When the first body armor was ever issued, it was sent to some of the outfits in Korea (Wpns Cn, 2nd Bn, 5th Marines) was on the list of the first to try it out. They were in the mountains, in the summer, and most of their movements were on foot. After only a few days no one was wearing the heavy, hot vests even though the brass wanted us too. I am sure today's technology has improved greatly but I see the Marine has not changed his practical approach to solving problems in combat.
The armor is good, even by today's standards, but it's still not light enough. Average Marines or GI carries about 70 lbs of gear. No one wants an addition twenty five pounds of armor on, especially when doing foot patrols from sector A to b. Right now, light armor is only good against turning small caliber rounds. Soldiers and Marines are faced with armor defeating calibers like 7.62x39 and well you know the list.
Marines Iraq turned down the armor because it was too heavy, and you need some thick plating to turn heavy calibers. I mean my father was in the Army Rangers and he said those damn plates they carried weighed like bricks. So the technology still has to step up a notch. I am sure they will come up with something.
The Army no longer wants to reimburse for personally purchased body armor. As a Vet with over 1500 hours of flying as a “gunner" as part of a pink team I tell you now. The M16 was crap and the M60 not much better. I purchased an M3 grease gun and used it for backup, not an M16. That old piece of crap saved a few lives in the year I had it. Most of our LOH pilots carried a 45, not the 38 they were issued.
I had 1 that I purchased for myself, had to use it on occasion, never failed to knock down what it hit (did not hang around long enough to check bodies) The REMFs at many bases could not understand our liking for older weapons, but they never put it on the line, either. If someone wants a better weapon or armor so be it. It is time to pass laws stating that ex military types cannot be hired by defense contractors or forfeit pensions and benefits. In about 10 years we would have the absolute world's best. However, I have been studying ballistics and armor for a long time and have two patents pending on nxtgen armor.
Anyways, I know someone from a company that makes body armor now for several years, and he is a man of his word. I have spoken personally to several security contractors whom wear it, like it. And saw, and talked on the phone to one person that was hit in the sandbox with it on. Dragon Skin Armor is a great idea. My personal opinion, is that its just too expensive.
That is just too much for someone to go out and buy if they only want to use it for a little while. Well, based on how they are made, that's the deal. In case you are not following me, I'm talking about the SOV Vest. There are people out here with ideas and ways to keep safe the people whom go into harms way on our behalf, I personally, have devoted the rest of my life, after working in private/contractor type security overseas from Africa to S. America to make this a reality.
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.WarGear.info . WarGear.info carries the best selection of military clothing , war gear, and combat accessories on the market.