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Tuesday, April 27

Body Armor: Fashion Plates

Robert Kaplan, a foreign correspondent contemplates buying personal body armor. There are many things to take into consideration he finds out such as lightness, color and durability.
"There were other decisions, too. Did I need side plates? I remembered hearing a colonel berate a sergeant in Afghanistan for not having side plates. "Do you want to die, son?" the colonel asked. "Well, sir," the sergeant replied, "my first wife is getting one half of my retirement pension and my second wife the other half, so it's a good question.""
Kaplan wondered about color too. Black was surely out. He was a journalist yet he didn't want to clash with the soldiers. Woodland camouflage is the forest-green pattern used by the U.S. Army in every theater except the Middle East. He liked the tan too and yet the forest green was nice.
"My decision was further complicated by the Marines. They wear digital cammies in a pattern different from the woodland and tricolor designs of the other services. Would they be offended if I wore woodland? "
And ever more considerations such as the bulky groin protection, what kind of tiles because there are tiles and there are TILES. But if your vest is too heavy, you might find yourself taking it off at every opportunity. He finally settle for tan but it was sold out in his size and settled for desert camoflauge. He bought a desert camoflauge helmet but the salesman sent along a woodland helmet for use outside the middle east.
"Everywhere in my odyssey through the world of body armor, salesmen mentioned satisfied customers. It was the unsatisfied customers I worried about. "



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