Army Vice Chief Focused on Lighter Soldier Kit


Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn recently expressed his desire to lighten the soldier’s load during a visit to Program Executive Office Soldier, according to Army officials.

PEO Soldier officials showed Allyn how they are providing soldiers with more lethal weapons, better protective gear and more capable equipment while also looking for ways to lighten soldier load during his June 23 visit.

Brig. Gen. Brian P. Cummings, commander of PEO Soldier, and his project and product managers briefed new programs and developments taking place, according to a recent Army press release.

Lt. Col. Paul E. Alessio, product manager for crew served weapons at Project Manager Soldier Weapons, briefed the new precision sniper rifle. This highly-accurate rifle will enable soldiers to use up to three different rounds depending upon mission requirements. The PSR could replace the M107 .50 caliber rifle and the M2010 .300 Win Mag sniper rifles, according to the release.

Lt. Col. Kathy M. Brown, product manager for Soldier Protective Equipment, or PM SPE, let Allyn compare the Advanced Combat Helmet with the new Generation II Lightweight Advanced Combat Helmet, or LW ACH. The LW ACH weighs a pound lighter while offering the same ballistic protection, a weight reduction the general appreciated, according to the release.

“I appreciate what you are focused on here, better kit and lighter weight,” Allyn said.

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Matthew Cox
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  • lance

    Replacing a M-107 with a 7.62mm rifles is lunacy. Face it we need two rifles for the mission and now they want to field just one under powered rifle. Army logic on display!

    • seans

      Who said anything about replacing a M-107 with a 7.62? And guessing you have never shot a M-107, its great for its role as a anti material weapon, but absolutely sucks as a sniper rifle.

    • Funny, you pick on Army logic but are silent on Marine issues like not fielding a new sniper rifle for almost a decade and a half.

      Your bias is as bad as your intelligence.

      Like Seans said, the Army isn’t looking to field a 7.62 to replace the Barrett.

      • balais

        Facts are facts. Go after the points instead of the poster…

    • 1C3

      Whenever a new story pops up on KitUp; my first thought is, what dumbass comment has lance made?

      • Lance

        No the General said they wanted to replace the M-107 with a might little PSR in 7.62 NATO thats stupid a M-107 is a heavy BIG rifle yes BUT it reaches out pas a 7.62 and .300 mag rifle can.

        Majrod and 1C3 your rudeness makes you look like a PUTZ!

        • “No the General said they wanted to replace the M-107 with a might little PSR in 7.62 NATO thats stupid a M-107 is a heavy BIG rifle yes BUT it reaches out pas a 7.62 and .300 mag rifle can.”

          Really? Where was that said? Not in this article…

          What was said was, “Lt. Col. Paul E. Alessio, product manager for crew served weapons at Project Manager Soldier Weapons, briefed the new precision sniper rifle. This highly-accurate rifle will enable soldiers to use up to three different rounds depending upon mission requirements. The PSR could replace the M107 .50 caliber rifle and the M2010 .300 Win Mag sniper rifles, according to the release.”

          No General (Generals wear stars and are spelled differently than LIEUTENANT COLONEL). No specific discussion of caliber. Are the voices talking to you again?

          You can check out the PSR here:… It can fire multiple calibers including .338 Lapua Magnum, .338 Norma Magnum, .300 Win mag & 7.62 and is MUCH more accurate than the M107.

          Rude? You should think about what that word means before you put another post out there putting the Army down with zero knowledge. Consider what your posts make you look like…

  • guest

    Replace the 107. Either call in mortars, arty or air on the target if it is that far away. 6.5 mm will do as a sniper round out to 900-1000 meters. Over that, call in the big stuff.

    • You can’t always count on “the heavy stuff”. We’ve been exceptionally blessed with resources over the last decade and an enemy we almost always outnumber and can overwhelm with firepower. Even with that ROE has been a real handicap.

      When it comes to air, there is always weather to consider….

  • lance2503


    • +1

    • lance2503

      I dont even care that they are lighter. They are way more comfortable and easier to move around in.

