Recently, the Army and the Marine Corps developed a
replacement for the Unit One, called the "MOLLE Medic Bag." MOLLE is
an acronym for "Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment" and is
often referred to as the "Mike Bag."
MOLLE (Mike) Bag, Surgical Instrument Set and Morphine
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The MOLLE Medic Bag system consists of a
backpack, with a
left detachable internal pockets, an
IV Bandoleer, and
8 external pouches. Four of the pouches can attach to the
backpack and 4 attach to the MOLLE vest.
The three great strengths of the MOLLE Medic Bag are:
Increased Capacity - May be configured for up to 1576
Increased Capability - Supplies for more advanced
levels of care.
Increased Flexibility - May be configured for specific
The three great challenges of the MOLLE Medic Bag are:
Increased Capacity - When configured for the full 1576
cubic inches, the MOLLE Medic Bag weighs about 27 pounds. This can
limit the mobility and endurance of the corpsman/medic, particularly
in hot weather.
Increased Capability - Not all standard medical
supplies are appropriate for all levels of corpsmen and medics.
Increased Flexibility - Command guidance is necessary
prior to each mission to assure appropriate bag configuration and
quantities of medical supplies.
While there are nearly limitless ways of configuring the
MOLLE Medic Bag, one standard configuration involves identifying three
basic mission profiles: LIGHT, MEDIUM, AND HEAVY.
LIGHT MISSIONS (Vest
1-3 days duration
Light or no casualties expected
MEDEVAC readily available with fast response
Resupply readily available
Lightest Load (about 8 pounds)
Modest Medical Capability
MEDIUM MISSIONS (Vest
4-14 days duration
Up to moderate casualties expected
MEDEVAC availability more limited
Resupply more limited
Medium Load (about 18 pounds)
Moderate Medical Capability (IV's, Diagnostics)
HEAVY MISSIONS (Vest
>14 days duration
Up to heavy casualties expected
MEDEVAC availability limited or periodically
Resupply limited or unpredictable
Heavy Load (about 26 pounds)
Greatest Medical Capability (IV's, Diagnostics,
Quantity of supplies)
Using this model, the medical commander would first
determine the basic mission profile, then add additional components or
remove components from the basic load. For example, the MEDIUM MISSION
LOAD weighs about 18 pounds, but could be 3 pounds lighter if IV
capability is not needed at the corpsman/medic level.
HM1 (SW/FMF) LeRoy
Field Medical Service School
MCB, Camp Pendelton, CA
7 Feb 2000