WASHINGTON - Soldiers will no longer be allowed to wear body armor other than the protective gear issued by the military, Army officials said Thursday, the latest twist in a running battle over the equipment the Pentagon gives its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Army officials told The Associated Press that the order was prompted by concerns that soldiers or their families were buying inadequate or untested commercial armor from private companies — including the popular Dragon Skin gear made by California-based Pinnacle Armor.
So, what the Army is saying, is wear what we issue you. Even though there is better stuff available in the private sector. Because, we haven't tested the brand you bought. Because if you don't wear our brand it won't wear out. So our defense contractor can't make money replacing it.
Murray Neal, chief executive officer of Pinnacle, said he hadn't seen the directive and wants to review it.
"We know of no reason the Army may have to justify this action," Neal said. "On the surface this looks to be another of many attempts by the Army to cover up the billions of dollars spent on ineffective body armor systems which they continue to try quick fixes on to no avail."