    • balais

      Should have been done a long time ago. Leave the full ensemble of IOTV protection for gunners.

  • Paralus

    Somewhere there is a scroll with story about a Roman General talking about lightening up the Centurion’s load.

    It’s pointless at making it lighter because it never lightens the load. The less an individual piece of equipment weighs, the more crap they find to pile back on? Your optics weigh less? Here’s more ammo.

    Your plate-carrier is lighter? Here’s another canteen

    • Ponzer_Boy

      More ammo to carry is always the better option.

    • It’s sadly all too true that the tendency has been to augment lighter equipment with more of other gear.

      That said there have been occasions where leadership has tried to lighten the load. When we fielded a bunch of light divisions in the 80’s there was a huge amount of effort by commands to put the knowledge we have on how load impacts the soldier into practice. Detailed and enforced minimal load plans included approaches like sharing sleeping bags so everyone didn’t carry one, spreading the load of ammo across the unit so the medium machine gun crew weren’t the only ones carrying 7.62 (same for mortar rounds). Stringent exclusion of comfort items like personal radios, games (and the batteries they used), pogey bait (vienna sausage or energy drinks etc.).

      We also road marched the hell out of our boots and lived in the field for weeks. That sort of exertion had a pretty strong influence on keeping our load as light as possible which still wasn’t “light”. I have a tough time conciliating complaints about the load when every soldier has to have his own everything (at one time we shared flashlights, then again we used to worry about noise/light discipline) and carries red bull into the field. I wonder how prolific the saying, “travel light, freeze at night” is among today’s soldier?

      All that said, we typically didn’t have to carry the body armor issued today which should be minimized to a plate carrier for those that truly have to walk everywhere.

      • Newtimer

        It seems your nostalgia is getting the better of you. Infantryman today know how to pack light, probably even more than you did, because modern loads are so damn heavy. You make it sound like it’s some lost art to pack light and that it’s the soldier’s fault.

        For instance, to use your sleeping gear example, when I was in a LRS company we carried ZERO sleeping gear in nearly all climates. Everything was crossloaded, including batteries, ammo, water, even chemlights… and our rucks still weighed in excess of 100lbs regularly. Thats on TOP of all the PPE (helmet, plate carrier, etc).

        So even with literally zero ‘comfort items’ you’re looking at 125-130 lbs per man. Yes, body armor does change everything, as does the simple fact that soldiers today just carry more stuff. It’s not their red bull or lack of discipline that’s making loads heavier and heavier.

        • You misunderstand me and what I’m trying to say.

          My soldiers “back in the day” (and just like today’s crop) “knew” how to pack light but it took unit leadership, PCI’s and a command that gave subordinates latitude to develop a packing list vs dictating one to make things happen.

          My issue isn’t with today’s infantry but the chain of command and a cult of micromanagement which has infected the service. BDE Cdr’s and higher shouldn’t be dictating individual soldier equipment superceding at least four levels of leadership and leaders. Occasional micromanagement is a distraction. Continuous micromanagement can rob junior leaders of leadership experience and/or the weight of responsibility that their position requires. The result is less hands on and initiative waiting to be told what to do by higher. This is a very common complaint I hear from today’s junior and mid level leaders.

          I would fully expect your experience in a LRS company to be different. I’m sure you are aware that the quality leadership/composition and mission of a LRS unit is very different than from a line unit.

          Maybe you aren’t aware of line units carrying redbull, comfort items and even personal helmet cams that do increase the load. In any case, it’s not always the soldier’s fault. PCI’s catch these things as well as leaders that exercise tough love and ask “probing questions”.

          FWIW, 125-130 lbs per would be expected in a LRS unit (just like an ODA on a dismounted recon mission). A regular unit would have AG’s (w/tripod), Javelin teams and mortarmen loaded that heavily. But in general the load wouldn’t be so extreme. They also wouldn’t be away from the COP or FOB for over a week if that long unlike LRS. I’m not that old but I am a student of history and was pretty involved with addressing the combat load the first five years of this century. You might be surprised by how much infantrymen have carried throughout history.

