I was looking at this list of these articles on the site, and giving them all the same name didn’t help much for finding one. So I’ll add a topic related suffix.
When I went to boot camp, I had ALICE gear. I used Alice gear a few other times while I was in. Mostly liked it, but when you are active it could sometimes spin around your waist. I hated when that happened.
For parades, we wore the belt with the first aid kit in the small of back and a canteen on each side of the first aid kit.
In boot camp, I recall often we rolled up our ponchos and had that in the small of back, with the canteens on each side of that. The poncho was secured to the belt with boot bands.
We also had our “moonbeam” flashlights hanging from our ALICE gear in boot camp night fire watch. Back then, I didn’t know about Surefire lights, so I thought that right angle flash light was so very cool and useful. I wrote about this flashlight back in 2019. Here is a link to that article: http://looserounds.com/2019/09/15/blast-from-the-past-fulton-right-flashlight/
Each ALICE mag pouch held 3 mags. So we could hold 6 mags total. All during this time my fighting load with the M16A2 was 6 mags.
I ran into so many different versions of the mag pouch. Some had little dividers in them to keep the mags from rotating or sliding around. I once found one that had two internal snap flaps. When you opened the mag pouch, you could remove one mag, then you would have to unsnap a flap to access the next magazine. Once that one was unsnapped you could access the last mag. Seemed unnecessarily slow to me.
I preferred to have the alice mag pouch with out any internal organizers as I would sometimes just put in two mags where they would lay flat to my body. Seemed a little faster and easier to get mags that way.
The alice gear dated back to a time when it was thought that you might be keeping your support hand on the rifle and loading and racking the charging handle with your firing hand. Having the mag pouches closer to your sides allowed you to lay flatter to the earth and keep a lower profile when the enemy is shooting at you.
We almost always used a buttpack with the alice gear when we used it for real. When we had a first aid kit, it was often attached to the right side of the buttpack.
I don’t recall ever seeing anyone use the grenade pouches on the mag pouch.
We were issued Y harnesses. I recall someone, maybe an instructor, really preferred the H harness and explained that to us. So I managed to get me one and used it for a while. I also recall breaking several of the snap hooks used to connect the harness to the belt so I am guessing that was the fate of my H harness.
When I was in Iraq, my squad leader used an Alice belt and harness along with a couple of SOB general purpose pouches. He would keep mags on one side and the other used as a general purpose pouch to hold maps, NODs, and what ever other little things he needed. I felt pretty jealous. Not of his kit, but at how light weight it was. Being the RO meant I was carrying everything.
I had started writing this intending to write a paragraph about ALICE gear, a paragraph about the LBV-88, another about MOLLE, etc. I didn’t think I would have so much to say about ALICE gear. I’m sure I’ve overlooked things I wanted to say, but I’ll cap it here. Next time I talk about gear I’ll talk about the LBV-88.