Infantry: July 11, 2003

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The analysis of soldiers shot in Afghanistan reveals that at least 25 soldiers had their lives saved by the new Interceptor Protective Vests (IPVs). Most of these cases involved rifle bullets stopped by the ceramic plates in the IPVs. Data is not complete yet for Iraq, but individual incidents, many covered by embedded reporters, indicate a similar experience. In Afghanistan, the word quickly got around, early in the fighting, that the IPVs were, indeed, bulletproof. This is a first for protective vests, which were first widely used for ground troops during the Vietnam war. The first protective vests were used by stationary troops (because of the heavy vest weight) during World War I, and for bomber pilots during World War II. Once the troops believed that the IPV was indeed bulletproof, there was a noticeable increase in aggressiveness by troops. In some cases, NCOs had to rein in their eager young troops, reminding them that their arms, legs and face were not bulletproof.

 


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