The Bayonet

Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2013

Around the Army

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Army surgeon general dons female body armor

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — It had been a complaint for years that body armor was not made for the female physique. That has now changed.

The armor that women had to wear in combat was ill-fitting, uncomfortable and restricted freedom of movement, which is a detriment in operational environments. The Women’s Health Task Force informed by the voices of the women serving in Afghanistan identified concerns with the body armor in use at that time.

Through the deliberate efforts of the Army and Program Executive Office, or PEO, Soldier, these issues are currently being addressed. This particular version of the new tactical vest has been designed with women specifically in mind.

Lt. Col. Frank Lozano, Soldier Protective Equipment product manager, Maj. Joel Dillon, assistant product manager of Soft Armor, PEO Soldier, and Deana Archambault, project engineer, reviewed and discussed the improvements of the new tactical vest with Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, Jan. 31.

Dressed in her ACUs, Horoho donned the new tactical vest.

“This is what security should feel like,” Horoho said. “You should not have to think about it. It’s just there. Historically the design for body armor for women was extrapolated from the anthropomorphic measurements of a standard male cohort. Not surprisingly, the fit was woefully inadequate and decremented agility in tactical environs.”

Leave carryover policy extended

WASHINGTON -— The policy allowing service members to carryover up to 75 days of leave from one training year to another has been extended until Sept. 30, 2015.

The leave carryover policy was set to revert back to only 60 days on Sept. 30 of this year. But the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act passed this month extends the 75-day carryover.

Kennedy flame set for upgrades

NORFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District awarded a Maryland company a contract, Jan. 31, to upgrade the John F. Kennedy eternal flame at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. Meltech Corporation Inc., of Landover, Md., will be responsible for performing the approximately $350,000 upgrade to the flame in early spring.

“The current flame, which was installed 1967 is experiencing malfunctions,” said Kathryn A. Condon, executive director for Arlington National Cemetery. “This repair will ensure that the Eternal Flame remains the iconic symbol for all who come to visit this national treasure for generations to come.”

The contractor will install automated controls and a more energy-efficient system than what is currently used. The work is expected to begin mid-to-late February and take approximately 90 days to complete.

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