We tested U.S. Army's new body armor for female soldiers

Kaylah Jackson
October 03, 2018 - 10:26 am

If you are woman veteran, chances are you remember getting issued your body armor. Your supply sergeant probably asked you "hey, what size are you?" You had no idea how to answer that question so you figured you're better to get something too large than too small so you said "medium." Except a medium is not what you were handed. Chances are you probably received a men's small or medium.

Then you found yourself in training or overseas, huffing and puffing because your body armor was too large. It pushed down against your chest and you couldn't breathe. It dug into your hips and arms, making it hard to lay in the prone. You had a few bumps and bruises from it fitting the wrong way, not to mention how it butted up against your sock bun in your kevlar. You felt like a turtle in a shell that was too large.

As combat roles for women expand and technology move forward, the Army is responding to its soldier's feedback. The biggest branch of the military is working to tailor its body armor and other pieces of gear for female soldiers so they can perform missions effectively and without discomfort. I took a trip to see LTC Ginger L. Whitehead, part of the team at Soldier Protective Equipment, within Program Executive Office Soldier, to try on the body armor for myself and see how the U.S. Army is making changes to its protective equipment because after all, it is supposed to protect you. 

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