Oct 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Army begins offering smaller armor sizes

female u.s. soldier

Photo: Gerard Fouet/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Army is now handing out armor in three new sizes — extra small short, small short and small long — to address complaints primarily from female soldiers and smaller-stature men about fitting into the equipment, AP reports.

Driving the news: The move comes after some complained that traditional armor sizing can be cumbersome and hinder some soldiers' movements. It highlights the fact that more women have moved into combat roles that were traditionally reserved for men, AP notes.

  • Army researchers have been working for years to find ways to make protective equipment lighter and better fitting.

The big picture: The armor was previously available in five sizes — extra small, small, medium, large and extra large — but the new sizes can also be better suited to some more slender male soldiers, per AP.

  • The army is also now offering a new combat shirt specifically designed for female soldiers.
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