The Modern Warrior’s Combat Load--Dismounted Operations in Afghanistanii
This report is significant to the United States Army in many ways. The findingsfound within its pages represent not only a record of what modern warriors carryinto battle during dismounted operations, but also could comprise the first recordedbattlefield study of combat load undertaken by the United States Army during its228-year history. Over the decades of the 20
Century, the Army conductedperiodic combat load studies during peacetime training events; never before,however, did the Army gather and record such data during combat operations.The Army to full advantage, therefore, should use this report in order to reduce theSoldier’s combat load, to modernize Army doctrine, and to accurately traindismounted formations for the physical rigors of war.The author is extremely appreciative of both the 82
Airborne Division for its fullsupport of this study and the six volunteer data collectors and their parentorganizations who were willing to devote close to six months to this mission thatincluded intensive preparatory field training for combat followed by deployment toAfghanistan in order to gather this rare data during the conduct of small unitactions against the enemy. Without the support of multiple Army organizations,the contributions of the superb paratroopers in Task Force Devil, and the quality,willingness, and dedication of the data collectors themselves, this study wouldnever have been possible.STRIKE HOLD!