The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (2022)

The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (1)

Ruck is an important word. It’s a noun and a verb. It’s as emblematic of what many of us do as boots and a rifle.

In the last decade of war, a lot of new technologies have emerged for our warfighters. Up armored vehicles, electronic counter measures, advanced night vision devices, UAV drones (Drone Strike! would be an awesome band name), small arms optics…these have all become common place in the services. They are increasing proficiency and saving American lives. Unfortunately there is a lot of common gear that’s been (and in some cases remains) lacking, gear that makes a difference to the man behind the gun.

The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (2)

From left to right: USMC ILBE, USMC “FILBE” aka “THE USMC PACK”, Blackhawk! MALICE, SpecOPShop LLC “Son of ALICE” prototype ruck, and Gregory USSOCOM issued UC-21 “SPEAR” system Pack.

Over the last few years, the USMC has been working on an improved rucksack for general issue. When the decision was made to deviate from the Vietnam-era ALICE system, our troubles began. The first “improved” pack was the MOLLE. It was a great idea, but horrible in execution. Load distribution was practically nonexistent, the plastic frame snapped like a dry twig on your first hump, and the attachment pouches were limited in application. In short, it was hated by all and instantly abandoned by those who could. Most specialized units continued to use commercially available packs, traditional large ALICE type “mountain” rucks, and other custom/ modified options. The MOLLE was replaced with the MARPATpattern ILBE, which did away with the external plastic frame in favor for a rigid internal frame, similar to what is used in many civilian backpacks. Once again, it was another unpopular choice made by higher ups that don’t patrol, let alone ruck distance under heavy load. It offers limited options for where/ how to carry your gear and is extremely difficult to use while wearing body armor.

The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (3)

Side view of fully loaded “FILBE” with Assault pack attached topside.

Earlier this year the Marines started issuing a new Rucksack, originally termed the FILBE (Family of Improved Load Bearing Equipment). In typical indecisiveness, a proper name could not be figured out for it and it’s now simply the “USMC Pack”. Despite the brilliant name, the ruck is actually the first decent thing to come along since the ALICE all those years ago.

The Pack is full of features and is actually well thought out. In stark defiance of the laws of probability, past history and tradition it’s almost like the individual junior Marines were considered for its development. Starting with the main bag, the modern ALICE influence is apparent. The main compartment sits higher on the shoulders than previous designs, and is supported by an external polymer frame made by Down East. For everyone that remembers the old MOLLE frame, rest assured this design is vastly superior in quality and structural integrity. Polymer technology has advanced leaps and bounds the last few years, and this frame appears to be up for long service life.

The outside is covered in PALS webbing, so you can set up your ruck how you see fit. There are five outside pouches included with the system, one horizontal zippered “assault pouch”, two sustainment pouches and two hydration pouches for additional H2o bladders. In addition, there is an “assault pack” which is closer in size to a three-3 day bag then the older ILBE assault pack. It shares the same waterproof zippers the assault pouch has, and includes several small zipper pouches inside to subdivide small mission essential gear. The assault bag attaches to the top of the ruck, further placing the weight higher up in the system. We were skeptical of this system at first, but it helps protect sensitive gear from damage, distributes the weight better, and allows quick access to both small pack contents and the main pack compartment.

There are three features that are small but stand out as great additions. The first is the separate zippered sleeping system compartment. It allows access to the lower section of your ruck, without unpacking the whole thing. It has a divider that allows you to open up the main compartment, should you need more space for bulker gear. The cinch straps compress the load down surprisingly well

The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (4)

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Lower section of ruck with zipper access open for sleeping system

The second feature is the hydration system made by Camelbak, which comes with grimlock biners to attach to the pack or your armor system. It’s a great set up that will undoubtedly see more use out of the ruck than in it.

The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (5)

Top of Ruck open, showing Camelbak hydration system

Lastly, there is the ever present issue of wearing a ruck while wearing armor. Pack straps tend to slide off your plate carrier, and the sternum strap is almost useless. Luckily, there is a Mystery Ranch Mystery cinch included. The strap attaches to your armor via the PALS webbing, and then is tucked under and around the shoulder straps. It cinches the pack straps in, but is still quick to don and doff.

The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (6)

Pack worn with full kit, showing the quick release of the mystery ranch strap attached to USMC SPC armor.

