A new generation of armor tailored to better fit women’s typically shorter bodies and other unique physical attributes will be field tested for the first time by a group of women soldiers deploying to Afghanistan, the Associated Press reports.
The 101st Airborne Division, which first suggested better fitting equipment, will have the honor of testing the new gear, which includes a shorter, lighter vest piece that hugs the body closer.
The need for better-fitting armor became clear as women in the Army have been fighting on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan for years, Dillon said. He noted that women now make up 14 percent of the Army and are closer to combat than they have been previously.
“These female engagement team soldiers will be going on patrol with infantry units, engaging with the female populace. Because of that, they are going to be on the front lines, so we want them to be the first to be fitted with this new armor,” he said.
Read more from the AP here.