The U.S. Infantry Is Carrying More Weight Than Ever

U.S. Marine Corps / Aaron Henson

Popular Mechanics: The Overloaded Soldier: Why U.S. Infantry Now Carry More Weight Than Ever

Technology was supposed to be the solution. Instead, it added to the problem.

In this era of computerized conflict, dominated by cyberwarfare, laser weapons, and piloting drones from halfway around the world, it can be easy to overlook the importance of a soldier’s own muscle power. Despite the relentless march of technology—and in some ways, because of it—soldiers on the march are carrying more weight on their backs than ever before, even going back to the days of swords and armor.

What the heck happened? Over the last decade, hyped technologies such as robotic mules and wearable exoskeletons promised to free up soldiers from hauling so much gear. Instead, the demands of the modern battlefield only increased the load.

This is one problem which technology alone may not be able to solve.


WNU Editor: America’s enemies on the battlefield carry a fraction in weight when compared to U.S. soldiers. But they suffer far heavier casualties. If given a choice …. I would prefer lesser casualties and sore muscles over a high death toll any day.

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