I see the body armor issue has come up again.
On CNN the other day, I saw a story that said a study faulted the armor Soldiers and Marines were wearing. This study went on to say that more armor should be provided to cover more of the torso.
I shudder at the thought. You can only add on so much armor before it becomes a hinderance instead of a help. With the body armor we have now, I know it slowed me down quite a bit. So do you add on more armor to protect you against hits and in doing so, slow you down and fatigue you so you're likely to get hit more often (as well as suffer heat casualties)? Or do you keep it light and manuverable?
The armor I wore was a big improvement over any other armor I've seen before. But it was still hot, heavy, and contributed to heat and fatigue casualties. So what's better? Losing one man to a gun shot wound or losing five to heat stroke?
In response to all the IEDs, shoulder guards were being handed out. While it wasn't too heavy, it did restrict your arm movements and made the suit even hotter since it cut off air flow around your arm pits. Most guys joked about wearing all that extra armor; sure your torso was well protected in the event of an IED...you had no head or arms but you had an intact torso to send home for burial.
A Quote from the article:
Second Lt. Josh Suthoff, 23, of Jefferson City, Mo., said he already sacrifices enough movement when he wears the equipment. More armor would only increase his chances of getting killed, he said.
"You can slap body armor on all you want, but it's not going to help anything. When it's your time, it's your time," said Suthoff, a platoon leader in the brigade's 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment. "I'd go out with less body armor if I could."