Infantry: Speed Is Bulletproof

Archives

June 23, 2008:  The U.S. Army is testing new body armor that will offer protection against armor piercing rifle ammunition. In addition to testing the protective vest against actual rifle fire, the army is also trying to determine how much the additional few pounds of weight would impact troop performance. For several years now, soldiers and marines have been complaining that new armor was often counter-productive. Although the new armor offered better protection, it also was heavier and bulkier, thus inducing fatigue and hindering mobility. This often led to battlefield situations where a less tired, and more agile, infantryman could have avoided injury. Military and political leaders usually do not appreciate this angle. But the troops do, as it is a matter of life and death for them.

 

Senior commanders are under a lot of pressure to keep friendly casualties down, so they tend to insist that the troops wear all their armor all the time.  Despite this, some subordinate commanders look the other way when troops shed their armor temporarily to get some needed speed. The new protective vests have a quick release feature, that makes it easier to get the vest off, and back on again.

 

Many soldiers and marines point out that the SOCOM operators (Special Forces and SEALs) will sometimes go into action without their protective vests. Again, that is done because completion of the mission is more important than covering your ass when a reporter goes after you for "unnecessary casualties."

 

Many of the troops are willing to take the risk, because they believe, for example,  that taking down a sniper when you have the chance, is worth it. If you don't catch the guy, he will be back in action the next day, killing Americans.

 

 


Article Archive

Infantry: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
30

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 30 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close