30 August 2008

The upper body workout of Satan

The Interceptor Body Armor is good stuff. I've got a couple of wicked chunks of shrapnel at home on a shelf I pulled out of mine last tour. I am a believer. There's always word of something newer and better out there, but this stuff is nothing to turn up one's nose at.

However...in the ongoing attempt to make even combat as safe as is physically possible, and, in fact, to let nobody ever die for a lack of equipment, the Army has added, by my count, six pieces of additional crap to the IBA since the last time I had one. And, since they are new to us, and since this is a training environment, we are staring out by wearing every single piece of the system.


When I last did this, we wore the vest, plates, collar and throat pieces (well, gunner wore the throats). There was some other arm stuff I wore when riding in the turret, but most of our guys opted for mobility and skipped that when they were dismounted. And pretty much nobody ever wore the much-maligned "pecker protector."

It's a fine line between protection and agility, and it gets sorted out as time goes on. But as for the first day back in this system, attaching all available bits and pieces had us all grumbling this morning. Well, wearing all available pieces had us grumbling this morning. Attaching all the pieces had us grumbling last night.

"How the Hell does this..."

"What in the fuck is the supposed to be for?"

"How many damn pieces are there here?"


A bitching Soldier, they say, is a happy Soldier.