Tactical Rifleman had a request from a viewer that we cover how to setup your Body Armor. Ask and you shall Receive. In this video I cover just the basics, because that is all you really need. Keep your kit simple, carrying only what you need. When you look at my kit in the video, it’s going to look like I’ve got shit slung everywhere randomly. Trust me, there is a method to the madness.

Gear setup will vary by operator and by situation. Medics obviously carry more med gear. Commo guys obviously carry more commo gear. Breachers carry more breaching gear, and so forth. Running three mags deep on your front allows for access to a lot of ammo, but makes climbing walls a bitch.

You’ll see SWAT guys running their radios on their backs, but SF guys run them on their sides… Why? The SWAT guys work in a purely “permissive” environment. If they need to change channels, they can ask their buddy to do it. Now, switch to the SF Operator and he may find himself in a extremely hostile environment, pinned down and alone. He may need to change freqs to talk to a QRF or MedEvac bird. He can’t rely on someone else to swap his channels, so he locates his radio on his kit so that he can reach the dials.

Running a slick front on your kit allows you to get low in the prone, but adds a lot of pouches sticking out on your sides. That normally isn’t an issue, until you are trying to get through narrow doorways in Afghanistan, and your sides are now too fat. Again, what is your situation? My kit evolves to match the current requirements.

Start with priorities, ammo for example, and position those pouches to allow rapid access under any conditions. Then move on to secondary items and position pouches for them. Once you have your kit setup the way you want it; immediately go out and do PT wearing it. Go climb a wall, or better yet, go run an obstacle course. Go climb behind the steering wheel of a HUMMER. Go to the shooting range and try some transition drills.

You may find that one of your pouches, while perfect standing in front of a mirror, actually interferes with you climbing or drawing your pistol. Find what works and what doesn’t. Then, fix and adjust those pouches, and try it again. Can you shoot, move, and communicate with your current gear setup? If not, fix it now; before your life depends on it.

We can talk fine details all day long; what-if it to death, and never get all operators to agree. Bottom-line is 35 pounds of lightweight kit is still 35 pounds. So, keep it light, keep it simple, and only carry what you need.

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