The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (7)

Now for the downside. The ruck had a failure the first time it was used. Mile five of a 15 mile hump, the pack’s shoulder strap tore off while hoisting on. Immediately pissed off at the brand new pack’s failure, it was quickly “fixed” with some 550 cord. This held up for the remainder of the cross country hike. For the price, design and manufacturer- this is complete bullshit. If a different Marine had been issued this same ruck at the last minute before a deployment, he might have had to deal with a broken strap for year even before he arrived in theater.

The verdict is this: despite the failure, I like this Rucksack. As far as issue packs go, this is the first one worth a damn since the ALICE. It hauled 75lbs across 15 miles of treacherous mountain trail, and the only thing that hurt afterwards was…well nothing. It distributed the load perfectly, with equal pressure placed on shoulders and lower back. Will we be trading out our old modified large ALICE in favor for this pack? We will have to see what supply has to say about switching it out for a new one.

The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (8)

Despite a ridiculous failure at the outst of its first hump, this pack receives a passing grade.

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About the Authors: Richard “Swingin’ Dick” Kilgore and Jake “Slim” Call are the HMFICs at Breach-Bang-Clear ( They write for current and former military, LEOs, contractors and trained and educated responsible armed citizens. They are the most door-kickingest, trigger-pullingest action figures in the tactically operational tactical operator world. Subscribe to them and stay informed about TTPs, new kit, and latest in what’s stoopid (and occasionally inspiring) in the military and modern society or check them out on Facebook.

  1. The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (10)

    Goobs0351 on October 27, 2014 at 16:16

    As a grunt who has been issued the ILBE, the “Mountain Ruck” (old-school ALICE), and the new USMC Pack, and spent considerable field time with all of them… I think this new system is garbage. And I’m far from the only one; these are not only my thoughts but a compilation of what I have gathered from other Marines I have worked with.

    First of all, upon taking on the inane amount of crap we’re required to bring out to the field as per the usual Marine infantry packing list (I mean come on, a whistle? Really?), this pack instantly takes on the dimensions of Santa’s toy sack (yes, even if you ditch most of the bullshit things like the whistle). Attaching the assault pack on top instantly makes things worse, because the anchor points aren’t far enough down the pack to keep it tightly on top of the main pack. This means with every move you make, the assault pack is shifting to some extent, meaning your whole weight shifts. And that’s just rucking; taking a knee during a field op can send even the stockiest warfighter sprawling if they aren’t attentive to which side their assault pack has shifted to at that particular moment. Overall, after a short time, items in the pack settle into it’s blob-like rounded shape, making the weight uneven, and the assault pack only contributes to the issue. You can occasionally counterbalance with a sustainment pouch, but it’s not totally reliable.

    The frame, while better than the ILBE, is all show: the pack doesn’t hold to it properly when the pack is either particularly top-heavy (aka carrying a 240, SMAW, Mortar, etc) or when it gets too hot and humid. Plus, the hard plastic/polymer/whatever pieces tend to flex an ungodly amount. This all means your back gets contorted into an awful posture where your are leaning forward with your shoulders while your lower back is slowly being crushed. Any movement longer than 10 miles in these conditions, and you will be feeling the pain in short order.

    I will admit there are a number of nice things: The bottom zip accessing the “sleeping system compartment” is fantastic, and the overall layout of pockets and whatnot is also a vast improvement. The CamelBak system is in every way superior to the old Source system, as well. And the mystery ranch sternum cinch is a godsend… except most Marines don’t have a clue what it is. I had to look it up myself, even after taking the class on how to use the new gear, and when I had to attend the class again (admin lost the roster, you know how it is), I asked the rep why they weren’t including the cinch in the class. “Oh, well, most Marines won’t have the pack on long enough to really need it, so the (insert name of Marine Corps command that’s in charge of this shit) told us to just leave it out.” Fantastic. Another pack chosen by POGs, and then when there IS something cool in it for the infantry, we’re not even informed. I try and convince my guys to use it, but it seems to have gone the way of the Sidewinder flashlight: Lock it away somewhere safe, and don’t ever pull it out until the day you have an inspection or need to turn it in.

    I have nothing nice to say about the new Assault pack except that it’s larger. I stick to my Camelbak Motherlode (it may not be from a sexy company, but it’s been through absolute hell and three deployments and not a single thing on it has broken or failed).

    As soon as I got back from a deployment with the new system, I dragged my Mountain Ruck out of the closet, promised it my cheating days were over, and never wore the USMC Pack again. When a particularly motarded LT got on my ass about having a green pack when everyone else’s was Coyote, I ponied up and bout a Tactical Tailor MALICE Pack. Expensive, yes, but so worth it to see the looks of pain and frustration on my fellow grunts’ faces and know that I wasn’t dealing with the same thing.

