(FORT CAMPBELL, Ky.) — Female soldiers from Fort Campbell set to deploy to Afghanistan will be the first to test-out new vests that are said to be “shorter and better tailored” to fit women’s physiques.
As members of a female engagement team from the 101st Airborne Division, they’ll be directly interacting with Afghan women during their upcoming deployment and have been equipped with female-specific prototypes of the newest generation of Army tactical vests.
Long plates inside the current vests can rub against women’s hips and cut into their thighs as they sit down, according to Maj. Joel Dillon, the assistant product manager for the Army, who’s been working on the vests.
The need for better-fitting armor became clear as women in the Army have been fighting on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan for years. Women now make up 14 percent of the Army.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Doug Criss, CNN
John Clyde, KSL.com
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN
Holly Yan and AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN