Resistance Is Character Building

Blog Post

Caption: Adversity builds strong muscles. What does not kill you makes you stronger.


Bullet Points:

** On April 15, I paid my taxes. The roads should be repaired any day now.

** Right – Hemingway and a fish.

** If you’re better off now than you were four years ago, you’re an illegal alien or a member of The Swamp.

** Some think that, at times, I lose my cool. It’s not true. Sometimes, I see an opportunity to provide a teachable moment via an informal counseling session. Is that being too subtle?

** From the mailbag:

Q – LL, do you wear a cowboy hat? A – I own a gray 10x Stetson that is more of a war trophy. I didn’t steal it from a narco, but I got it in ‘narco wars.’ I seldom wear it, but it’s like many things in my I-love-me-room where I write the blog (mostly). I don’t own a cow, so I don’t want to be called “all hat and no cattle,” and I don’t wear cowboy boots. It’s not that I don’t like the style, but I find “operator style” Solomans, Merrils, or Oboz shoes to be cooler and more comfortable. Living in Arizona, I very rarely wear leather boots. I have friends who wear cowboy-style clothes here in Northern Arizona, but they own horses and cattle and live that life. I’m more of a 5.11/Duluth Trading guy (shoot me first clothing). It may be a function of age, but I’m edging toward comfortable. If I go out in the sun, a lightweight ball cap keeps the sun out of my eyes, and I can stuff it into a cargo pocket in the trousers. Cowboy hats are more of a challenge to stuff.

Q – LL, do you like the Sig Canebrake? A Sig Canebrake rattler in .300 Blackout in a break-away shoulder bag with a reflex sight. – yes

Is Musk building a Time Machine?





** Shawn Ryan – Times are changing. That’s true. The reality I experienced is no longer there. I can speak for many people. It’s gone, it’s woke, it’s diverse, and there are zampolits to watch you for toxic male behavior.  It’s not the place that many of us want to be, and the sacrifices are not appreciated. Who wants Pedo Joe (10% for the Big Guy) and a stupid former whore to be their boss?

** USA is fiscally unsustainable. This might be an interesting clip for you. Who owns the Federal Reserve?

** What doesn’t kill you this time will likely try again.

** CDRSAL has timely observations about the impact of the Russo-Ukrainian War on the capacity of those nations to regenerate as a result of the battlefield losses. The word existential is significantly overused to the point where it becomes ignored. However, that is happening in many parts of the world, including those nations that are not at war. When populations don’t choose to have children to replace themselves, they will be eventually replaced by populations who do. For example, As of 2022, South Korea has the world’s lowest total fertility rate at 0.78. The TFR of the capital, Seoul, was 0.57 in 2022. Anything lower than 2.o indicates that the population is not replacing itself. 



Relative Weight

With his weapons, armor, and backpack, the Roman legionary carried around 60-80 pounds of kit on the march. This included about 60 pounds carried into battle and about 20 pounds of clothing, personal items, supplies, etc., that would be left in the camp during a battle. This was referred to as baggage.

The battle weight was made up of the gladius (2-4 pounds), the scutum (12-15 pounds), chain mail (24 pounds), helmet (4 pounds), and pila (2 and 5 pounds). This would have been equivalent to a Greek hoplite’s weight in the Battle of Marathon. That 60-80 pound burden has been common for most warriors throughout military history.

British redcoats in the Revolutionary War had a marching weight of around 80 pounds. This would have included their musket, shot, powder, and knapsack. It is estimated that the British who assaulted Bunker Hill were carrying an astounding 125 pounds, but that included their knapsack and blanket (which is insane because they were crossing Boston harbor, not marching into the wilderness). British soldiers at Waterloo carried 60-70 pounds into the battle.

A Yankee in the American Civil War carried about 50 pounds. This consisted of a rifled musket, 60 rounds of ammunition, a tent half, and a knapsack. WWI doughboys had a marching weight of up to 70 pounds. Allied soldiers landing at D-Day had 80 pounds on them. (Don’t jump off the landing craft in water above your head!) In Korea, American GIs were burdened with 40-50 pounds in combat. In Vietnam, Americans humped the boonies with 60-70 pounds. The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers carried only around 25 pounds. This allowed them to be much more mobile on foot.

American soldiers landed on Grenada with up to 120 pounds of weapons, armor, and supplies. On the move in Iraq and Afghanistan – 110 pounds, on patrol – 80-100. Ironically, much of that weight was due to the return of body armor. The total equates to about 55 % of body weight when marching. That is roughly equivalent to one of “Marius’ mules” (the legionaries of the Empire period).