    • DBM

      If it doesn’t help me kill the enemy, its just another rock I have to carry. Anonymous Spartan.

    • lance2503

      I dont even care that they are lighter. They are way more comfortable and easier to move around in.

    • Riceball

      You mean the Legionarie’s load, a Centurion was the Roman equivalent of an NCO in the Legion. As for lightening their load, the average Roman Legionaire went into battle with his armor, sword, shield, and 2 – 3 pilums which were thrown at the beginning of an engagement, there wasn’t much to lighten. Still, you do make a point, no matter how much lighter the gear becomes the amount of crap you’ll be expected to carry will be the same or more.

    • Stefan S.

      Sorry Paralus the Centurion ran his Legion. No Prefect or “General” ran a Primus Pilus Centurio’s Legion. Roman kit was standardized and uniform in weight. They did have political correctness or R&D nightmares.

  • LIAM

    One can only hope that in truth they are trying to make the load lighter….to varry more ammo…well you can never have enough ammo! Perhaps makeing the casings lighter would help! there are materials stonger than steel these days!!

    • Yellow Devil

      “Hey Sarge, this new kit is awesome! It shaved off ten pounds to my combat load!”

      “Great. You can carry ten more pounds of ammo now.”

    • DBM

      You only have to much ammo if youre on fire or drowning.

  • Joe Hines

    Sorry, the only thing anyone ever told me about new equipment was that it weighed less than 25 pounds. Of course no one ever spoke about all the other stuff that we carried that only weighed 25 pounds or less. After a while all those 25s add up.

  • CumberlandRecon

    If you want lighter loads, then issue a smaller pack. Back in the day, when we were issued Jungle Rucksacks, we were restricted by how much we could carry by the packs design…period! Sure, we had to modify the shoulder straps with thicker padding, etc, but still, we were never over-burdened with being pack mules, with the exception of radio operators, whom we would spread-load their extra water. This modern-day requirement of always wearing a protective vest/helmet is laughable, as the Pacific Pivot is supposedly in-progress. The lessons of Jungle Warfare & working around an amphibious environment have obviously been forgotten.

    • NewTimer

      Well seeing as the nation has become entirely casualty averse, the PPE will only increase. I’d rather wear a plate carrier than not any day of the week though- I’ve seen in save peoples lives.

  • FASnipeHT2

    Always strive for better. Look at what Kevlar and Carbon Fiber have done to help. Microfiber clothing instead of heavy wool, dense foam instead thick felt. Camel backs instead of steel cantines

  • dan barrett

    From the pictures I’ve seen and the descriptions, the soldier today is carrying far more than we did when I was an infantry officer (1968-71).. We didn’t carry the body armor for one thing although we all had food to supplement or replace the C rations. We didn’t call it pogey bait and I thought that was a Marine term.

  • IAC

    History repeated.
    Roman General Marius in 105 BC.
    Napoleon in the 1800s.

  • MTNpatrol

    The PSR (Precision Sniper Rifle) has been a L O N G time coming. It’s a .338 Lapua cartridge in a chassis by Remington Defense who make a similar chassis for the .300 Win mag XM2010 rifle. IT looks similar to the new FN Ballista sniper rifle and both have interchangeable barrels for 7.62 and .300 Win mag cartridges.

    The XM 2010 action is the Remington 700 “long” action taken from the old M24 sniper rifles and refurbished. I have this action in this same cartridge for long range target shooting in an M24 stock. Personally I prefer 3 lug bolts like Sako and Browning use B/C they allow for lower and faster bolt lift/drop.

    Both the XM2010 and PSR sniper rifles will likely remain in the field together for several years. With a Berger 230 grain bullet the XM2010 in .300 Win mag can still be VERY effective at 1,000+ meters. This round is currently being used by the Army. It goes transonic at around 1,200 meters and subsonic in another 75 meters or so.

  • Stefan S.

    They want lighter kit so the fema-nazi’s will be happy with female 11B’s and 18B’s.