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Today's Army soldier gear (pictures)

Updated for 2014, the modern soldier carries a range of state-of-the-art communications gear, personal protection, and powerful weapons into combat.

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Daniel Terdiman
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GPS locator

A combination GPS locator and pedometer dead-reckoning system, this uses five Earth-orbiting satellites to determine where a soldier is, either in relation to his or her unit or mission objective.

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Body armor

Called an improved outer tactical vest, or IOTV, the Army says this body armor is 3 pounds lighter -- offering more mobility -- and more protective than earlier armor.

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Radio system

Soldiers carry a multi-band intra- and inter-team radio which allows them to communicate with their units, and with command. The communication system can send and receive battlefield imagery, topographical maps, and command and control information, according to the Army.

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M9 pistol

The M9 pistol is a semi-automatic double-action gun that hold 15 rounds.

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M4 carbine

The soldier's rifle is the M4 carbine, which can fire in semi-automatic or 3-round burst mode. It can hold an optional grenade launcher, and soldiers can also mount a laser range finder on it, complete with digital compass, which allows them to find the range and direction of a target.

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Hydration system

Soldiers carry a traditional canteen, as well as this hydration system.

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Night-vision goggles

Today's Army soldier still wears a helmet, boots, and carries a rifle, but the comparisons to a D-Day soldier pretty much end there.

Mounted on their helmets, for example, today's soldiers wear night-vision goggles, which would make a nearby comrade look like this.

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Ballistic eye protection

Soldiers wear these glasses, formally known as ballistic eye protection, because "vision ready is mission ready," the Army says.

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MOLLE

Known as MOLLE, or modular lightweight load-carrying equipment system, this rucksack and vest combination can hold just about everything a soldier needs in combat, from food, to a GPS locator to a first-aid kit, ballistic eye protection, and more. "You can never have too many pouches," the Army says.

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Combat helmet

This is the soldier's helmet, sometimes called the "clay beret," according to the Army.

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