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101st Airborne ladies to get new female-sized body armor

September 19, 2012

 

Spec. Arielle Mailloux gets some help adjusting her protoype Generation III Improved Outer Tactical Vest from Capt. Lindsey Pawlowski, Aug. 21, 2012. Both soldiers are with the 1st Brigade Combat Team Female Engagement Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). These prototypes designed specifically for the needs of female soldiers, with shorter torso length and other improvements, are being fielded at Fort Campbell, Ky., for the next few weeks.
Army photograph Megan Locke Simpson.

 

Good news!

The military has figured out girls are shaped differently from boys!

And now they will get armor to better fit their torsos!

101st Airborne Division female soldiers first to test prototype body armor

(Aero Tech News) …While advances in female Army Combat Uniforms are already available, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) first suggested changes be made to Improved Outer Tactical Vests, or IOTVs, for women in 2009.

These IOTVs hold a soldier’s body armor plates. Much of the need for specific changes comes from the fit of the IOTVs on women, who are generally shorter and curvier than their male counterparts.

Spec. Gilliann Campbell, a Female Engagement team soldier with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), is strapped into her prototype Generation III Improved Outer Tactical Vest with help from PM Soldier Protective Equipment Project Engineer Deana Archambault, Aug. 21, 2012, at Fort Campbell, Ky. Campbell is one of 19 female soldiers from the 101st to participate in the field.
Army photograph Megan Locke Simpson.

“They ride up on the female’s hips, and it’s very hard for us to move,” said Spec. Arielle Mailloux, with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). “During PT we’ll have to wear it and then go running, and it gives bruises on our hips.”

As a result of the suggestions of the 101st, officials from the Project Manager Soldier Protective Equipment Office and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center came together to design a better-equipped vest for women.

With more women from the 101st Airborne Division scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan later this year, Mailloux expects the redesigned IOTV would help these soldiers perform their jobs better – especially in the case of Female Engagement Team members like herself.

“We’ll pretty much be going out with the infantry guys,” Mailloux said. “We’ve got to sell ourselves to them, and tell them that we can do the work and that we can keep up. We’ll be talking to the Afghan populace. You always have to have your feet on the ground. And the comfort of the IOTV is very important when we’re sitting down, either that or we have to sit crisscross and it’s really uncomfortable.”

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