Military Contractor Begins Experimenting with Exoskeletons

I don’t know if I want to live in a world where a Call of Duty game might be true.

Of course it came Lockheed-Martin’s Land Systems branch. It looks as if it’s transferring energy to the leg and back in order to assist with load-bearing, allowing the soldier to carry more gear. It’s not that big of a stretch of the imagination to envision something that incorporates weapons systems, before you know it, you’re Iron Man.

As an example USMC has recommended that infantry carry no more than 70lbs of weight for prolonged periods. Consider the average weight of the pack of a soldier on extended patrol is something like 150 lbs +.

I work with a bunch of former military, and just about all of the former infantry types have some sort of problems with their backs and or knees.

Ouch, yeah that is going to kill you if you carry that all the time. Who even comes up with that much stuff?!

10 to 20lbs of weapons, 40lbs of armor (vest + helmet). Then you have a standard load of ammo, probably some extra ammo for you and the “fire” positions of the squad (Auto rifleman, mortars & machine gunners), possibly a light anti-tank weapon to defeat fortifications, radios, food and water for a couple of days, clothing, and personal hygienic stuff.

So half of it is the stuff they need to fight someone, and half of it is just the things you need to stay alive and healthy in the field for two weeks. If they could reduce it down, I’m sure they would.

1 Like

Sounds like a terrible combo if it’s that destructive on your populace. Why do they even agree to take all of that along?! The most I’ve found for infantry here is 92lbs which looks already like a packing mule.

I’ve read about this too. It astounds me they are expected to carry that much and the damage done to them because of this. You would think that with all the money we spend in the military budget they could push some towards the average grunt. :angry:

Remember, a great deal of it is, and I’m sure your military does it to, constant physical training. The ideal standard of fitness for an infantryman is to move twenty miles in a day with his pack, and have energy left over to dig a fighting position, and be able to win a firefight. That is not a level of fitness that comes naturally to the modern, western, human. That requires constant marching, with increasing loads, to build a standard of conditioning.

Secondly, it’s not as if, at least overseas, this is being imposed on unwilling soldiers. After a patrol or two I can guarantee you they’re going to find a way to pair down their pack to the absolute bare minimums. All of that stuff is necessary to be able to survive outside of the logistical train for a time, and still have the supplies to pick and win a fight, or at least put out enough firepower to survive long enough to call in some form of fire support.

Oh I know it requires training, I’ve done copious amounts of walking with extra weight and what comes easy for some is torture for others. But this is beyond reasonable and will destroy your joints one way or another as your colleague’s kindly demonstrate. Bloody hell they are not some sort of well trained Roman legion… I see no reason why to try and imitate that standard.

What is the point of infantry if they cannot get anywhere at an appreciable pace, and cannot do anything once there?

Well, there’s a difference between that and literally destroying your body. Plenty of countries manage to do it with a lighter load as it turns out!

I mean, are we going off hearsay here, or do we know for a fact that

  1. Non-US military infantry veterans definitely don’t suffer the same post-service conditions i.e. bad knees and backs especially.

  2. Non-US military infantry standard marching kit loadouts are lighter than US ones.

As far as I know Infantry’s just a dirty, nasty, brutal job that makes you tough but definitely leaves you with some scars, be they from combat or just the strain of doing a lot of physical activity up to and past any reasonable breaking point for years.

Always has been, probably always will be. The fundamental issue is that you need
a) Enough to conduct a long camping trip.
b) Enough to fight effectively.

While the weight of a has diminished significantly, the weight of b continues to increase. That’s a hard problem to get around.

1 Like

It is, I still think it’s insanity to approach it like that. You also need a economical viable population after they have done their military service, and not all of them can function in a desk job. Even then the disabilities might lower the productivity.

And let’s be honest, the military isn’t a career for life thing for most people, unless you perhaps land a higher up cushy job.