and not feel terrible. I tried a FILBE for a short time and just didn't like how fat it got...aka how far the load rode from my back thereby pulling backwards on my shoulders and making me bend over more while carrying. The external frame is a no brainer for using with plates. Sold both to fund a pair of Crossfire packs though...

@Community Member posted:

Odds are it is the straps / frame contact point(s) that are sqeaking.

It's gonna sound weird.. but a little smear of Vaseline between the strap and contact point of the frame can make a difference. 

I wouldn't go out and drop an entire container of Vaseline on every contact point on the frame though...

Well... this thread paid off. I had somehow never heard this trick. And, needed it. My Velocity PC with the much-more-comfy D-ring shoulder straps also tends to creak like hell at the webbing/D-ring joint. Dab of vaseline (well... we're a weird house so asked the wife and got Bag Balm) on all bearing points: instantly silent. 

Yay!!! 

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