FirstSpear TV

MOLLE Instructional Video

In the late 1990s the US Marine Corps were the initial adopters of the Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment or MOLLE. Imagine being a Marine PFC and getting issued a big plastic bag full of pouches, with straps flopping everywhere, along with a VHS tape and told to have it all ready for a ruck march the next morning.

OV Innovations uploaded a copy to YouTube. It’s an absolute must-see for any serious gear historian.

10 Responses to “MOLLE Instructional Video”

  1. Dave M says:

    I don’t have to imagine! Oh man, that was a learning curve

  2. Bill says:

    I was an initial tester for MOLLE. It was absolute shit and was hated by everyone. NorthFace had a competing setup that was better made but equally worthless. It was also hated by the testers. In the end all of the evaluations were tossed and the brass said MOLLE was universally loved. Last I saw the Corps didn’t field MOLLE into OIF. Maybe some made it into the initial OEF phase, but I wasn’t there

    • Jesse OVI says:

      I actually have one of those North Face packs, which was part of what they called the Modular Load System. It’s an interesting pack.

  3. ActionJax says:

    I remember these days. One of the first to get this original bag of Tactical Tetris. Best part was that 1stSgt still required everyone to have uniformity. So, welcome to the SUCK and build your own kit, but make sure everybody looks the same. S/F

  4. Ex11A says:

    AKA “The Heat Stroke Vest.”

  5. JK says:

    “here….figure it out!” hahaha…roooogggeerrrr…. never had more sore fingers in my life, that is until we figured out the butter knife/multitool trick. gear uniformity is so fucking stupid, the only piece that should be uniform is the IFAK.

  6. Fitz says:

    We got it fielded just before going to Mountain Warfare Training Center for a summer rotation. I thought it was awesome …until the second morning stroll down to Leavitt Training Area. When we got to LTA and went to ground our gear I released my pack to allow it to tip off the waist belt the whole socket on the belt snapped off. Naturally, supply didn’t bring spares. I had to cut off about a foot of foam from my ISO mat and tape it around the bottom of the frame so that it wouldn’t wear a hole in my lower back. That made for a fun 3 1/2 weeks of humping that contraption up and down the Sierras.

  7. Kirk says:

    I still want to know how this seamstress’s nightmare made it past design, let alone into testing and procurement…

    MOLLE was UCP before UCP was even a thing. Ill-conceived, poorly implemented, and very, very badly fielded. I remember seeing the poor bastards over at a sister unit get this stuff, and it was tragicomic watching them try to make it work on their first road march. From what I understood, the CSM over there demanded that CIF re-issue the old gear, and the MOLLE went into “display-only” status after about the first two FTXs with it.

  8. Junior says:

    Yeah… what a dumb fucking idea…

    We had half the FMF who could barely put their web gear together, let alone pack their ALICE pack securely and correctly. Slightly better in the grunts but not by a huge margin. I had to giggle when Fitz mentioned that “naturally, supply didn’t bring spares”, as I remember surveying (DXing to the Army guys) my rotten ALICE pack straps to our supply NCO- who gave me another set of rotted ALICE pack straps. Sigh.

    Throw in this MOLLE thing with multiple parts and pieces- it was a nightmare. It had some handy pieces to it, but it was too complicated and not nearly durable enough for the average 0300 series Marine.

    Looks like the Army kinda figured it out, but how long did it take?