Supplemental Body Armor

Army Times:

Soldiers in Iraq have been using their groin-protector pads to cover their sides and arms as a way to supplement protection of the Interceptor Body Armor.
So Army equipment officials are looking at ways to increase that protection for everybody.

In fact, units of the 82nd Airborne Division actually went a step further by having a private company ship them a custom-made attachment that offered shoulder and underarm protection from improvised explosive devices.

Currently, the Interceptor vest provides protection against fragmentation and 9mm ammunition on the neck and torso. The system̢۪s removable front and back ceramic plates protect against 7.62mm NATO rounds.

The system has performed well in Iraq and Afghanistan up until last summer when improvised explosive devices, especially road-side bombs, became a major threat in Iraq.

Since then, the Defense Department has documented more than 100 soldiers killed or wounded by IEDs — many struck by shrapnel in the side , one of the most vulnerable parts of the Interceptor.

“What we are experiencing is now we are having injuries other than thoracic. The injuries are from … shrapnel blasts … going through the shoulder or under the armpits. What we are trying to do is stop that,†said Sgt. Maj. Thomas House II, who works out of Fort Benning, Ga.’s Infantry Center. As Training and Doctrine Command’s System Manager for Soldier, House’s job is to speak for the equipment needs of soldiers.

About six weeks ago, the 82nd began using shoulder and underarm armor attachments for the Interceptor that they ordered from a West Coast company that specializes in ballistic protection.

The unit asked the company to design the attachments from pictures of soldiers using the Interceptor̢۪s detachable groin protector pads on their shoulders and under their arms, House said.

Good news. Of course, Tony Stark figured this out forty years ago.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Military Affairs, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. And the whole groin pad thing is just wrong. The pads spread the force around, not necessarily an advantage in the groin, and in any event, you’d be screaming in a voice only dogs could hear.