The burden has remained the same over the centuries until recently. What has varied over time is the weight ratio in the areas of protection, weaponry, and supplies. Romans allotted a high percentage to protection, with scutum, chain mail, greaves, and helmets around 60 percent. The gladius and pila comprised roughly 15-20 percent of the burden. Supplies and personal effects were around 20%.

Over the centuries, the ratio of armor weight peaked with knights of the Middle Ages but declined to zero by the wars of the 18th century. Remarkably, it has been going up in the American army since Vietnam as safety has been prioritized. Kevlar body armor is the modern equivalent of the scutum or plate armor. A current American soldier carries around 40 pounds of protection with his helmet and body armor. This protection comes with a cost. It reduces mobility and increases fatigue. The same could be said of the Roman scutum, helmet, and chain mail shirt, around 45 pounds. This is why the shorter sword used to stab was crucial in reducing the fatigue factor. The legionaries were jettisoning the weight of the pila in battle, which lightened their load for the rest of the fight. This would be similar to the expenditure of ammunition by a modern soldier. Modern American soldiers carry a lot of ammo. However, the most common combat activity for a modern soldier is patrolling, which seldom leads to lightening the ammo load.

If you compare Scipio’s legionary to an American soldier in the War in Afghanistan, you will find a remarkable similarity in the weight of armor and weaponry. The legionary hefted around 40 pounds of armor, whereas the Americans carried about 45 pounds of helmet and Kevlar plates. The legionary had a sword and pila totaling around 10 pounds, and the American carried around 12 pounds of gun and ammunition. The main reason the Americans were loaded down with almost twice as much total weight was technology and rations. The Romans had no technology and carried no rations into battle besides water. Modern soldiers are increasingly burdened by technology like night vision goggles and personal communication devices. This technology, plus rations and water, comes to around 40 pounds. The legionary distributed this weight as follows: armor = 75%, weapons = 15% rations, and personal items = 10%. The American in Afghanistan: armor = 36% weapons = 12% technology = 18% rations and personal items = 34%.


Identify the Armor




Identify the Aircraft



We can agree that it’s an RC-12 – but try to be precise.

LL, screwing around with an RC-12 at work, but the two pictured are quite different.


37 thoughts on “Resistance Is Character Building

  1. IDA-
    1. Leclerc tank
    2. Borsuk (Badger) IFV
    3. Burnelli UB-14, aka Cunliffe-Owen Clyde Clipper
    4. Beechcraft 300 Super KingAir RC-12P (Guardrail) US Army and Beechcraft MC-12 (Huron) w/LL
    5. AH-1Z Viper

    1. Very good. Surly got you on 4. It’s an RC-12X. It’s a tough call because the later RC-12 varients are very close in appearance.

      1. That’s a VBL next to the LeClerc. I always thought they looked like a fun Jeep,
        but France is not so great with divetrain reliability these days… maybe MilSpec
        is better.

        There’s a surviving Burnelli at the New England Air Museum at Winsor Locks / Bradley Airport,
        under restoration.

        – Kle.

    1. Or maybe healthy coping mechanisms? It depends on how you define healthy. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

          1. I’m not a big VA fan for life-altering things like that. I have a private surgeon. Hopefully, they’ll give me a date next month so I can move on with planning for the rest of the year. I figure that I’ll be moving slowly for a couple of months.

        1. We have excellent Doctor’s here, like the one who patched my hip back together here. I was on my feet the day after surgery, and released to rehab two days later.

          Follow their orders, DO the exercises, and you’ll probably beat they recovery time. I was 95+% after three months, about a month ahead of what they expected.

  2. Identify the Armor:
    1. Perhaps a Leclerc prototype.
    2. Polish Borsuk IFV

    Identify the Aircraft:
    3. Burnelli UB-14
    4A. RC-12X
    4B. RC-12P
    5. Bell AH-1Z Viper

  3. The talk on Relative Weight was really interesting, as were the population replacement facts…. Looks like the population replacement is going on right now with illegals and the US’s 1.66 births per woman (2021).

    1. The thing about US birthrates is you really need to look at the demographics. Leftists aren’t, for the most part, replacing themselves. The right, on the other hand, is. City folk aren’t replacing themselves, except in hoods and ghettos and certain ethnic populations, but the country folk are replacing and then some.

