Military Back Pack

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Backpacks used by soldiers are known as load carrying systems. The different systems have developed from countless researches, after plenty changes have been made to them and after years of experience with load carrying systems. There are three major load carrying systems that are used in the United States military.

ALICE - All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment

The meaning of the acronym ALICE is All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment. It first came into existence in January 1973 and has been around for a long period of time. The ALICE pack was a necessity for the soldiers in the Vietnam War. After many alterations to previous backpack versions, the ALICE was reduced to three lbs when bare. The ultimate reason behind the creation of the ALICE was to lessen| the overall weight carried by soldiers. The ALICE was invented for easy carrying as it had wide shoulder straps which lessened the pressure on the shoulders. Military packs are used to carry items for the assignment and usually consisted of firearm and ammunition, first aid kit, a change of clothes, a canteen and any other item that is thought of as being appropriate to accomplish the mission. The ALICE has been replaced by the MOLLE but you can still find ALICE packs in many army stores. They are great for camping and hiking.

MOLLE - Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment

After the ALICE packs, then came the MOLLE which means Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. The MOLLE system is a substitute to the ALICE (All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) system. It was introduced in 1997 but its use was not prevalent until after the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The MOLLE system is a fully integrated system which consists of a load bearing vest along with butt pack, main ruck that has sustainable pouches and also a compartment to carry a sleeping bag. The load bearing vest is constantly worn and contains pockets to carry hand grenade or magazine.

The MOLLE backpack is designed to be worn and not carried. The vest is designed to carry a soldier's combat gear within easy reach. The load can be dropped by using a quick release leaving just the vest which is very helpful in combat when a soldier needs to move fast.

ILBE - Improved Load Bearing Equipment

Experience has verified that both the ALICE and the MOLLE systems needed improvements and so they combined their best structures and created the ILBE. It consists of a main pack, an assault pack that can be removed, a 100-ounce hydration system and various pouches that are relevant for mission accomplishment. It has a smaller capacity than the MOLLE but still big enough to carry the necessities as it can accommodate up to 120 pounds. The ILBE is perfect for the soldier in combat as it holds more weaponry and ammunition and is used when less food and water are needed. At present it is the most advanced carrying system in employed by the military.

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