Ask America’s SgtMaj: Iron Man edition

US Army plans ‘Iron Man’ armour for soldiers

Elaine sent me the link above and asks “Why do the other kids get all the expensive toys?”

My bias compels me to point out the other services get all the expensive gear because they need it more than Marines do. The Corps already has the answers to the problems the Army thinks an Iron Man type of body armor would solve.

For instance, the article states the armor would be fitted with sensors to monitor body temp, heart rate, and hydration levels. Marines do this through small unit leadership and something we call “drinking water.”

The exoskeleton is also expected to increase the strength of the soldier operating it. Judging by equipment we’ve received from the Army it seems they could use it. Marines often sling around multiple sets of gear which normally require a two soldier lift. 

The new armor concept is called TALOS or Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit. This acronym alone has probably earned an Army Colonel a Meritorious Service Medal. There is also a flashy video out featuring all the super duper powers of the armor will provide the wearer. 

What the Army must really like about TALOS armor is all the bad habits you get to practice like standing around and letting insurgents shoot at you.  Marines have this thing we call fire and maneuver and violence of action. We don’t stand around in death funnels like doors or hallways. 

In the end Marines don’t need an Iron Man suit because when we want to be iron men we go to the gym.

If you have a question feel free to ask America’s SgtMaj. The rules of engagement can be found here.

Semper Fidelis!


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  1. 1. Doesn’t matter what they do. Nobody wants to fight us.
    2. As one friend, returned from the follies in Anbar Province quipped:”You’ve got this guy in a dish dasha and plastic sandals. He’s a got an AK, two magazines and a cell phone. He’s fighting the best trained and equipped military the world has ever seen and is driving them nuts.” About six years ago.
    3. Saw a version of that in a young turk’s powerpoint, so doubt it’s original.
    4. On another tack, Mr. Rumsfeld’s people (Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, etc) had this notion about what a relatively light American force could do.
    5. Unfortunately, your war, like mine a generation ago, devolved into holding ground. High tech can help, but the business is labor intensive.
    6. If the locals can’t or won’t help, you need still more bodies.
    7. Bodies at the end of long supply chains cost a lot of bucks. Someone said diesel fuel aboard FOBs in Afghanistan is costing North of $1000/Gal.
    8. Semi back to point: That suit will require power, technicians and servicing facilities.
    9. When the height of luxury is a sandbagged bunker with a couple of Coleman lanterns and all your supplies come in by helo, things get pretty elemental.
    10. The suits would probably be set aside, used only when needed, to conserve batteries.
    11. Either that or huge piles of batteries to facilitate operations.
    D or C cell batteries, for sure.
    12. Suits should probably come marked: “For Use Against Symmetrical Opponents”
    V/R JWest

  2. JWest, my old man used remark it didn’t matter how many bombs we dropped, holding a hill would always require a Marine with rifle and bayonet. I imagine this logic also applies to technological advancements and other gadgetry.

  3. Heh.

    A Marine vs Army thread and… hope everyone notices… I am demonstrating the utmost restraint and discipline by keeping my snarky mouth shut.

    – Grimmy

  4. Grimmy, your restraint is duly noted for the record.

    Mrs Salad, Marines save the cosplay stuff is for the nerds.

    Well Seasoned One, Corpsmen treat self inflicted injuries mostly. See my post about how to safely use a knife.

    Anonymous One, agree but whiz, bang, zoom!

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