        1. Not that the “sins of the father” is a fair deal (many kids out do their parents), it’s not a bad thing Lefties and Libs aren’t reproducing…keeps that end of the gene pool the shallow end.

          1. ALL of the 30something couples we know, both in the family and in our neighborhood, have 3 or 4 kids. Same with the parents at the school our oldest grand goes to. He has classmates with brothers and sisters at the same school. Ot reminds me a lot of where I grew up.

    1. Today we use plate carriers and trauma plates (heavy composite plates) rather than kevlar. Some applications have kevlar built into the plate carrier. I’ve seen and used both. Law enforcement uses kevlar (with plate insert options). Military use primarily rifles and requires the plates. Law enforcement is more likely to encounter handguns and shotguns, where kevlar works well.

      Kevlar vests have saved many lives.

    2. Current body armor, short of some special groups, only covers the organ-section of the body. The more concealable, the less of the organ section is covered.

      Yes, deaths and injuries are reduced from hits in the torso.

      Now, there are add-ons that cover the neck area, the shoulders and upper arms, the lower torso and upper legs. Like any armor, the more you wear the more it weighs and the better it protects.

  4. Based on your “report” I’m encouraging more “procreation” amongst the yungins”. The caveat is the woman (The Gatekeepers) need to demand a marital commitment (and in more than ever, same goes for them), from their male partners (the real gals, pick wisely) . This “encouragement” should be a good thing, yet we have some Liberal parents applauding their “kids” not having children to “Save Gaia”. The foolishness of the indoctrinated needs a common sense reset back to basics.
    When backpacking I routinely carried 50#’s (with water). That was back in the day when Vasque Hiker 2’s weighted 5#’s a pair, frame packs were typical, and tents weren’t so lightweight. Went almost every weekend. On a month-long NOLS trip in the Wind Rivers many (many, many, many) moons ago I helped another gal for a week by carrying some of her gear. Pack pushed 100#’s…without any firearms and ammo of course. Had to put the pack on sitting down (lest I bust a shoulder strap). I could do it then (at 180 #’s lean). Today I am convinced that carrying heavy pack weights caused some nerve damage in my left leg muscles from compression, especially as the day wore on. I’d balk at 120# (half body weight +/-)…how can anyone be that maneuverable carrying that much gear over any distance? H/t to those have done it…but geez…tough slog.
    “That which does not kill you…”most likely will maim in some manner…resulting in a “don’t do that again” lesson iff’n we’re paying attention. Been there…got the t-shirt (well, a lot of t-shirts).

      1. It is not benign, even if as a younger man you can do it, and as dad would say: “You’ll be walking around like an old football player by the time you reach 60.” But I’d rather have done than not, I can live with a few ache and pains, meant I lived and am still alive.

        Backpacking is adventure and often requires great physical effort, but, when “on patrol”…where someone maybe waiting to take you out…that adds a whole other level of mental and physical exertion and stress on top of being weighed down by a massive load. Everest (now a stupidly commercial enterprise) was/is typically heavy everything; huge basecamps, porters to carry tons of gear, 4-5 higher camps and all that gear,…on and on. And months on the mountain to catch “the weather window”. Reinhold Messner had an incredible physical capability to climb at altitude without oxygen, but he was smart…began the Alpine Ascent era that didn’t carry massive amounts of gear so he could move “fast”, whereas the big ascent approach is much slower. The amount of big mountaineering leaves massive amounts of detritus on the mountain…something that in war they can track you, another component not required to be thought of by weekend warriors. Maybe there will be a better way than having “our boys” carry such crushing loads…tech advanced in 40 years, maybe the next round will afford lighter loads to lower vulnerability.

  5. Soldier’s load.
    Hips, knees, and ankles aren’t made to carry, long term, the loads they now carry. A few years ago when visiting my son, the Medic, he had his “battle rattle” laid out on their bed. I picked it up and was shocked. Harking back to what we had circa 1960’s, it seemed double. He then pointed out his weapon and assorted accessories, ammo, and his Medic pack put his load over 100 lbs.

    He was strong, benched 250 lbs or so, but his joints were stressed by that load. An old ankle injury made worse by that weight lead to his medical discharge and 100% disability.

    I wonder if any of the REMFs sitting on their asses ever consider those boots on the ground?

