Warriors have always struggled to find uniforms that provide both protection from the elements as well as from enemy arms. Solutions have ranged from the bronze greaves of Achilles’ armor before the walls of Troy to the colorful garb of Louisiana Zouaves to the bulky battle uniforms seen on the cover of the new issue of Semper Fi, the Magazine of the Marine Corps League.
Though not as heavy as medieval armor, today’s battlefield attire and accompanying gear can add up to 150 or more pounds to the average Marine’s 163 pounds. Much of that is in the form of composite armor plates designed to stop a supersonic bullet or red-hot shard of shrapnel. Add to that eye protection, fire-resistant uniforms, weapons and ammo, communication gear, rations and water, and it’s a wonder the Marine can move at all.
Gear improvements (and often, additions) seem to come along nearly every month. The Marine Corps League, through its joint sponsorship of Marine Military Expos, brings combat-tested Marines together with military suppliers to improve and even develop new solutions that improve Marines’ mobility, survivability and lethality.
Also in this issue, Marine Corps Leaguers can revisit their bootcamp days at Parris Island, S.C., and San Diego, where museums now enshrine the grueling experience. And we are happy to report that the legendary Navajo Code Talkers have been honored with a memorial recognizing their invaluable service to winning World War II.
Also, we’d like to note that our work on Semper Fi sometimes makes a reader’s day, as seen in the following letter (some information has been redacted to obscure potentially important military details):
My wife and I were surprised and delighted to see the picture on page 16 and 17 of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 6th Regiment. Our son is a member of India Company and participated in the Mojave Viper training. India Company is now deployed and we would like to surprise our son with a copy of this picture. Can you tell us how we can obtain an electronic or hard copy? Who knows, our corporal might just be a “center fold.” Semper Fi is a first class magazine that the family reads from cover to cover with much enjoyment. Thank you for the excellent work and Semper Fi .