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1st SFAB Issued Crye Precision’s Adaptive Vest System

The Army’s newest Brigade was recently issued the Adaptive Vest System by Crye Precision.


The US Army photo above, is of CPT Jay Beeman, a Combat Advisor team leader in Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, 1st SFAB.

Crye developed AVS as a fully scalable armor/load carrying system which offers everything from a low-vis rig to a fully armored load-bearing vest. It has been in use with USSOCOM since 2012.


Above is the full range of AVS components. Below, you can see AVS in Plate Carrier and Assaulter configurations.



Despite the recent controversy over unit motto and beret, the 1st SFAB is definitely a unit to watch. Chief of Staff of the Army, GEN Mark Milley cleared the air on the beret color and proposed motto, and the unit is busy recruiting experienced NCOs to fill their ranks. Once candidates complete their assessment and training program which includes language and SERE instruction, they will receive a $5000 assignment bonus.

1st SFAB’s Combat Advisors will also use some of the latest individual equipment. In addition to the AVS, 1st SFAB is slated to be one of the first units to receive the new M17 Modular Handgun System. Additionally, they are on track to issue the Ops-Core FAST MT helmet also used by SOCOM.

The genesis of this SOF equipment crosswalk is a visit GEN Milley made last year to the 75th Ranger Regiment. He saw the equipment being used by the Rangers and directed PEO Soldier to acquire it for select Army units. Since then, PEO Soldier has been working with USSOCOM’s PM-SSES at Natick, as well as industry to procure a variety of SOF unique systems for their use. AVS is one of the first items fielded under this arrangement.

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34 Responses to “1st SFAB Issued Crye Precision’s Adaptive Vest System”

  1. Eddie says:

    Kudos to Crye for getting another one of their armor carriage systems issued to high risk unit. I’ve never been able to afford one, or been in a position to be issued one but I have done the research and heard great things about the AVS. Definitely the best equipment getting to the best men we have to offer. Really excited to see this getting more recognition.

  2. OkieRim says:

    All those tabs, I thought this guy was S/F…

  3. Jon, OPT says:

    That’s a great deal for them.

    I’m interesting to know if they are getting STRAC allocations for their respective unit types, or if the SFAB is falling under a whole new STRAC that supports them to train shooting at a higher level.

    • Will Rodriguez says:

      Good question.

      I hope they do are much better resourced than line units. One of the benefits of the Ranger Regiment is that it often sends it vets into the regular force with the training and experience the Regiment enjoys.

      Hopefully years from now SFAB leaders bring those lessons to the line units. God knows we could use greater emphasis on marksmanship.

      • ThatBlueFalcon says:

        It helps when you’re the CSA’s pet unit. Current STRAC shows no bump in ammo for them (FY 17 DA PAM 350-38).

        I suppose my question is “What does this unit do which justifies procurement of USSOCOM-peculiar kit?”

        Why does an SFAB need an AVS over the issued plate carrier (knowing full well that the AVS is miles and away better than the issued Soldier Plate Carrier)? Is this more of the “join the SFAB and get cool kit!” mentality, or do they have a unique requirement like the AWG in order to justify the purchases? Did someone do mission analysis (is that even possible for a unit without a METL) to justify the purchases?

      • pbr549 says:

        Its been a hot minute since I’ve seen Regiment release Soldiers for other than RFS.

      • pbr549 says:

        Its been a hot minute since I’ve seen Regiment release Soldiers for other than RFS.

      • Attack7 says:

        This is a tasker, brother! International Drill Sergeant duty for xxxx time period, then return to the force. Think ETT, MITT, and all that from 10yrs back. It’ll be watered down by the second Bde being formed. The good thing is, the BCTs will start to get back to that graduate level of warfighting like we were capable of the first 4 years of this war (because we had 20 + years making the processes better, ready to fight MRRs in Europe and NK).

  4. d says:

    Fake it ’til you make it, I guess.


