Military Wiki

This is a list of individual combat equipment issued by the United States Marine Corps. This list does not include items that are issued as uniforms or weapons and ordnance. Many items on this list have nicknames. See list of United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressions.


Components of a Modular Tactical Vest, including E-SAPI plates

Ballistic vests
  • The Modular Tactical Vest (MTV) is the newest and most advanced vest in Marine inventories, with better protection than previous vests and a quick-release.
  • The Scalable Plate Carrier was developed for troops in Afghanistan due to concerns of excessive weight limiting mobility, especially in mountainous terrain.[1]
  • The Outer Tactical Vest (OTV) is being replaced by the MTV for most forward units.
  • The Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) vest remains in some limited use in training and non-deployable units.
  • The Full Spectrum Battle Equipment kit includes a quick-release ballistic vest, integrated breathing and flotation devices, as well as load bearing equipment.[2]
  • The PRU-70 for aviators and aircrew combines body armor, survival vest, and flotation device.
Combat helmets
  • The Lightweight Helmet (LWH) can be used with the older sling suspension or a newer pad suspension to fit the helmet to the head,[3] as well as a nape protection system to add ballistic protection to the rear of the head.[4] It is due to be replaced by the Enhanced Combat Helmet.[5]
  • The MICH TC-2000 Combat Helmet is issued to some specialized units.
  • The Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) helmet has mostly been replaced by the LWH, but can still be found in some units.
  • The Enhanced Combat Vehicle Crewman’s Helmet (ECVCH) allows the crew of M1 Abrams, AAV, and LAV vehicles to communicate with less restriction on mobility and situational awareness without reducing ballistic protection.[6]
  • Most pilots and aircrew will wear a flight helmet for protection from aviation-related hazards (such as an integrated oxygen mask), but typically offers little ballistic protection.
  • The Pith helmet is worn not for ballistic protection, but to identify weapons range coaches and other range personnel.

Marine wears a M50 mask

Other armor
  • Small Arms Protective Inserts (SAPI) are used with the MTV and OTV to provide protection beyond what the vest itself offers. SAPI are also available in side plates to protect the torso.[7]
  • Evaporative Cooling Vests found limited distribution in desert theaters in 2005 and 2006 [8]
  • The OTV can be adapted with the Armor Protective Enhancement System (APES) that adds ballistic protection to the shoulder, armpit, and upper arm.[9]
  • The Advanced Bomb Suit is a type of bombsuit used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense

Load-bearing & packs


  • The Improved Load Bearing Equipment (ILBE) is the latest load bearing equipment and pack to be issued to Marines. It replaced the MOLLE, was the first to be made in MARPAT (MARine PATtern), and greatly increases durability, comfort, and decreases complexity. It comes in a standard,[13] Recon (which adds two side pouches),[14] and corpsman versions.[15] The ILBE load equipment provides an improved load bearing vest and the associated pouches to carry ammunition, grenades, radios, and other items.
    • The USMC Pack is being developed to replace the ILBE.[16] Because the ILBE was designed as a modified version of a commercial Arc'teryx product, it doesn't integrate well with body armor, which can cause stress and injury.[17][18] After the initial announcement of replacement in 2009,[19] The Marine Corps finalized design requirements after testing and released a solicitation for prototypes in 2011,[16] which resemble the Army's improved version of MOLLE.[20]
  • All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) mixed with some Individual Integrated Fighting System (IIFE) items remain in some limited use in training and non-deployable units.
  • The standard canvas or nylon seabag, a militarized duffel bag, has been issued to servicemembers of all branches since before World War II. However, the increase in equipment issued to an individual Marine has made containing and transporting it all in a standard seabag difficult (a phenomenon nicknamed seabag drag), in addition to a tactical load-bearing pack. The Deployment Bag holds the same cubic footage, but rugged wheels allow it to roll much like a ruggedized version of commercial rolling luggage.[21]
  • A rubberized waterproofing bag liner has been provided to Marines for decades as a way to protect the contents of a tactical pack from water. Newer versions (known as the "stuff sack") have a purge valve to expel excess air to compress the sack.[22][23]
  • The Gunslinger pack allows a Scout Sniper to conceal and protect his sniper rifle within the pack while on the move.[24]


