It seems fairly obvious that those in the Military need full protection; this is not just body armor, but also includes protection for the head, groin, and other extremities. One of the overlooked aspects of body armor for the military however is its impact on their ability to do their job properly. Without body armor, soldiers could not feel confident in performing in a high-risk situation like a war zone, but full hard body armor is incredibly heavy and inflexible and can cause extreme discomfort. Soldiers are regularly asked to work in very hostile environments, including hot and humid areas. Furthermore, they are required to wear their armor for extremely long periods sometimes. As such, a lot of effort has gone into making military armor in particular much lighter and thinner, without sacrificing the complete protection they require.
While many militaries minimize their costs by outsourcing body armor research to manufacturers, The US Navy has its research department focused on body armor. Their research focuses on creating armor that is compatible with current carriers, i.e. making plates thinner. This dramatically reduces costs and allows them to be made with multi-threat protection, to combat attacks with close-quarters weapons or explosives and fragmentation. The US Navy argues that this research is much more beneficial than research into new materials as it provides immediate improvements.
Military armor has to prevent a wide range of attacks, and often against extreme attacks involving high caliber or armor-piercing rounds. There are also an increasing number of explosives attacks on soldiers, and protection against these threats is key. This is only achievable by wearing hard armor made of ceramic, steel, or titanium.
As with all body armor, ensuring a proper fit is vital, and this is especially true for female soldiers. For too long body armor for women hasn’t existed, with female soldiers forced to wear male armor, which simply does not fit. Wearing armor that does not fit can not only be uncomfortable but can severely reduce the effectiveness of armor. Most manufacturers now make armor specifically designed for women, and so Servicewomen need to make sure they get a vest that fits their body properly.