  5. Adrian says:

    Regardless of how people feel about the unit, I think we should all be happy to see guys get better kit than the stupid IOTV.

    Just gotta ditch that 3 point sling now for something Practical

  6. paul says:

    Good for them. New unit, patch, motto, beret, tab, and funds to go with it. Let’s hope they get some decent training to go with all this cool stuff. I’d hate to see the unit fail or fall short on that front.

  7. pbr549 says:

    Ive got no beef with any of this but its a lot of bullshit when AWG has to lose some their gear because thats not what the conventional line units are using.

    • SSD says:

      So far, SFAB doesn’t have different small arms. Additionally, SFAB isn’t advising US units.

      • Bulldog76 says:

        So in theory shouldn’t they be issued foreign equipment?

        • d says:

          Solid point.

        • SSD says:

          That’s a valid question. SF Groups have foreign weapons in their arms rooms in order to maintain proficiency in operating and maintaining them.

        • Jon, OPT says:

          Yes, to train on, but not as individual weapon systems. SF works with numerous foreign militaries with various small arms, but their basic issued equipment is American Military, much issued by the Big Army, not by USASOC or USASFC.

          Outfitting each individual with the potential weapons they will have to advise would mean each Soldier has about 15 primary weapons, and 50 secondaries, and that’s a low ballpark estimate.

  8. Toby Melville says:

    I just find it noteworthy that the Army has a history of taking things from special units and giving it to the regular Army. I will not demean myself by berating the soldiers of this unit but rather the Army’s once again tasteless choices of doing their best to give away or rape if you will the existence of special operations units to make others feel special or give the appearance thereof. These leaders who do this know who they are and so do we. Their desire to strip away that which is earned by a select few and given to the masses never ends to amaze me.
    Let us not forget General who was in charge of SWIC and spent a million dollars on Italian Marble for his office and wanted to do away with specialty ratings in Special Forces. This is what haters do. There were infinite color choices available to give the Army but they took it from the Rangers and there are even more options on what they could have called this unit but they chose to spit on Special Forces by not only the name but the tab and the patch. I guess they should get green berets as well, why not? Will there be a defamation to CAG as well? When will these leaf eaters quite destroying what others not only have worked so hard to earn but history has shown that we not only essential but vital and no amount of free give away lickie chewies will make someone special. It is such an insult.

    • straps says:

      A fancy office remodel, hijacking an elite unit’s clothing bag, and broadening the issue of a proven load carriage system are three different things.

      First two are indefensible, the last is a pretty good idea. Remember the KDH SPC? Is there anyone in the Army (other than the mopes at PEO Soldier) who “deserves” to wear that piece of junk? If these trainers are safer, more efficient (and heaven forbid, more comfortable) while they’re out with their mentees, more power to them–and to Crye. Hell, let’s do a proper licensing deal to push Crye’s designs to EVERY troop who needs a good PC. So long as we don’t duplicate the error the Marines made when they took the Arc’Teryx’s ILBE design to Propper and said, “Make it look the same but bring it in at a quarter of the price.”

      • mike says:

        ” So long as we don’t duplicate the error the Marines made when they took the Arc’Teryx’s ILBE design to Propper and said, “Make it look the same but bring it in at a quarter of the price.””


  9. d says:

    This irks me for a different reason than the beret and SSI choices.

    There’s no reason (other than cost) that the entire Army shouldn’t be issued a better armor solution like the AVS. However, there are a number of conventional Army guys in combat units that could really benefit from a good plate carrier and an OpsCore helmet. More so than the advisors of SFAB.

    It’s hard not to compare the choice of AVS and OpsCore, two items recently issued to USASOC units, to the beret and patches. It’s hard not to see SAFB as wannabe SOF when they do this.

