Female Screaming Eagles get prototype armor
Beginning with the tip of the sword, female soldiers of the 101st Infantry Division (Air Assault) the famous “Screaming Eagles” of D-Day, are testing prototype body armor designed just for women. The downside is that the stuff still weighs 23-pounds.
It’s important to have body armor that fits, no matter who you are — male or female,” Dillon explained.
In reference to Female Engagement Teams who are often on patrol while deployed with infantry units, Dillon added “it’s very important that their body armor fits them just as well as the male Soldiers standing on their left and right.”
Lynne Hennessey, a clothing designer for the Design, Pattern and Prototype Team at Natick, said 85 percent of female Soldiers do not fit properly into the extra small IOTV currently in widespread use. When designing the female IOTV Generation III prototype, Hennessey’s first concern was improving the fit.
“[Previously] it was more fitting the females like a cage,” she said. “There was nothing curving, nothing bending about it. They would sit down and [the vest] would rise up.”