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US Army Tactical Vests

Article about: Hello, While not being an expert in Tactical vests I have managed to pick up a few along the way. The US army has been playing around with Tactical/Load Bearing vests for quite a while now.

  1. #1
    Fred Green
    ?

    Default US Army Tactical Vests

    Hello,

    While not being an expert in Tactical vests I have managed to pick up a few along the way. The US army has been playing around with Tactical/Load Bearing vests for quite a while now. I will post the examples that I have.

    I think they started out with this one. It is a WWI grenadiers vest. It is an 11 pocket vest made of a cotton materialClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	498199 There were tons of these sold for surplus after the war. This one still had the tape holding the straps rolled up!

  2. #2
    Fred Green
    ?

    Default Re: US Army Tactical Vests

    The next vest we see in general use is the load bearing/Ammunition vest. It was in all actuality a piece of canvas with a pocket on the front and on the back with a hole cut in the middle. Ammo carriers for an MG team used these as did assistant gunners for the Bazooka teamsClick image for larger version. 

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    These are vests in general use. The army did produce an assault vest for D-Day and it was used by some units. It was issue only tocertain units and was not in use throughout the army.

  3. #3
    Fred Green
    ?

    Default Re: US Army Tactical Vests

    The Army really didn't useanything new in the way of vests until Vietnam. Again they manufactured a grenadiers vest for the M40 Grenade launchers. You also see alot of rigger made vests that are made for SF, Ranger and Airborne units. There was really nothing in General use.Click image for larger version. 

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    In the late 1970's-early 1980's the army was really interested in the tactical vest. This is where you start seeing a standard type ,Army not rigger made, in issue. It wasn't throughout the Army but to the more elite units. They were really apparent in the Invasion of Grenada. Some pouches were sewn to the front of the vest and then there was room to attach pouches on the web belt and on the vest itself. It was part of the ALICE system.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Fred Green
    ?

    Default Re: US Army Tactical Vests

    Also manufactured at this time was another grenadiers vest utilising the same style system with the attachment of the utility belt. The Vietnam era Grenadier vest was still used during this time too! In this picture only the vest is shown with utility belt, canteens or other pouches and equipment.Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Fred Green
    ?

    Default Re: US Army Tactical Vests

    The Army then modified the vest to make it a bit cooler. They now made it out of more of a mesh material instead of a full material section.The pouches are now mounted on a mesh segment. The back panel is also mesh. All of these vests from the Vietnam period until now are made out of nylon and use the ALICE system of attachmentClick image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Fred Green
    ?

    Default Re: US Army Tactical Vests

    Use of these vests was generally with out the wearing of the PAGST armor vest. They went right over the uniform. All the while these vests were in use the ALICE gear of a web belt,Y-straps and individual pouches was still used and issued to most of the Army. As noted in another thread on MOLLE vests, the Alice gear was used throughout Desert Storm.

    Post Desert Storm the Army worked on a new pattern of Gear called the MOLLE system. It had strap attachments instead of the ALICE system metal clips.While they made a new system they also upgraded the individual soldiers protective vest and made it part of the MOLLE system too. You could wear the tactical vest over over the protective vest or attach all of your equipment directly to the protective vest. Generally the pouches are attached directly to the protective vest. The tactical vest is used in non combat settings when the protective vest is not called for.

    This vest came in Woodland and 3color desert camoflauge. Instead of a shovel there was a tubular buttpack that could be attached.Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Fred Green
    ?

    Default Re: US Army Tactical Vests

    As a little post script, I am not an expert in the US Army tactical vest.I just happened to pick these up along the way. When I left the army 15 years ago, the Army was just starting to field the Woodland Pattern Molle system. The Army has changed its base camoflauge 3 times since then and is in the verge of another pattern.

    Fred

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