The military loves acronyms: IFAK= Individual First Aid Kit

Let’s get started with a couple of combat medicine axioms that form the basis of all combat medicine dogma.

Combat Medicine Axiom #1  “Sometimes, the best medicine is fire superiority.”

Combat Medicine Axiom #2  “Good medicine at the wrong time is bad medicine.”

Since the Loadout Room is organized around first line, second line and third line gear, we’ll start our medic posts talking about first line medical gear.  The only first line medical gear you need is your IFAK. The trouble is, there are literally hundreds of variations of IFAKs to choose from and everybody has an opinion on what should go in it.  IFAK Manufacturer Rule #1 – The amount of shit they try to stuff in an IFAK is inversely correlated to their actual combat medicine experience.

What makes the IFAK useful is not its mere existence.  Good medicine is not just about equipment.  It’s not simply what’s in the bag of medicine that matters. It’s WHO is carrying it.  Using an IFAK requires medical knowledge, simple skills, and the ability to decide when to use it.  See Axiom #2.

First, an IFAK is First line gear for YOU. It’s not for anyone else.  It serves as YOUR minimum necessary medical capability to save your own ass.  It is not a mobile ICU in a tacticool pouch.

Second, if you don’t ALWAYS train and deploy with an IFAK as first line gear for your own survival, stop reading right here and immediately apologize to your buddies for being “that guy”.  Then call your mom, husband or wife, kids, neighbors and grade school principal and tell them how you have been a complete dumbass, you have now seen the light and will forever more be squared away with respect to your medical skills and gear.