Procurement: May 9, 2005


In 2004, the U.S. Armys Soldier Systems Center told the U.S. Marine Corps that 10,000 of the protective vests the marines were buying had failed quality control tests. The marines ran their own tests, using civilian testing organizations, and found the vests did meet the standard. The tests for the vests are not all absolute, because there is such a wide variety of shell and bomb fragments that can hit the vest. Tests try to determine of the vests being examined meet the probability standards for keeping pistol bullets and fragments out. Thus it is possible for there to be legitimate disputes over which tests are valid.

In the rush to supply all the troops in Iraq with protective vests in 2003, more manufacturers were sought to manufacture protective vests, and existing manufacturers greatly increased production. There was understandable concern that this rush might produce substandard vests. During the period (March 2004 and January 2005) that the disputed protective vests were being used in Iraq, 692 Marines wounded. Eight were struck on their protective vest. Only two vests were penetrated, one by a fragment from an RPG rocket, and another by a fragment from a roadside bomb. Its not known if these vests were among those in dispute, or if the penetrations were within the specifications of the vests. The Interceptor Vests are not guaranteed to stop all fragments, but are supposed to stop those of a certain size and velocity. Apparently there were no deaths from defective vests, and it will take a while to determine if the contested vests were, indeed, defective. The issue became public after the independent publication, the Marine Corps Times, investigated the matter and published a story. In response to the article, the marines are trying to recall half the vests in question. However, there are problems identifying those vests, and all of them may not be identified.


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close