    If you’ve got the cash, invest in a pack that’s worth the salt you want to put on it. You and your back will be extremely happy about it in the future.


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  2. The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (11)

    MSgt S Bergman on October 27, 2014 at 15:18

    Great review. Had the same problem with the strap breaking. I used a nylon strap around the frame and buckled to the shoulder strap. Tension that caused the failure is now on the pack frame. Works so far.

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  3. The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (12)

    Billy G'land on October 27, 2014 at 09:35

    is this the one made by Eagle industries?


  4. The Corps New Ruck: A Review | Breach Bang Clear (13)

    FleaBitten on October 24, 2014 at 11:25

    I’ve seen the same problem with shoulder strap on my pack as well as some of my buddy’s packs. Luckily, I have a sewing machine and was able fix it, barely. Its a bit difficult to get to and you have take the pack apart. However, I agree that it distributes weight better. I have almost zero hotspots, unlike with the ilbe.

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What does a FILBE stand for in the USMC? ›

Family of Improved Load Bearing Equipment (FILBE) is a series of equipment used by the United States Marine Corps for personal load carrying. It comprises the backpack and various attachments carried by an individual Marine in the field.

What rucksack does the Marine corps use? ›

The USMC FILBE (Family of Improved Load Bearing Equipment) Pack was designed to be the standard issue upgrade for a Marines load carry system and able to use in conjunction with body armor. Its popularity has also grown to become a great bushcraft backpack in civilian life.

Who makes the FILBE pack? ›

The USMC FILBE Rucksack is comprised of 4 components: Main Bag, Polymer Frame, Shoulder Harness and Hip Belt. This system is designed to carry 120lbs and is perfect for long excursions, prepping or hunting.

How big is USMC main pack? ›

The Main Pack of the USMC Pack system has an approximate internal volume of 3400 cubic inches in the main compartment and 1600 cubic inches in the lower compartment. The Main Pack and Assault Pack components are capable of carrying a maximum combined load of 120 pounds.

How many liters is the USMC rucksack? ›

The 75-liter Main Pack, which is designed to hold the five-piece Modular Sleep System used by the United States military. The 27-liter Assault Pack, intended to haul three days worth of ammo and water for one Marine. It is designed to contain the ILBE hydration bladder.

What backpacks do the SAS use? ›

As luck would have it, they had the Highlander New Force 66 litre in stock. Talking to the owner, she confirmed that the backpack had been very popular due to its appearance on the show. Good enough for me! So there you have it, the rucksack featured in SAS Who Dares Wins is a variation on the Highlander New Force.

How heavy is a marine rucksack? ›

Soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan routinely carry between 60 and 100 pounds of gear including body armor, weapons and batteries. The heavy loads shouldered over months of duty contribute to the chronic pain suffered by soldiers like Spc.

What do special forces carry in their backpacks? ›

With that said, lets jump into the main items soldiers have to carry in their backpacks.
What Does a Soldier Carry In His Backpack Going Into Battle?
1Army Combat Uniform
10Meals ready to eat (MREs)
12Bayonet (Knife)
13First Aid Kits
8 more rows

Does the military still use the Alice pack? ›

Although since superseded by MOLLE, ALICE gear is still in some limited use in the U.S. Army in National Guard and training units, as well as by Navy and Air Force ground units.

How much does a USMC main pack weight? ›

The Corps' fighting load varies between 43 to 62 pounds depending on the level of body armor a Marine wears.

What sleeping system does the Marine Corps use? ›

Carefully designed in conjunction with the United States Marine Corps. This cutting-edge sleep system is expertly crafted with the highest quality materials inside and out.

How many liters is the USMC Filbe? ›

U.S. Marine Corps military Issue. Family of Improved Load Bearing Equipment (FILBE) system. Designed to carry a weighted load of up to 125lbs. Total carrying capacity of 81 Liters, or 5000 Cubic Inches.

How big is the ILBE pack? ›

The ILBE system includes 6 types of packs: Main Pack (75L) Recon Main Pack (90L) Assault Pack (27L)

How do you wear a main pack? ›

The pack should not extend past your waist—it should ride an inch or more above your hips. Readjust the straps when you are wearing different thicknesses of clothing so they are not too tight nor too loose. Your backpack should not sway from side to side as you walk.