Commandant Hagee wearing an APECS parka in woodland MARPAT

Cold weather clothing
  • All Purpose Environmental Clothing System (APECS): Rather than issue the 3rd generation Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS), the Marine Corps has begun issuing the APECS, consisting of a MARPAT parka and pant.[25] The APECS is structurally almost identical to ECWCS shell jacket and trousers.
  • The Lightweight Exposure Suit offers similar capabilities.[26]
  • The Combat Desert Jacket is a lighter suit to protect Marines from the harsh desert climate.[27]
  • The Extreme Cold Weather Parka & Trouser offer heavy protection from cold weather, and include overboots.[28]
  • The Snow Camouflage Uniform [29] is a winter MARPAT overgarment to camouflage Marines and their equipment in snow.
  • Polypropylene undershirt and underdrawer, nicknamed "polypro" and officially known as "silkweight", is a mock turtleneck and trousers designed to be worn next to skin, and designed by Polartec.[30] Flame-resistant versions are available.[31]
  • The Grid Fleece Midweight underwear includes a pullover and pants (in green and coyote brown). While the pullover is commonly issued as a warming layer in most locations, the pants are traditionally not issued unless the recipient is expected to face a cold weather environment.[32] Flame-resistant versions are available.[33]
  • A cap made from microfleece is given to Marines in most environments.[34]
  • Cold weather socks and scarfs are also offered to Marines going to cold weather environments.
  • Mountain/Cold Weather Boots, later renamed Rugged All Terrain (RAT) Boots,[35] and Extreme Cold Vapor Barrier Boots are given. The overboots are insulated with an air barrier, and include a valve to allow paratroopers to jump with them, while the RAT Boot is reinforced with chemically impregnated leather for durability and stability.[36]

1974-vintage flight helmet and jacket

  • The Flame Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG) is a fire and heat protection system designed to help protect Marines from burn injuries associated with roadside bombs.
  • Units with firefighting capabilities (Marine Wing Support Squadrons and Headquarters and Headquarters Squadrons ) are issued firefighting suits and self-contained breathing apparatus.[37]
  • Coveralls or jumpsuits are issued to vehicle crew, mechanics, and other Marines whose duties may render other uniforms unserviceable. They can have varying degrees of fire protection, and come in green and coyote brown to match the seasonal change of utilities from woodland to desert camouflage. Pilots and aircrew typically wear flight suits and flight jackets, as well as g-suit, pressure suits, and life vests as needed.
  • Various gloves are offered by the Corps. Often, most Marines receive simply a woolen liner and leather shell, however, those who require more specialized gloves are issued them (cold weather, hazmat, Mechanix brand, etc.).
  • The Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform has built-in slots for knee and elbow pads, but many Marines prefer to purchase their own pads. The Commandant has authorized units to purchase knee and elbow pads for uniformity.
  • The Corps is also contracting to receive protective silk underwear in use by the British Army. While not designed for ballistic protection, the so-called "blast boxers" do provide wound mitigation to groin injuries.[38]



  • The Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) is used for immediate battlefield treatment. It includes several bandages, a tourniquet, burn ointment, some water purification tablets, and QuikClot Antihemorrhagic/hemostatic agent.[39] The Army utilizes an IFAK with different contents, but a similar purpose.[40] In 2010, the QuikClot powder was replaced by QuikClot Combat Gauze, a kaolin-infused gauze bandage.[41]
  • Individual Water Purification System allows Marines to purify water to potable standards.[42] These can be compatible with the standard issue hydration pack, similar to CamelBak brand packs. Of course, plastic 1-quart canteens are issued as well, with a metal canteen cup and stand.
  • Several types of eye protection are offered, including ballistic goggles and sunglasses made by Eye Safety Systems, Inc. and Wiley X, and are available with prescription lens inserts.[43]
  • Ballistic Hearing Protection is a two-sided earplug that offers Marines protection from audio damage.[44]
  • The entrenching tool or "E-tool" is standard issue to all Marines to prepare defensive fighting positions.
  • All Marines usually receive a foam sleeping mat, a Modular Sleep System (with a light, heavy, and waterproof sleeping bags to allow the user to adapt to ambient conditions and a compression sack to hold them), and a tarpaulin or waterproof poncho and liner that doubles as an expedient blanket.
  • The Vietnam War-era olive drab plastic angle-head flashlight (running on D-cell batteries with colored lens filters) purchased at recruit training was deemed unsuitable for combat in 2007, and a replacement from Streamlight was fielded in 2009. The Sidewinder HandHeld FlashLight (HHFL) is lightweight with a head adjustable over 185° of movement, light-emitting diodes providing five intensities each of white, red, blue, and infrared light (including a strobe function), helmet mount, and runs on AA batteries.[45][46] Aside from providing illumination, this smaller and lighter flashlight can be used for signalling and detecting blood residue.
  • No standard tactical light exists, however, many Marines choose to purchase their own.
  • The Martial Arts Kit (MAK) allows units to train Marines in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. It contains all of the pads, gloves, props, and other safety aids that allow an instructor to successfully teach the program.[47]
  • The Mechanical Breacher's Kit (MBK) allows an assault breacher to breach a door or other obstacle.[48]
  • Various mountain-warfare items have been fielded, including snowshoes, skis, climbing kits, and Portable/camping stoves.
  • Numerous parachutes are used, such as the static line T-10 and T-11, Military Free Fall Parachute System, and various aviation-specific models used for aircrew survival.