  10. Groundpouder says:

    I really don’t get all the hate on the SFAB. First, off the world and the nature of combat has been changing for quite some time. As we transition likely again out of the GWOT, there have been really really bright people who have screaming for a while that Army and DOD need to quit clustering SOF and SOF capable forces into small parts of the military and broaden them and their capabilities into larger and more readily deployable parts of our military. I know this may rattle the jimmies of a lot of conventional dudes, and SF, SEAL, Ranger leg humpers who have never earned any tab and btw can’t explain to me in one coherent and grammatically correct sentence what FID is, but having conventional force multipliers like the SFAB is actually a good thing. There are not enough SF Groups to go around and maybe people don’t know what retention looks like right now, or maybe aren’t aware that 2 out 10 males can join the Army right now.

    So you don’t like that they get cool guy gear, or that they get a beret? Go ETADIK man and grow up. I feel like alot of the hate these guys are getting is unfounded and similar to the hate that the Assymetetic Warfare Group got when they started. Both needed now more than ever. And if you can’t grasp that then you need to get a clue that our military has much bigger issues facing it than IOTV’s.

  11. Will Rodriguez says:

    It irks me when soldiers complain about giving the most effective tools of war to other soldiers.

    It’s as silly as having a very effective camo pattern and not sharing it with other services especially since you’ve been using other services camo for half a century because you want to create a service identity. Wasm’t the service tape our forefathers wore enough on their uniforms to tell the difference between branches?

    We’ve had conventional units dual hatting and doing FID for almost two decades now with significant impact on their ability to execute their primary mission. The handfull of SFABs are going to be used in that role and if OPTEMPO remains the same they’ll be deployed as often if not for longer periods than the units typically tasked for FID. Maybe they might be actually well served by more effective equipment? Complaining about them being issued the same equipment as SF units makes one seem small and isn’t in line with the “silent professionals” moniker. Not saying SF doesn’t have a right to bring up issues but complaining about units getting better equipment just isn’t professional. Heck, this is typically how better equipment makes it to the conventional force. A unit does a local purchase and months/years later it’s general issue.

    Granted, some of this emanates from the concern that the SFAB is leveraging SF heraldry and traditions. (“The Legion” was WAY across the line.) It again surprises me that much of the ire is directed at Army leadership but none at SF leadership which has largely vacated the FID mission for almost two decades emphasizing direct action type ops.

    It all goes to show that when you point at someone you have a couple of fingers pointing back at you.

    • Terry Baldwin says:


      I absolutely agree with you that there is only goodness in rapidly migrating proven gear between SOF and conventional forces or between services. The Carl Gustav RR would be one recent case. The only caveat I would add is that some gear is more appropriate for specialized tasks and units and may not necessarily be right for general issue. Load Bearing Gear optimized for airborne operations for example.

      I do however disagree with your assertion that “SF leadership…had largely vacated the FID mission for almost two decades.” That is simply not true. The four 3rd Group soldiers recently killed in Africa were doing a FID mission. The teams in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria today are still doing FID missions. The teams have never stopped doing FID missions around the world each and every day of GWOT. And the direct action operations you refer to are almost always by, with, through and alongside Host Nation (HN) counterparts.

      I had a U.S Army BG tell me in Iraq in 2010 that he wanted SF to “do more FID” so that his conventional soldiers wouldn’t have to. I told him the truth. All of the SF teams were 100% tasked on FID missions every day. And we were 100% fully committed to support the Iraqi SOF and paramilitary units like Hillah SWAT (and the Commandos in Afghanistan), etc. The fact is that the huge FID demands of standing up and partnering with entire national armies is well beyond SF capabilities and I am not afraid to admit it.

      Nor are SF units the right partners to stand up and train HN conventional artillery or transportation battalions or even conventional infantry except in extremis. That is the kind of FID mission that conventional units are perfectly capable of performing. I think the SFABs are a good idea although I have some concerns about their sustainment. I suspect it will be hard to get 6 Brigades worth of hard chargers to volunteer and stay long term for the mission. But I have no doubts at all that they can successfully perform the conventional FID mission.


