Pentagon Channel reports that the Army has unveiled a new line of body armor designed specifically for female soldiers.
These improved outer tactical vests (IOTV) are virtually identical to the counterparts that male soldiers would wear, but these are fitted for the female form to make them more comfortable and effective.
That’s great news, but it’s a little bit surprising that this hasn’t come out sooner. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a piece of body armor that comfortably fits a male probably wouldn’t comfortably fit a female. Still, better late than never!
The female IOTVs feature the following improvements:
- Narrower shoulders to create a snug fit.
- Greater adjustability on the shoulder straps.
- A shoulder design that will allow women to more comfortably place rifles butts snugly against their shoulders.
- Different cuts in the chest area to accommodate differences in body shape, complete with darting (folds included in the fabric that create a three-dimensional shape, common on brassieres or blouses).
- Narrower waist to prevent shifting.
- Increased adjustability at the waist.
- An overall shorter cut to enhance mobility.
- 8 different sizes to achieve a comfortable fit.
What’s important to note is that just because these are smaller, that doesn’t mean that they’re worse in anyway. Lt Col. Frank Lozano explained, “We haven’t reduced area of coverage, so the female vest is just as vital and critical and as protective as the male vest, it’s just more fitted adequately for the female form.”
A few lucky female soldiers can look forward to getting the improved body armor by fall, and the Army expects to achieve full fielding next summer. Hopefully, camo fashion will be “in” by then.