Marines Improving Vests After Complaints

Troops complained 30 lbs. vest too heavy, restrictive

By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 3, 2009 6:12 PM CST

(Newser) – The Marine Corps is planning major improvements to its body armor after troops complained the $100 million vests were too heavy and restrictive, the AP reports. “I've worn the vest on my travels into Iraq and Afghanistan, and I can tell you those Marines have raised some valid points,” the Corps' commandant said. The modifications will improve comfort, mobility, and safety.

The Corps hasn’t faced the Army’s infamous equipment shortages, but it has struggled to innovate in the midst of ever-changing warfare conditions. The 30-pound Modular Tactical Vest is effective, but some Marines—who already lug 90 pounds of gear—loosen its straps to better shoulder their weapons and thus expose their torsos. Risking danger for the sake of comfort is “wholly unacceptable,” the commandant added.

The Marine Corps has ordered major modifications to its body armor to improve comfort, mobility and safety.
The Marine Corps has ordered major modifications to its body armor to improve comfort, mobility and safety.   (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
Designers conceive and create custom uniforms, body armor and other specialized gear for the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies.
Designers conceive and create custom uniforms, body armor and other specialized gear for the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
General James T. Conway, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, temporarily suspended an order for more than 20,000 of the so-called Modular Tactical Vests early last year.
General James T. Conway, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, temporarily suspended an order for more than 20,000 of the so-called Modular Tactical Vests early last year.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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More on the design of the flak vest.   (YouTube)

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