    1. The standard ruck and loadout depend on operational requirements. If you’re in a base camp and “raiding,” it’s all ammo: NVGs, commo, and plates, with camelback hydration and maybe a few stripped-out MREs. If it’s a long duration (days), and you’re dismounted, you’re looking at 105+ pounds. Additionally, you put your shit in the MRE bags because you don’t want your adversaries or dogs to track you by following it. Yes, dogs can track you anyway, but leaving that sort of trail makes it easier in dry conditions.

      Larger formations tend to have resupply and are not dependent on carrying ALL they need. Special Operations Forces are more likely to be cut loose from those telltale support functions, meaning you only have what you bring. When you’ve expended it, you’re tango-uniform (Tits Up/Winchester), and you either scavenge from enemy forces or rely on your good luck to keep you from engaging the enemy.

      1. Sport backpacking/hunting is a lot like sport scuba. You get to pick where you walk, or what water you jump into. Military combat swimmer situations almost always are in polluted to heavily polluted water, harbor water, etc. where the visibility is 2′ if you’re lucky that the tide flushes it out. Some of what I’d like to explain may still be classified. Suffice it to say that I’ve hunted with a pack and backpacked, and in those situations, I can pick my own line. There are no area denial situations (mines, tripwires, enemy OPs) to concern yourself. You also pick the conditions under which you hunt or pack and can refine the load-out to meet your specific needs. Much more difficult to do in military missions.
        Sports divers, too, have a lot of latitude. They don’t jump into a swift current (knowingly) unless it’s a Palancar Reef drift dive. They usually don’t have to push through high surf (to land) and then back out through high surf carrying heavy and or bulky equipment. They don’t cast (jump from a moving boat or helicopter) or parachute into the water. It really is apples and oranges. I’ve done a lot of both in my life and sport is fun. You don’t need a compass board and you never swim in sewage/industrial waste.

        1. PS – Swimming back out to find the SDV or submarine is far more difficult than it would seem to be.

          1. is anyone writing stories/shorts (as far detailed as they’re permitted or not too boring) for the armchair readers? high schoolers looking to volunteer?

          2. Times have changed. Most of the people I know in special operations forces and special forces (green berets) are not content with their situations. Many are leaving and taking their job skills with them before retirement. There are still the young with stars in their eyes but that fades quickly.
            If you want to use the military to take you someplace (MD, DDS, lawyer, civil engineer) to get an education and experience in exchange for your time, it’s not a bad idea. Get the training and experience, draw the marrow from the system for your own use and then leave. I don’t trust the national command authority at all, but you might not trust your CEO either.

          3. Greatnephew out of parochial school, applied for Marines “eyes”, walked into Army recruiting next day.
            two years now, loving it, considering making it a career (Infantry)
            his grandfather and I had discussions over family dinners through the years: him trying to tell everyone I was crazy (no argument there): me trying to get through to him how much I loved my time in the AF (and how I felt I was “pushed out”)
            The kid tells me there were a lot of boys in his class who whould have joined but for extremely strong parental resistance; his father was not exactly happy, but proud, nonetheless, not so his grandpa who was a high school teacher in a liberal NY area.

  6. The “hat” response was hilarious!…yet True! I have a pile of ball caps and cowboy hats…depends on what I’m doing but mostly a ball cap.

    My “I Love Me” room (I’m stealing that…heh) is currently being built, I call it The Shop. (taking a hiatus today as it’s 26 degrees and frosty…which will kill off the early pests) Shop accoutrements include a woodstove, Keuring, mini fridge, and plenty of snacks (plus the MyPatriotSupply iff’n things go sidewayz). I figure I could camp out there for a while…maybe even get some work done…or not.

    1. The work room isn’t so much about getting things done as it is about it being YOUR ROOM, full of toxic masculine things. I have a few war trophies. Some good stuff like the crystal skull filled with expended .45 ACP cases that HogsbreathSS gave me recently, a statuette of Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, a billy club from the Royal Hong Kong Police from back when they existed, mugs from all over, and so forth. It’s not a gun room. Some would call it a junk room where I write. There are plaques from here and there, my US Naval commissioning document, photos of me in uniform, ribbons and medals, etc.

  7. Thanks for the history lesson on the soldier’s combat load-out through the ages. It’s one of those things I’ve wondered about, but as close as I’ve ever come to a load-out like that is my copy of FM 21-15.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

<p class="wantispam-comment-form-privacy-notice" style="margin-top:10px;">This site uses Antispam to reduce spam. <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Learn how your comment data is processed</a>.</p>
Scroll to top