VonSteuben Training Sends: Mike’s Jäger Kit Part 1: Belt and Uniform

I still have spots for the Force-on-Force Lab on March 26-27.  Email me to sign up!

Yesterday, I posted an article about training paradigms.  The goal of that article was to get you to think critically when considering anyone’s advice about training or gear.  I want you to keep that in mind as we go through this series on my gear.  My training paradigm is that of a light infantryman operating unsupported in guerrilla-style warfare against a large conventional force, and doing so without resupply for up to a week or two.  My kit is set up specifically to support that paradigm, so consider that before copying anything from my loadout.  Also, this is the gear I was running at the Scout Course for those of you asking.


My base layer consists of BDU-style trousers and a camouflage smock over a light shirt.  Lets start with the trousers.

I use Flektarn because it works well in my AO

My left cargo pocket always contains a flashlight of some sort, normally a mini moonbeam with multiple lenses for signalling.  If I am operating during the cold months, I keep my beanie in there as well.  My right cargo pocket is reserved for chow.  I don’t take time to sit down and eat whole meals in the field, I spread it out during the day.  This is to ensure that, as a light infantry unit, we don’t need to interrupt our operational tempo for chow, nor do we need to lessen our security posture so that half of the unit can eat at once.

My left hip pocket contains a knife, either a multi-tool or a small folding blade.  My right hip pocket is where I keep the napkin rolls from my MREs to use as toilet paper (you gotta consider everything when it comes to field logistics).

This is a replica of a WWII German smock.  This pattern is called “Sumpfmuster 44” which means swamp camouflage (sometimes referred to as “Tan and Water”).  It’s incredibly effective here in the Carolinas.

I don’t keep anything in chest pockets because I normally wear a chest rig, and can’t access them.  I do want to note that I use a quarterback’s playbook on my left arm for radio smartpacks.  I started doing this as a field radio operator in the Marine Corps.  This is where I keep useful data such as a mini-CEOI and combat report formats.  It’s very convenient, and if I go down it is easy for my teammates to find and slide off of my arm to either use or destroy it.

Belt Rig

The equipment I carry on my belt is meant to be my “rifleman’s essentials.”  I set it up in a way that, absent the rest of my kit, I can throw on my belt and get into the fight.  The belt itself is a surplus USMC “sub belt” with three rows of MOLLE.  From left to right: Two rifle magazines, dump pouch, MOLLE buttpack, IFAK, STANO gear, tourniquet pouch.  The magazine pouches are simple Condor double AR pouches that I use as hold-anything pouches.  They can hold 4 AR mags, 2 AK mags, or 2 battle-rifle mags comfortably, so I don’t need to swap pouches out when switching weapons.

My buttpack contains my “FRAGO kit,” and contains everything I need to exist in the field for one day (I must admit, this was inspired by Badlands Rifleman’s article on the topic).  From top to bottom and left to right, the buttpack contains: Ka-Bar fighting knife, USGI poncho, Sawyer Mini Water filter, red lens headlamp, binoculars, extra batteries for all my gear, and a rifle cleaning kit.  Not pictured is the one field-stripped MRE that I always keep in there as well.

My IFAK has MOLLE webbing on the outside, which hold three red chemlights (our group SOP for marking casualties, CCPs, and CASEVAC pickups at night).  The STANO pouch is a surplus RCO pouch, which is padded and big enough to fit my PVS-14 with attached J-arm, and my FLIR Breach.  Finally, one CAT tourniquet on the far right.  The TQ pouch is inverted because I don’t want it getting hung up on body armor when I’m pulling it out.


I set up my belt the way it is to facilitate modularity in my gear.  I have a couple of different rifles that I can run depending on the mission, and each one has an accompanying chest rig or plate carrier already set up for it.  By having most of my rifleman’s essentials on the belt, I ensure that I never need to move pouches around.  I just grab it and the appropriate chest rig or plate carrier and I’m ready to go.  Part II will cover what I put in the chest rig and how I set it up.

If you have questions, ask away in the comments.  If you want to practice using your gear in the context of a squad of riflemen, come to the Force-on-Force Lab on March 26-27.  I promise you will leave with a new approach to your gear and your training.

Published by vonsteubentraining

Mike is the owner and chief instructor of Von Steuben Training & Consulting (VSTAC). A self-described “Tactical Scholar,” he spent 6 years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator and small-unit tactics instructor. He has dedicated his life to honing the tactical prowess of himself and his fellow patriots, guided by the wisdom of his commanding officer, Jesus Christ. He can be contacted via email at vonsteubentraining@protonmail.com

4 thoughts on “VonSteuben Training Sends: Mike’s Jäger Kit Part 1: Belt and Uniform

  1. Hey, based off of your belt setup I think you’d really like the LFR (Light Fighter Rig) made by Nixieworks. It’s rather similar to what you’ve got going.


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