According to the National Defence Industrial Association – an American organisation which promotes national security interests – the average solider will need to carry approximately 130 pounds worth of equipment in order to successfully complete a three-day-long mission in Afghanistan.
This gear, which includes items such as food, water and ammunition, is often essential to survive the country's harsh climate. Yet, although some equipment can be made lighter, little can be done to make items such as water easier to carry.
Transporting 130 pounds of equipment through the desert can have a number of negative consequences. For example, according to the National Research Council, "excessive soldier loads degrade not only manoeuvrability of both individual soldiers and units but also their resilience, survivability and effectiveness".
The organisation, which partially aims to improve government decision-making in the United States, adds that, if a solider transports a heavy load and needs to make rapid movements such as jogging or sprinting, this gear could increase their chances of suffering personal injury.
Sadly, the results of a study published in 2010 suggest that excessive amounts of equipment could be responsible for many military injuries within the United States army.
Published in The Lancet (a medical journal), the researchers looked at a selection of American soldiers treated at a military hospital between 2004 and 2007. After coming to their findings, it was revealed that just 14% of the patients had been admitted due to wounds sustained in combat.
Instead, almost 25% of the soldiers were receiving treatment for ailments such as back, joint and muscle pain. In fact, this was the most common type of military injury at this particular hospital.
Following these results, the researchers urged the United States Department of Defence to examine the amount of gear which soldiers regularly carry. Yet, although military officers have attempted to reduce weight by making items such as sleeping bags, flashlights and tripods lighter, it seems personnel will continue to transport substantial loads around the battlefield.
Claiming for a musculoskeletal disorder with Seth Lovis & Co
Although this research centres on American personnel, members of the British armed forces also need to contend with the same problem. Therefore, if you have developed a musculoskeletal disorder due to carrying excessive amounts of equipment, you may be entitled to receive military accident compensation through one of our army claim solicitors.
Following a successful case, you could receive damages to recover any lost earnings as well as fund treatment costs. Please complete an online enquiry form to find out more, or call 0370 218 4025 today to speak to a member of our experienced team.