An Army Magazine article from 1956 was circulating on Twitter recently, and it predicted what the soldier of the future would look like.
In many ways, it was surprisingly accurate.
The author, Lt. Col. Robert R. Rigg, prophesized that these advancements — from night vision goggles, to helicopter warfare, to drone strikes — would come after 1974. While he was technically correct, many came later than he foresaw.
Here are 10 pieces of gear the "soldier of the future" has, right now.
Radios that offer constant communication with fellow soldiers.
"The FutureArmy soldier ... will gain independence and action from an ultra-small radio transmitter and receiver," Rigg wrote. "This transceiver will ... place the individual soldier in communication with all other members of his fighting team."
Most radios aren't built into helmets, but many soldiers are in constant communication with their squad mates through the use of intra-squad radios. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, are typically carrying around small, lightweight radios that offer secure communications.
Some, like special operations forces, use throat microphones (as the magazine also predicted) that transmit when the operator speaks.
Night vision goggles that help troops own the night.
"The soldier will be able to ... change darkness into day with one flick of a wrist on the infrared dial and switch."
Night vision was developed in the 1940s, but was not fielded in goggle form until 1977.
Night optical/observation devices, or NODs as soldiers call them, are standard issue for most troops in the field these days. However, even Rigg couldn't predict the rise of even better gear, such as thermal devices that can pick up on the human body's heat signature.
Automatic carbine rifles to give troops more firepower against the AK-47.
"The individual weapon of the Futurarmy soldier will be an automatic carbine which will replace at least four of today's weapons: the M1 rifle, the carbine, the AR, and the submachine gun."
The automatic carbine, known as the M16, was first put into service in 1964, and was standard issue by 1969 — five years before Rigg predicted. Though the M16A1 gave soldiers in Vietnam plenty of problems, it's been continuously updated and improved.
Many soldiers and Marines carry the M4 carbine — a shorter and lighter version of the M-16 — though most are no longer fully-automatic.
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Credit: Special Operations Command