One Veteran's Voice

31 March 2006

Army Bans Personal Armor

Nearly every soldier who’s served in a combat zone has purchased personal gear. Sometimes it’s because of a complete lack of equipment. Other times it’s because the purchased gear is superior to the Government Issue. GPS units, laser pistol grips, hydration packs, sand and sun goggles, scopes, gloves, body armor, belts, flashlights, binoculars, and even underwear for example. (Nobody wears those “brownie-tighties,” nobody.) At one point, the military reimbursed soldiers for personal body armor purchases in order to cover for the inability to provide the need Interceptor vests.

But now, according to Lolita C. Baldor (Associated Press), the Army will no longer reimburse soldiers for the personal armor purchases AND soldiers an not allowed to wear privately purchased armor like the Dragon Skin protective vest made by Pinnacle Armor. The Army claims that vests like Dragon Skin do not meet Army standards, are untested, and should not be purchased by the troops. (See the article here or in most major news papers.)

Many purchases were likely made while the Army was unable to proved complete sets Interceptor gear, including the TWO ceramic plates worn in the front and back. Many soldiers purchased personal armor to replace the 70’s style flack vest that was never designed to stop 7.62 rounds. On a personal note: this soldier never had a complete Interceptor set. I started with the flack vest. Then I was issued the Interceptor without plates. Then I received one plate. I could protect the front or the back, but never both at the same time.

3 Other Voices:

AngryVeteran said...

Nice post, good blog.

I certainly hope the ban is only enforced when they have a full set of GI armor ready to hand out.

But really, what I think, is this is a way for DoD to get around the law requiring them to reimburse for personal armor purchases.

3/31/2006 05:43:11 PM  
missyfitz said...

That is absolutely insane. POTUS is a great example of the MOST out of touch president EVER.

4/01/2006 12:46:39 PM  
One Veteran said...

The problem as I see it is that the Interceptor vest (made by DHB Industries, run by the same war profiteer who spent 10mil on a party and is now under investigation by the SEC) has been plagued with quality control issues, and that the free market system suggests soldiers believe they can get better value elsewhere. From what I've read the government feels the same thing; I don't think they are going to renew the contract with DHB. So yeah, the government doesn't want to pay for two sets of body armor for each soldier, one set that the government is stuck with and the newer, lighter, more comfortable, just as protective models that are out there on the market.

4/01/2006 12:56:52 PM  

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