American Web Equipment 1967-1991
From the beginning of the twentieth century, United States military individual load-carrying equipments were fabricated mainly of cotton duck and cotton webbing. Throughout the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Korean War, cotton-based load-carrying equipments served the infantryman with little change in their design and construction. In 1954 a new load-carrying system was developed to meet the needs of the infantryman on the perceived battlefields of the Cold War. At the onset of the Vietnam War it was clear that this new cotton-based webbing system was not acceptable for use in the humid environment of the jungles of Southeast Asia. The answer to the problems plaguing cotton load-carrying equipments came in the form of nylon. Nylon equipment was found to be more durable, lighter and dried quicker than the standardized cotton equipment. As the Vietnam War ground down nylon web equipment was proving to be the answer to other load-carrying problems that had arisen during the course of the war. In 1973 an all-nylon load-carrying equipment system was standardized replacing all cotton-based load-carrying equipments in service at the time. Since 1973 all load-carrying equipments have been fabricated utilizing nylon and, in effect, closed the history book on cotton-based equipments. In this book, C A Monroe and Craig Pickrall describe and illustrate the personal equipment of the US Army soldier throughout the period, and show how it has developed to meet changing operational needs.