Is the Filbe waterproof? ›

The lessened fatigue is due to balanced weight distribution along with padded shoulder compression straps and a hip belt. This along with the durable waterproof nylon and sturdy hardened plastic frame make it a lights-out combination for use in bushcraft or even survival situations.

What does ILBE stand for? ›

The Improved Load Bearing Equipment (ILBE) is a load carrying system designed to provide a durable and lightweight means for the deployed Marine to transport individual combat clothing and equipment.

How much does the ILBE main pack weight? ›

The Battleship and ILBE main pack only weigh almost 9 pounds empty. (Add on the pounds for MOLLE straps and buckles.) Both packs have lots of zippered and mesh pockets, MOLLE/PAL straps.

What military has the best rucksack? ›

The best military rucksacks with a frame are:
1.MT US Military Molle II Large Rucksack
2.MT US Military Molle II Medium Rucksack
3.MT Military ALICE Pack Rucksack
4.Military Surplus FILBE Rucksack
5.US Military Surplus MOLLE Rucksack

How heavy are the Bergens in SAS? ›

Recruits march with a bergen backpack weighing 25kg – not including water, food and a rifle – and can only use a map, compass and memorised grid references to find their way. To qualify for the next phase, they must complete it within 24 hours.

How do you ruck 12 miles in 2 hours? ›

To reach Level 3, you must carry your 40 lb ruck for 12 miles in less than 2 hours and 36 minutes. This equates to maintaining 13 minutes per mile.

How much weight do Navy Seals carry? ›

They can carry up to 100 pounds of gear in their rucksacks

Special Operations forces are strong – strong enough to be able to carry 100 pounds of gear in their rucksacks.

How fast should you Ruck? ›

Go at your own pace, you can ruck however fast or slow you'd like. If you'd like to set benchmark goals and you're just getting started with rucking, aim for 17-20 minutes per mile. The Army minimum standard is 15 minutes per mile, which is a great goal pace to meet (or exceed) over time as you progress in rucking.

How many mags does a soldier carry? ›

Most infantry soldiers carry 210 rounds of 5.56x45mm (0.21×1.77in) NATO, spread between seven magazines.

What knives do SEAL Team 6 use? ›

In a piece filled with insight from former members on the controversial assaults done by the team, one eye-opening portion revealed that sometimes Team 6's choice of weapon during nights raids are “primeval tomahawks.” And not just any tomahawk, but ones created by renowned North Carolina knife maker Daniel Winkler.

How many rounds of ammunition does a soldier carry? ›

The current rifleman's loadout in the US military is seven 30-round magazines for the M4 Carbine. So, you're looking at 210 rounds of 5.56×45 ammo. This is standard across the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

What is a Molly pack? ›

The MOLLE system is used to describe the attachment between pouches and modules to your tactical backpacks, rucksack, plate carriers and belts. Using MOLLE allows you to totally customise your gear to suit your mission.

What replaced ALICE packs? ›

Despite being adopted by the US Army in 1973, the pack system continues to be a popular choice for both military and civilian users. Since the late 1990s, a large number of aftermarket packbags, frames, and pads sets have been developed as an improvement over the issued ALICE pack components.

Are ALICE packs worth it? ›

The short answer is not particularly. ALICE packs tend to be much heavier than, say, an equally sized Osprey or Arc'teryx backpack which are designed with long-distance hiking and comfort in mind. ALICE packs are also bulkier and more cumbersome to carry, and just generally uncomfortable for extended wear.

How heavy is a combat load? ›

A 2007 Marine study revealed an average load of 97 to 135 pounds in combat. A 2017 Government Accountability Office report identified Marine loads of 90 to 159 pounds, with an average of 117 pounds, and Army loads of 96 to 140 pounds, with an average of 119 pounds.

How much weight does a Marine machine gunner carry? ›

How much weight does a machine gunner carry? While the average Marine in the Marine Corps may carry 60 lbs. of gear, machine gunners typically carry anywhere from 70 - 100 lbs.

How do soldiers carry so much weight? ›

Helmet, uniform, boots, armor, weapon, ammo, food, canteens, compass, first aid kit—everything a soldier wears and carries (their “load”) can add up to more than 68 pounds. In a combat mission, that weight can skyrocket to as much as 120 pounds.

How do soldiers fall asleep quickly? ›

The military method

Relax your legs, thighs, and calves. Clear your mind for 10 seconds by imagining a relaxing scene. If this doesn't work, try saying the words “don't think” over and over for 10 seconds. Within 10 seconds, you should fall asleep!