      • Will Rodriguez says:


        I have to agree and disagree with your characterization of SF doing FID over the last 16+ years. Yes, SF has been standing up host nation SOF. SF has also been beating a lot of bushes with token host nation representation (as well as tasked conventional units to add more bodies to an ODA). Some of this was FID. An awful lot was DA with locals and sometimes US units to add the necessary guns in a given op (as well as local language and credit to the indigineous forces for a largely executed US op). Could it be called FID? Sure as long as you have one local on the mission you can call it FID but is it really?

        No doubt the examples you cited are FID. But there are plenty of examples of SF Soldiers killed in action in other than FID missions over the last 16+ years. (public source examples are “The Only Thing Worth Dying For”, “Roughneck 91”, TF 373, SF unit showcased in Nat Geo special “Inside the Green Berets”, the 7th Group unit SSG Bales was providing security for). Also I remember many a discussion after ’08 at Bragg and Campbell where SF troops belabored having to do FID. Many of these were X-ray babies and knew little else but DA which goes to my point.

        And while there are some conventional training roles that SF is challenged in doing it has done an awful lot as the wars in Columbia, Guatamala, and El Salvador.

        I think we might agree that SFABs are a good idea in that they will give bot SF and the conventional side some breathing room.

        As always, a pleasure and privilege to discuss trends and the current state of affairs.

        • Terry Baldwin says:


          All good points. But I would counter that the ratio of legit FID to missions with only token HN representation is probably 20:1 during GWOT in favor of legit FID. I have the same open sources you mention and keep in mind that both books written about those teams were in the early stages of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan before we had a chance to stand up true partner units. Especially in Afghanistan that was really UW at that point rather than FID.

          A better example of FID would be the long running CRE/CIF missions with the ISOF especially during the surge period. Multiple HN Company sized DA missions per night and an ODA minus was the norm. I saw it first hand on multiple rotations. However, in some cases – and especially during certain periods – there simply were not enough reasonably well trained Iraqis or Afghans available to go on high risk missions.

          I know the team well that was profiled on Nat Geo – the Team Sergeant at the time in particular. That was also during a timeframe when the ANA was not yet deployed in any strength to the more remote regions and the Afghan commandos had not yet been formed.

          As I recall the Bales situation happened during the relatively brief time we were retrying the “strategic hamlet” concept from Vietnam and some teams had the mission to train locals (non-ANA) to defend themselves. I do not think we are doing that anymore but someone with more recent experience will have to confirm or deny.

          Before I retired in 2011 I was hearing some of those complaints you mention from (usually) the younger guys. At that time they wanted very much to keep doing “combat FID” in Iraq or Afghanistan but were unenthusiastic about doing FID outside the combat zones. What we used to call JCETs.

          A few weeks ago I talked to some of the 5th Group team guys (including a couple of fairly new X-rays) just back from Syria. The mission there is technically UW but the tasks in that case are quite similar to FID. Not a lot of unilateral stuff going on there apparently.

          As was mentioned on an earlier thread, FID is a specified mission for SF but it has never been a mission exclusive to SF. Conventional units had done it for years even before GWOT with little fanfare.

          As you know, UW is the primary mission of SF but it just so happens that FID is a pretty good training vehicle for UW. That is really why we did so much FID in austere environments during “peacetime” engagements. But it is important to keep in mind that DA (unilateral or with HN partners) is also a specified mission for SF. So we can and will conduct unilateral DA if that is what the situation and mission call for.

          As you correctly point out SF has done a lot of FID with conventional HN units especially in Central and South America. For the most part that was a political decision because the deployment of conventional U.S. units with larger footprints would have been too controversial. In those cases SF is like a Leatherman multi-tool – we can do a lot in a pinch but are not necessarily the perfect tool for every job. Great discussion!