VonSteuben Training Sends: Mike’s Jäger Kit Part 2: Chest rig

Gear does nothing for you if you don’t have training to know how to use it.  Check out the training schedule for new course offerings over the next few months.

Yesterday, I discussed my belt setup.  Whereas my belt rig contains all of my “rifleman’s essentials,” my chest rig is set up to further augment my skills in a fight with additional tools of the trade.  I mentioned yesterday that I have multiple chest rigs for my different rifles, and a plate carrier for when I want to wear armor.  All of these chest rigs and my plate carrier are set up essentially the same way, with the same tools in the same places.  This way I keep a fair amount of adaptability in my kit while maintaining enough consistency to always know where something is when I need it.

From Left to Right: CAT tourniquet, EG-18X smoke grenade, 3x rifle magazines, Baofeng UV-9R, and lensatic compass

This chest rig is a Chicom type 56.  It is slightly different from the classic type 81 in that it has only 3 magazine pouches but 4 grenade pouches (compared to 4 mags and 2 grenades on the type 81).  Those of you who were with me at the last scout course may remember that it was still the original solid dark green at that time.  It stuck out so much that I stopped wearing it, and painted it camouflage almost immediately after getting home.

The smoke grenade is an EG-18X made by Enola Gaye.  Later, I’ll make an entire article about employment of smoke grenades.  For now, know that these things put out the same amount of smoke as military smoke grenades, and if anything they do it faster.  I cover them in duct tape to neutralize the color and protect them from water.  This works as long as you don’t cover the hole on top.  Note that the pouch had to be modified to fit the smoke grenade.

On my left side (picture right), I have my Baofeng UV-9R.  I prefer this model to the UV-5R for several reasons, but mainly for the fact that is is IP67 waterproof, and thus has a much more solid PTT connector that screws into place.  My lovely wife modified the pouch so that it would fit.  The radio is also dummy corded to the strap just in case.  The headset I use is a Bowman style headset, which fits over a hat or under a helmet quite nicely.

Lastly, I have a simple lensatic compass in the fourth grenade pouch.  It is dummy corded to a strap so I don’t lose it.  I am looking into the possibility of adding a small map pouch behind the rifle magazines so I can stop putting my map and protractor in a cargo pocket.

I have the straps adjusted so that the chest rig sits high enough not to interfere with anything on my belt


The chest rig, as I use it, is a good supplement to the rifleman’s essentials that I keep on my belt.  Where the belt enables me to get into the fight, the chest rig provides me with additional tools for the battle and extra ammunition to keep me in the fight longer.  I have tested this system many times in many contexts and it works well for me.  If you would like to test your gear, come out to a class and get sweaty in it.  While you’re at it, come test yourself as well by participating in the Force-on-Force Lab next month.

I hope this was useful to someone.  Next time I will dive into my pack, and how I use it to sustain myself during extended operations.

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

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