Who makes the USMC sleeping bag? ›

Propper Industries USMC Improved 3 Season Bivy Cover Coyote Brown Sleeping Bag Cover Modular Sleep System. One size fits all.

How can I sleep like the military? ›

An Easy Way to Fall Asleep Faster
  1. Relax your entire face. Close your eyes. ...
  2. Drop your shoulders and hands. Let go of any tension. ...
  3. Exhale and relax your chest. With your shoulders and arms relaxed, that should be easy.
  4. Relax your legs. ...
  5. Now clear your mind. ...
  6. Try repeating the words "Don't think" for 10 seconds.
28 Feb 2022

What do they call a female Marine? ›

As of 2006, women made up 4.3 percent of Marine officers and 5.1 percent of the Corps' active duty enlisted force. Today, they are no longer referred to as "female Marines." They are, simply, Marines.

Why do Marines wear 8 point covers? ›

Nickel was wearing the red patch, which dates back to World War II, on his eight-point cover during the ceremony. The patches, according to the Marine Corps, were used to differentiate support personnel on the beaches from grunts moving inland on assaults.

What does the Marine symbol with a black line mean? ›

To commemorate the 13 troops, people all across the States have been posting a black ribbon, a symbol of mourning, with the Marine Corps emblem. Some have taken it to reality by attaching a black ribbon to their flag if they can't adjust their flag to half-staff (the position to signify sadness for a death).

Do you salute in a beanie USMC? ›

Marines do not salute unless they are wearing a hat (known as a "cover"). Marines do not wear covers indoors, unless they are "under arms", i.e. carrying a weapon or wearing a duty belt.

Is dating a Marine worth it? ›

Conclusion. Dating a Marine is not for everyone. There are unique challenges you will face if you decide to commit to a relationship with a Marine. However, Marines have many positive contributions to relationships such as their commitment to detail and their ability to preserver even when life gets difficult.

What is a nickname for a Marine? ›

The term "leatherneck" transcended the actual use of the leather stock and became a common nickname for United States Marines.

Is there a female Navy SEAL? ›

For the first time, a female sailor has successfully completed the grueling 37-week training course to become a Naval Special Warfare combatant-craft crewman — the boat operators who transport Navy SEALs and conduct their own classified missions at sea.

Can you chew gum in uniform USMC? ›

(1) While walking in uniform, officers must not eat, drink, or chew gum. (2) Officers must not place hands in their pockets of any uniform component except when obtaining or storing an item. (3) Officers must not store items in pockets if they produce a bulky appearance.

What is the red patch on Marine uniform? ›

The red patchers, properly referred to as landing support specialists, have a unique role in the Marine Corps. They coordinate ship-to-shore movement of troops, vehicles and supplies. They make sure everything goes quickly and safely to where it is needed.

What does a red patch mean in the military? ›

The "Red Patch" is a distinguishing marking worn by United States Marines of the Landing Support Specialist MOS.

Does every Marine get a sword? ›

When an enlisted Marine reaches the rank of Corporal (E-4 pay grade) they become a non-commissioned officer (NCO) and are entitled to carry the traditional Marine Corps NCO Sword. This is a significant promotion—as a Corporal and beyond, Marines are directly responsible for the well-being of their junior Marines.

Why do Marines roll their sleeves? ›

The board's reasoning was to promote uniformity and help Marines to “train as we fight.” While in combat, Marines wear their sleeves down in combat zones for more protection for their arms against different terrains and climates.

Why do some Marines wear white pants? ›

NCOs and junior enlisted personnel may only wear white trousers for ceremonies and social events, if authorized and provided by the command structure. This uniform replaced, in 2000, an all-white uniform, similar in appearance to that of the Navy officer's white dress uniform.

Why do Marines wear their hats so low? ›

It was said that they were inspired by the sombreros of the Mexican Vaqueros, but the soldiers made their hats smaller to be more practical for longer rides. The new unofficial hat finally got recognition and was authorized in the 1870s.

Why do Marines blouse their boots? ›

And while blousing your boots may serve the purpose of keeping your slacks from flapping in the wind, loose fabric from catching while jumping out of an aircraft, or just keeping dirt from finding its way between your toes, the act of securing the bottoms of your trousers can be hard work.

Why do soldiers remove their hats indoors? ›

According to the etiquette experts over at the Emily Post Institute, the act of removing your hat indoors is a longtime sign of respect. In fact, it probably began with medieval knights.


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