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USMC to Field Gen III Vest Systems with FirstSpear Technology

Fenton, MO – FirstSpear® Technology Group, industry leading technology integrator for Personal Protective and Load Bearing Equipment, announces the Gen III vest systems for the United States Marine Corps (USMC) will be produced and fielded with FirstSpear® Technology. After extensive testing and evaluation, the Marines chose to include FirstSpear® 6/12™ laser cutting and Tubes™ rapid-release system on the all new Gen III Vest System.

Debuted on Solider Systems Daily in 2011 and proven in the field for over seven years, FS™ 6/12™ laser-cut platforms and rapid-release Tubes™ fasteners are embraced by assets of the United States Department of Defense, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, and friendly forces within the international community. The FS™ 6/12™ laser-cut and fused platform system helped the USMC achieve their goals for reducing bulk and weight of legacy PALS systems.

USMC Systems Command wanted to give as much mobility back to the individual Marine as possible by reducing the weight and bulk of the vest without decreasing ballistic protection. Integrating 6/12 laser cutting and Tubes allowed designers to reduce the weight of the vest by 25 percent.*

FS™ Tubes provide rapid donning and doffing of carriers without complicated cable systems adding weight or requiring specialized training and allows the Marine to remove and reassemble their vest in less than three seconds. Vest testing found the older system took about seven seconds to take off, and 10 minutes to reassemble. The Tubes have vastly improved the Marines ability to act fast while on missions.*

According to Sam White, Vice President of Applied Science at FirstSpear®, “Our primary mission is to provide equipment solutions to the men and women protecting our freedoms and the fastest way to do that is by working with industry partners and program managers to make this technology widely available. We couldn’t be more excited the USMC has integrated this technology into their new vest system and look forward to helping Vertical Protective Apparel provide it to the Marines.”

FirstSpear™ continually develops and refines Technology to meet the ever-changing requirements of the warfighter and first responder. Paramount to every development effort is a focus on mobility, lethality, weight reduction, functionality, durability, and manufacturability. Ideas are well thought out, tested, and proven in actual field use before general release, ensuring the final product works as intended when needed most. Once proven, FirstSpear® works closely with end users and manufacturers to allow for rapid fielding of advanced solutions.

For more information or to contact FirstSpear® Technology Group on how you can integrate these technologies visit



14 Responses to “USMC to Field Gen III Vest Systems with FirstSpear Technology”

  1. P.T. McCain says:

    Are civilian variants of the new armor system available, or will they be?

  2. Kit Badger says:

    I understand the is probably a reason, even if it isn’t a good one, but why the buckles up on the shoulders like that? That one photo shows 3 thick layers overlapping right around where I’d see myself trying to shoulder a rifle…

    • Kevin says:

      I asked Ms. Jordan that same question. Apparently you can wear the shoulder straps of your rucksack further out to avoid stacking on top of those buckles. One wonders where your stock would go when trying to shoot while wearing the vest and a rucksack.

      • Andrew Bowman says:

        Even with current carriers we’re issued, you will just have to compensate that extra space taken up by shoulder straps by adjusting the stock. The plates issued also adhere the correct shoulder and cheek weld since we aren’t given swimmers plates, it’s just part of wearing the gear.

    • Sean says:

      They appear to be in about the same position as the USMC Gen 2 carrier, if memory serves. Not the most convenient placement for the buckle, I agree. I’m a lefty so I got the pleasure of not only dealing with the plate carrier shoulder buckle, but also the chinstrap buckle. The best way I could get around all that was basically by canting my rifle to about a 45 so I could maintain a consistent cheek weld without having to worry about my buckle sliding all over the place on the stock and jacking up my sight picture.

      As much as I hated the MTV, I really grew to miss the rifle bolster it had.

      • Some dude says:

        The vest will likely come with a strap to replace one of the buckles (depending on the dominant hand of the individual shooter). The current plate carrier comes with these straps and for the same reason. Buckles are kept on the shoulder so that the vest can be released rapidly in the event of an overwater helicopter crash.

        Pull the tubes to release the cummerbund, unclip one shoulder buckle, and shrug your way out.

    • Pablo says:

      Seriously. With the tubes the buckles are not even needed.

  3. hodge175 says:

    Why the zippers on the side plate bags and the hard plate bags on the front and rear of the carrier.

    I know they will say those big cheap zippers the military uses will last longer than hook and loop, but that’s because the military uses the cheapest hook and loop it can find.

    • bloke_from_ohio says:

      Just spit balling, but the Marine who was loudest during requirement development probably hated velcro. Therefore, there will be no velcro on the carrier.

  4. Tom says:

    I hope the carrier shown in the photos is an XS, because four columns on the front is ridiculous.

  5. Lasse says:

    I assume that FS will also manufacture these? Since Vertical Source/Vertical Protective Apparel doesn’t seem to have any of their own manufacturing capabilities.

    As for the design, it’s pretty close to being really good. It’s like being on track for a new WR but you stop 3/4s of the way there.

  6. Kango says:

    Meanwhile the Canadian military still basically using the same stuff from the early 90’s.

    • T says:

      While I agree that we are chronically a decade or more behind the times this is a bit of a stretch. Try training with a light bn from the US doing live fire. Yes our armour carrier was procured around 2000 but it’s surprisingly light and slick especially with our newer Revision plates. When compared to the IOTV abomination the US Army wears; side plates and groin protectors ect…..

      I’ve been a light infantryman for 16 years and I constantly find myself going to a slick carrier with separate load bearing eqt. It allows for individual customization based on mission profile and the ability to scale, wearing PPE without 2nd line fighting gear.

  7. Matthew says:

    I’m an active duty Marine. Curious to know what magazine pouches are going to be given with it or chest rig. Because we’re issued 3x double mag pouches and from the webbing on the front, theres only webbing for two. And when the heck is someone going to be smart and say, 6×6 side saps are too big, uncomfortable and cost of range of motion when we need switch to smaller side saps like the army has? Also, which units are field testing the new plate carrier, are female Marines testing them as well?