In today’s ever changing world, people who serve in the United States military face extreme danger. Danger is eminent for both men and women when deployed abroad. For women the threat is even more apparent because protective vests were designed for a man’s body. Over a decade into the war against the Taliban, women’s protective gear is finally being developed. Some think perhaps a little too late, considering women have been deployed since the very start of the war.
The major issue women faced with the standard issued protective body armor was the fact that they had breasts and hips. Women’s bodies are often much smaller than their male counterparts. The issues gear would often weigh them down and inhibit body movement. When someone is in the field body movement is the most important function a solder has. “Sgt. Bobbie Crawford, who is 5 feet 6 inches and weighs just over 100 pounds, said she struggled to maneuver wearing body armor when she served in Afghanistan in 2010 as part of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.” Gear designed for men made it hard for women to get in and out of patrol vehicles, use their weapons, and even simple movements like crouch down. Crawford said, “It rubbed on my hips and limited my mobility…You definitely had to find a lot of workarounds, you had to learn to become creative.” How is that fair for women, having to alter either their bodies or gear to make it work. A temporary fix does not solve the problem. In 2012 there was new hard armor plate and soft armor being designed for women, however now in 2013, very little has been resolved.
Woman being allowed in combat is a fairly new occurrence. Women were typically banned fro...
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...re are soft armor and specialized vests being tested for women, but that’s not enough. Women need the same protection men have. Hard armor plates designed for a woman’s body is the only way. It is estimated by 2025, the army will be comprised of women. These women will be facing a much higher risk as they are now beginning to expand into combat ready positions. It seems very foolish of the government to allow these women to take greater dangers when there is not even proper protective gear for them. “Our female soldiers should be provided the same level of protection as their male counterparts and the 2013 NDAA language for the first time directs the development of gender-specific body armor to ensure that this life saving technology properly fits and protects all of our service members.” The concern is not only for comfort, but the ultimate safety of our soldiers.
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