Pierre-Zamora stated, "Whenever I tried or tried to move or try to shoulder or shoot on a range pop-up really quickly I would have to physically pick-up the vest and move it to my weapon."
This is a common complaint among female soldiers and small-stature males who have had to put up with heavy armor for over 20 years of war in Iraq or Afghanistan. The Army has started to offer armor in three sizes, extra small, small, and small long, for the first-time. You can adjust the armor in many ways to make it more comfortable and to allow soldiers to move more quickly and easily.
Over the past few weeks, the "modular and scalable vest" has been distributed to over 4,500 soldiers in the 82nd Airborne division at Fort Bragg (North Carolina). The combat shirt will now be more tailored to female soldiers. These shirts can only be given out to soldiers who are deployed.
Army researchers have been researching the new changes for years. They are trying to create lighter, more comfortable combat gear.
However, the Army decided early on to make the vests unisex. According to Lt. Col. Stephen Miller the decision was made because smaller men might not want to wear a vest that is too small or too long.
This move was a huge success.
Pierre-Zamora is an assistant product manager at PEO soldier and said that nearly 25% (1,200) of the 82nd Airborne troops have received armor in the three new sizes. About 100 of those 1,200 were women.
Five other sizes are available in regular size: extra small, medium and large.
Pierre-Zamora stated that the new shorter and longer versions are more comfortable for many soldiers. She said, for example, that she and another female soldier seem to be roughly the same size. She said that she wears a small while the other soldier has a small.