Historical items

Brodie helmet worn in World War I

Gulf War-era armor

The following items are obsolete and no longer issued:

Load-bearing equipment


  1. Scalable Plate Carrier
  2. FSBE
  3. "Marine Corps Lightweight Helmet: Sling Suspension vs. Padded Suspension". Marine Corps Systems Command. USMC. pp. 2. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  4. Hoellwarth, John (March 2007). "Extended Protection". Marine Corps Times. Army Times Publishing Company.,%20New%20helmet%20pads%20shield%20neck%20from%20fragments.pdf. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  5. Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH)
  6. ECVCH dta sheet
  7. Side SAPI
  8. Evaporative Cooling Vest
  9. Outer Tactical Vest referencing APES on page 2
  10. American Horse, LCpl Vanessa M. (12/2/2009). "M50: New Look Same Protection". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  11. Sanborn, James K. (June 2, 2010). "Marine Corps fielding new gas mask". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  12. Mission-Oriented Protective Postures (MOPP)
  13. Standard ILBE
  14. Recon ILBE
  15. Corpsman ILBE
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Solicitation Number M6785411R3019; USMC Pack". Marine Corps Systems Command. Federal Business Opportunities. April 8, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  17. Lamothe, Dan (December 8, 2010). "Corps looks to field 100,000 new packs". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  18. "Breaking News – USMC to Buy New Pack". Soldier Systems Daily. April 8, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  19. McCullough, Amy; Curtis, Rob (December 14, 2009). "Replacing Your Pack: Corps to consider range of rucks for ease of use, better wear". Marine Corps Times. pp. 22–23. 
  20. Sanborn, James K. (May 9, 2011). "Your New Pack: Testing Finished for Unpopular ILBE's Replacement". Marine Corps Times. pp. 16. 
  21. Deployment Bag
  22. Marine Corps Stuff Sack (MACS Sack)
  23. Waterproofing Bag Inserts (WPI)
  24. Gunslinger
  25. APECS
  26. LWE Suit
  27. Combat Desert Jacket
  28. Extreme Cold Weather suit
  29. Snow Camouflage Uniform
  30. Underwear, Next-to-skin, Cold Weather
  31. Flame Resistant (FR) Silkweight Underwear, Next-to-skin, Cold Weather
  32. Grid Fleece
  33. Flame Resistant (FR), Grid Fleece Underwear, Mid-Weight, Cold Weather
  34. Cap, Hardface, MicroFleece, Cold Weather
  35. RAT Boot
  36. Mountain/Cold Weather Boot
  37. Fire Fighter Ensemble
  38. Lamothe, Dan (April 12, 2011). "Marines to receive combat underwear". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  39. IFAK
  40. "Improved First-Aid Kit (IFAK)". Inventory Management Solutions, LLC. approx 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  41. Cavallaro, Gina (June 14, 2010). "Standardized tourniquet, new bandages for IFAK". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 14 June 2010. 
  42. IWPS
  43. "Eyeing Some New Goggles". US Army. January 2004. pp. 48–49. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  44. Ballistic Hearing Protection
  45. "Moonbeam". Marines magazine. United States Marine Corps. January 4, 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  46. Handheld Flashlight
  47. Martial Arts Kit
  48. Mechanical Breacher's Kit

External links

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