"U.S. Army Soldiers participate in rappel training during the Ranger Course on Camp Merrill in Dahlonega, Ga., July 12, 2015. Soldiers attend the Ranger Course to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat simulated environment, (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eric Hurtado/ Released)"

Two of the three female officers attending U.S. Army Ranger School have advanced into the final phase of the all-male infantry course, Fort Benning, Ga., officials announced Friday.

The two females and 125 men successfully completed the 18-day Mountain Phase of the course and will begin the third and final, Swamp Phase of Ranger School, located at Camp Rudder in Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on Aug. 2. [click to continue…]

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The Marine Corps may finally follow the U.S. Army and Special Operations Command with its plan to replace its M16s with M4 Carbines.

Marine officials recently announced the service wants to adopt the M4 Carbine to replace its beloved M16A4 for Marine infantry units, according to a source familiar with the effort.

The Army made the same decision in 2009 to replace its M16A4s with the M4. The lightweight weapon’s compact size makes it ideal working in tight quarters such as urban operations.

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uc-pack-configurations

Propper International, manufacturer of the USMC-issued ILBE (Improved Load Bearing Equipment) ruck, has released their new UC (User Configurable) Pack.

In fact Propper says the UC Pack is inspired by that Marine ruck. It measures 20” high x 13” wide x 6.5” deep with 4 built in compartments; one on top for small items, a segregated compartment with drainage ports and cinch straps at the bottom and two internal zippered pouches that run the full height/width of the bag (one in the front and one in the back).

The pack opens almost completely clamshell-fashion (the zippers end immediately above the separated bottom compartment) for access. The front pocket has a padded insert; the back a frame sheath for support and structure. Shoulder straps are padded and are equipped with adjustable waist and chest straps, and there are pass-through ports on top for cables, hydration tubes, etc.

The interior is lined with soft-touch loop for hook and loop accessories and virtually the entire exterior of the pack is equipped with MOLLE/PALS loops for modularity. Propper addresses this modularity with a large series of storage accessories; pouches, pockets and assorted other organizers that will hold everything from weapon magazines to admin gear.

UC-Pack-Carried

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FWS-I and ENVG III prototype

The Army’s latest weapons sight technology could be a significant breakthrough in how soldiers engage the enemy at night.

I filed a story about it today on Military.com.

In three years, the Army hopes to start fielding the Family of Weapon Sights-Individual, a new lightweight thermal weapon sight that is designed to communicate wirelessly with the service’s latest Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG).

Linking these two technologies creates a new capability called Rapid Target Acquisition, according to Lt. Col. Timothy Fuller, product manager for Soldier Maneuver Sensors at Fort Belvoir, Va.

The FWS-I mounts on the M4 carbine or the M249 squad automatic weapon. At the push of a button, a soldier can wirelessly transmit the FWS-I’s sight reticle into the wide display screen of the helmet-mounted ENVG III and quickly fire at the enemy target, Army officials said.

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Ike JacketThe sergeant major of the Army would like to make the “Ike jacket” part of the service’s dress uniform.

Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel A. Dailey “has suggested an optional ‘Eisenhower jacket’ to be added as a more appropriate indoor alternative to the black windbreaker jacket,” according to a recent Army press release.

Named after Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the short-waisted, slim-fitting jacket was standard issue in 1944.

The Army adopted the blue Army Service Uniform, or ASU, to replace the green Class A dress uniform in 2006. Adapted from the formal Dress Blues, the dark blue jacket and light blue pants have been a part of Army history since the Revolutionary War. [click to continue…]

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Sgt. Shaina SchmigelAn Army investigation into the death of Sgt. Shaina Schmigel found that a jumpmaster did not properly inspect the paratrooper’s line before the jump that killed her last year, according to an Army Times report.

Army Times reporter Kyle Jahner obtained the investigation through a Freedom of Information Act. The investigators said the failure to check the line was the “single most definitive failure,” according to the report.

Schmigel died from lacerations to the throat and a broken neck after she became entangled in another paratrooper’s parachute. Investigators wrote in their report about the final moments before Schmigel left the aircraft: [click to continue…]

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"U.S. Army Soldiers participate in rappel training during the Ranger Course on Camp Merrill in Dahlonega, Ga., July 12, 2015. Soldiers attend the Ranger Course to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat simulated environment, (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eric Hurtado/ Released)"

The U.S. Army on Friday released photos of the current crop of Ranger School students climbing their way through the mountains of  Dahlonega, Georgia.

Noteworthy, of course, is the fact that three women have advanced to the 20-day mountain phase of the grueling infantry training course, which historically has only been open to men. [click to continue…]

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