The entire Imperium of man is protected primarily by billions of men and women who sacrifice themselves daily to protect the human race from destruction from countless xenos foes. At first glance, your standard Imperial Guardsman seems like one of the worse troops in the game. Cheap as chips you look at his stats and wonder why he is on the troops section of the Imperial Guard Codex, as he sure doesn't look capable of being a trooper.
Then you look at equipment! Behind this mask of ineffectiveness though is the backbone of the Imperial Guard: With their flak vest and lasgun they will cleanse the Imperium of its foe!
Equipment of a Foleran 1st Guardsman:
There are many thousands of regiments in service at any one time. Many have different organisations and equipment from others. Showcasing the equipment shown by a guardsman from every single regiment would take an eternity so this article will showcase the equipment used and worn by a standard IG guardsman. In this case, a member of the Foleran 1st (a regiment which utilises no unusual doctrines):
Backpack - Used to carry all manner of supplies, be it food, drinking cans, ammunition, information (such as the infantryman's uplifting primer) or battlefield medical kits. It is also used to hide battlefield trophies from the prying eyes of officers and commissars.
Shovel - Used for digging foxholes or trench systems. Has also been known to be used as a close combat weapon in dire circumstances (which is why there is a serrated edge). It is usually strapped to the back of the backpack when not in use.
sample guardsman using shovel as a weapon
Grenades - Small explosives used to either piece armour of battle tanks or flush out the enemy while assaulting a building. Some grenades, such as signal flares, and smoke grenades also provide valuable, if less than lethal, functions. Grenades strapped on the backpack in this way are frowned upon by both officers and commissars due to accidental detonation.
Camping mattress - Roll-out mat used by Guardsman when it's time to have some shut-eye. Protects user from the ground. Can also double up as a weapon due to shortages in a pillow fight.
Equipment belt - Used to, you guessed it, carry equipment. Be it grenades or power packs, anything small enough goes in here. Canteens full of water, or contraband alcohol, can also be strapped onto this belt as well as small medical kits though these usually have their own separate backpack.
sample guardsman with equipment belt shown
Army boots - The boots that the Imperial Guard use are simple but do the job well. They are shin height and so protect the wearer from ankle injury and double up as shin guards as well to counter the antics of the underhand opponent in close combat. They are excellent for marching also as they are sturdy and very strong. Full line hits retail soon!
Combat fatigues - The army fatigues are the standard uniform for this particular regiment and are used to identify friend from foe, and also to keep the soldier warm and protected from the surrounding environment. Commonly camouflaged to help keeping soldiers alive this trooper is wearing the standard fatigues used in temperate zones. In some regiments, fatigues also act as parade uniforms. In this regiment, they serve both purposes.
Bayonet sheave - Used to keep the bayonet safe until it needs to be clipped onto the end of the lasgun or used for a different purpose, for example cutting hair or opening tins. In an emergency, the sheave will also double as a fork and spoon holder.
Lasgun - The standard weapon of the Guardsman since M32. Before said date the autogun was utilised. Firing a laser of red light it is known to be powerful enough to sever the limb of an unarmoured human. The weapon uses a rechargeable power pack much like a magazine used in other rifles such as bolt guns. This power pack can be recharged in a fire (though this may shorten the packs life) or exposing them to direct sunlight. Since they utilise laser technology they can be overcharged to fire a more powerful shot. Though this method shortens the amount shots per pack considerably. Though the lasgun isn't the strongest weapon it is the most reliable and requires very little maintenance.
sample guardsman with lasgun
Bayonet - When clipped onto the end of the lasgun it is used to lunge and prod in a similar fashion to fencing, though with two hands. Used as a (very) short spear against mounted foes. When used as an ordinary combat knife it is used to stab and tear, when the sometimes serrated edged can do the most harm to the opponent. Similar to the gladius used by Roman Legionaries (M1).
Flak armour - Used to protect the guardsman's body against enemy attacks, primarily grenade blasts for which this type of armour is based on protecting the wearer from.
Binoculars - While not standard issue to regular Guardsmen it is in the diagram picture so I can't exactly leave it out can I? Used by spotters when sniper rifles, heavy weapons or artillery are in use to help find targets. Can have a variety of upgrades such as night vision.
Flak helmet - Used to protect the wearer in the same was as flak body armour, but protects the head only. Useful against snipers who favour headshots. Absence of a helmet can also denote who's the boss.