The combat application tourniquet – that small, issue item to which so many wounded troops owe their lives – is getting an upgrade.

The Generation 7 Combat Application Tourniquet will soon be coming to an Individual First Aid Kit near you, the Army Medical Materiel Agency announced this week.

The older version – Generation 6 – will continue to be fielded, but soldiers should familiarize themselves with both, said AMMA nurse consultant Jason Harrington.

“When you need to actually use a tourniquet is the wrong time to figure out which version you have and how to use it,” he said in a statement. “Soldiers need to look at their tourniquets and become familiar with the version they have been issued by carefully reading the printed instructions that come with each CAT.”