On the subject of medical issues: the Army says it’s improved the IFAK

The recent article about Dark Angel Direct Action Response Kit has generated some conversation, which is a Good Thing. Interestingly, Kit Up! just got word that Natick and the Army have announced improvements to the IFAK. Rich Landry, Product Manager Soldier Clothing Individual Equipment, explains the changes below.

Don’t take this to mean the subject is closed. There will be more on the topic of medical training. For now, here’s the IFAK update.

  • Lance

    Looks good I do like the mini back pack approach opposed to pouch since most front ares on a belt or vest will be filled with mag pouches anyway.

  • HalP

    Certainly seems to be a lot more accessible and more organized. I agree with Lance I like the ‘small backpack’ but is kind of seems a little big.

  • Joe

    How would you wear an improved IFAK if you weren’t wearing your body armor? How would wearing the improved IFAK work if you are wearing the tier2 ballistic grion protector cumberbund? just sayin…

    • Kris

      I can not think of a time when a soldier is training or in theater when they are going to carry a IFAC but not have armor on.

  • Jim37F

    Definitely pretty interesting, looking forward to hearing from the guys downrange on how well it works

  • Will

    It looks like a cheaper/copy with less functions of the SO tech viper IFAK.

  • Buckaroomedic

    . . . all that, and a Sharpie!

    I like it, looks GTG. Will is right, is does bear a resemblance to the SOTech’s Viper.

    Where did that guy get that cool bib he was wearing?

  • yank

    I am so glad that they have come a long ways from my time.All we got was a lame *** guaze pad and a gut bag, morphine. Reading this makes me proud they care.

  • yank


  • Z

    I wonder how well it slides out when big country goes down and is laying supine wearing a ruck. I like that there working on it though, thats a huge positive.

  • majrod

    It’s been mentioned but what if the soldier is laying on it? How does this sit if a soldier is wearing any kind of assault pack? The design, shape, profile isn’t bad but the placement is of concern.

    Whatever they do, units have to have an SOP for where the trauma kit is because it’s very likely someone else might have to give you aid.

    • majrod; I can’t answer that question, but I’ll send a message in to NATICK and see if they’ll get on here and respond. I agree on the SOP issue.

      • majrod

        Appreciate it David. They typically do field tests of this stuff so I’m sure troops will chime in about the pack issue. The being wounded might not turn up until it happens.

  • APA-C

    The vest is full of pouches and putting an aid kit on the back will limit access if you cannot get the insert to slide out. Rucks/packs will get in the way. No marking as first aid, I drew red crosses on my IFAK so no one thought it was ammo. Multiple touniquets is nice, I usually carried 6-8 as a PA. I still like oral airways vs the nasal trumpets. It is nice and flat so it shouldn’t stick up when in the prone.

    • majrod

      Great points.

  • Logan

    Looks great! I just hope they replace the H&H Compressed Gauze (Made in China) with NAR’s (North American Rescue) Compressed Gauze (Made in USA), put a pack of HALO Chest Seals in there (or at least some sort of Chest Seal) and lastly replace the latex gloves with Tac Med’s Defender-T, NAR’s Bear Claw or NAR’s Black Talon Nitrile Gloves. They should probably add something for immobilization, like a Tac Med Cravat or Tac Med Control (ACE) Wrap.

  • bbb

    Wouldn’t that make it an IIFAK? hehe

  • coolhand77

    solution to it being around back, put a longer strap on it that wraps around to the front or side with a big red Carabiner on it. If you need to get to it, or someone else does, find the ring, grip it with your whole hand, and pull like someone’s life depends on it. It should slide right out, even if the guy is wearing a big ruck or supine

  • coolhand77

    I do see one benifit to it being back there…thats generally a well protected, little targeted area of the body, so its less likely it will take damage. Even better is if they put it UNDER the armor plate, maybe as a “lumbar support”.

  • Tom

    The current ifak is awkward to wear, and I couldn’t find a good place to put it on my body armor(I’m air force, and my unit doesn’t have an sop for body armor.) Putting the ifak at the small of the back is genius, especially with that ambi side pull idea. I look forward to seeing it in the field.

  • scott

    More gear designed by POGs for POGs to look and feel like soldiers. The flat fold design is a good idea. The eye shield is a waste. I have used goggles on wounded soldiers, they are already there. Why would you want a piece of aluminum over the eye, in the field? A second tourniquet is a good idea. How about one that is not a single use item? Tac Med Solutions SOFTT-W is a great solution and cost is same as the CAT. No more broken windlasses would be another good reason to go SOFTT-W. They will also go around a real soldiers leg, which are much larger than the desk squatters who design and approve this crap. Maybe the Bolin chest seal that I have seen in pictures could be removed and replaced with the HALO, which actually works. Just some insight from a medic who actually is a medic.