Modular Tactical Vest Assembly Instructions

Modular Tactical Vests (MTVs) are used primarily by the U.S. Marine Corps for body armor. The MTVs protect the wearer from ballistic threats including bullets, explosives and shrapnel by utilizing multiple armor types. The two armor types are Small Arms Protective Inserts (SAPI) and Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPI). The armor layers are comprised of Kevlar, Twaron, SpectraShield, ceramic cores and ballistic fiber. Proper assembly of MTVs is required for proper protection.


1. Place the cummerbund face down with all three tabs facing each other and place the three hole adapter over the tabs. Weave the cable through all three holes.

2. Thread the quick release table through the grommets, and select the final grommet based on where you want the quick release cable to be located. The quick release cable will terminate on the left or right side of the top or bottom of the MTV; choose the most convenient spot for you. Now lace the bungee cord through the cummerbund and the three hole adapter.

3. Insert all hard armor plates into their respective pockets, ensuring that the soft side is facing inwards. The hard armor plates will go in the outside pockets. Close all cummerbund tabs over the pocket inserts and attach hip pads if desired.

4. Place all soft armor inserts in their respective inner pockets, connect all shoulder buckles, then insert the front and back ESAPI plates into the upper exterior pockets. Now put the MTV on and have another individual adjust the shoulders using the Velcro straps.

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5. Connect the cummerbund to the MTV straps, connecting all straps. Ensure that the cummerbund is right-side-up and close all flaps. Adjust the bungee cord to ensure a snug fit and cut off all but 4-6 inches of the bungee cord.

6. Place the collar assembly over your head, ensuring that it is centered and flat. Affix it to the MTV using the upper tabs, then attach the throat protector. Inspect the fit of the MTV, checking for gaps in areas that should be protected. Adjust the bungee cords and Velcro placements to ensure a tight, proper fit.