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soldiers penalized for buying superior armor

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posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 07:06 PM
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The army has recently opted for their in-house interceptor vest against the superior by most account dragon skin armor. Now some soldiers are being threaten with having their benefits revoked and disciplinary actions for using dragon skin in the battlefield.


Army Orders Soldiers to Shed Dragon Skin or Lose SGLI Death Benefits

“On Saturday morning a soldier affected by the order reported to DefenseWatch that the directive specified that "all" commercially available body armor was prohibited. The soldier said the order came down Friday morning from Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command (HQ, USSOCOM), located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
It arrived unexpectedly while his unit was preparing to deploy on combat operations. The soldier said the order was deeply disturbiing to many of the men who had used their own money to purchase Dragon Skin because it will affect both their mobility and ballistic protection.”



I find this very troubling not only that soldiers have to buy their own equipment but are now being forced to use inferior equipment or else. I mean there was a report of private contractor being shot half a dozen times in the back with a AK-47 and him not even knowing he was hit till a few hours later when he was taking it off and saw a peculiar bump in the armor. Those ak-47 rounds would have gone through most armor out there (not sure bout the interceptor) but some of the hits were slightly below the back plate of the interceptor so we all know where this story would have ended up with out the dragon skin. He didn’t even have any marks on his backs, a big problem with body armor is the force of the round still goes through and causes damage, this guy didn’t even feel it. So let’s see it’s stronger, more flexible and you’re being penalized for using the most superior protection on your own dime to boot...



mod edit: Added external linkQuote Reference (review link)

Posting work written by others. **ALL MEMBERS READ** (review link)

[edit on 19-1-2006 by UK Wizard]




posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 08:23 PM
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Wow yeah thats pretty ridiculous. There has to be a good reason why they don't allow it though right?



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by k4rupt
Wow yeah thats pretty ridiculous. There has to be a good reason why they don't allow it though right?


two factors that lead the interceptor being chosen over the dragon skin was a mix of cost (dragon skin is a more expensive) and it being some 8 pounds heavier. But that being said, it offers revolutionary protection compared to interceptor and most other body armor and it’s highly flexible due to it’s unique design. The weight I’m sure not many would complain the trade off in weight compare to it’s amazing protective quality and as far as cost goes if they didn’t have a problem paying Cheney’s buddies 2 to 3 times the price of fuels I’m sure they can sure come up with a little extra $$$ to save some lives. And another point, unlike the interceptor whose ceramic plates are done for after one use, dragon skin can take over half a dozen hits and still be effective so the investment would pay off long term compare to having to buy new plates which are very expensive and just shatter and provide no more protection after 2 to 3 hits at the most.



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 09:21 PM
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Good post!


This is a very strange and disturbing tale.

Why is the US forcing troops to use inferior body armor?

Could it possibly be that they value the the military-industrial complex more than they value the lives of our troops?

After reading this I decided to do some lazy-man's research, namely googling and this is what I turned up.

Here is an excellent site on Dragon Skin Armor.

Dragon Skin Armor

It turns out that not only is Interceptor inferior to Dragon Skin but that thousands of Interceptors were recalled because old tests showed that some of them could not even stop 9mm rounds.

www.armytimes.com...


In all, the Marine Corps accepted about 19,000 Interceptor outer tactical vests from Point Blank Body Armor Inc. that failed government tests due to “multiple complete penetrations” of 9mm pistol rounds, failing scores on other ballistic or quality-assurance tests, or a combination of the two



Further reading revealed that one day before the recall the army had signed a $30.1 million dollar contract for more vests. This on top of the previous $190 million dollar contract from Point Blank.




www.armytimes.com...

Despite previous problems with the Corps’ vests and other test failures of Point Blank-made vests, the Army awarded the company a $190 million contract in December 2004 to purchase 360,000 Interceptor vests through 2006. Point Blank was chosen over 11 other bidders.

And just one day before the Nov. 16 recall, the Army signed another $30.1 million contract for Interceptor vests. The manufacturer: Point Blank Body Armor.


Point Blank has apparently been working with the Army for years. It seems that the people on top are more interested in making their old rich friends even richer than in supplying the best protection for our troops.

It turns out that Point Blank is now at the recieving end of multiple class action suits as well. Why is a company, accused of fraud and making such shoddy armor that it can't withstand 9mm, supplying our troops?


www.dhbindustries.com...

The lawsuits allege violations of the federal securities laws and/or state law claims based on purported fraud, misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty. The central allegation in each lawsuit is that DHB public disclosures from April 2004 to August 2005 were false or misleading because they did not disclose certain information. The lawsuits allege that DHB's body armor products were defective and failed to meet the standards of its customers, and that these alleged facts should have been publicly disclosed.






[edit on 17-1-2006 by LeftBehind]



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 09:24 PM
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The army has already stated that soldiers who've purchased commerically available armour will, far from being punished, be reimbursed up to $1,100 per item (provided it was purchased between such and such date and its left with the army afterwards).

This article, therefore, seems very suspicious.



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 09:24 PM
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Its just like a major corporation. They don't listen to the individuals!!! They only create guidlines and look at the data. When you don't follow the guidlines, the don't care who you are or what your situation is. The Military probably has regulations on weight and standard issues for infantry. Irregardless of whether they upgraded or as a matter of opinion found somthing better they liked,.....the military will penalize them for breaking regulations.

Ever have a credit card and you were 1 day late, but you sent 10 times the minimum payment!!!!......did the credit card people ever care about your story or situation........no!!........they just look at the data and then boost your interest rate up 25%!!!!! And treat you like a dead beat!!


Carburetor



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
The army has already stated that soldiers who've purchased commerically available armour will, far from being punished, be reimbursed up to $1,100 per item (provided it was purchased between such and such date and its left with the army afterwards).

This article, therefore, seems very suspicious.


from what I understand from the Article they point out that they were trying to clear out if this was DOD directive or a whim of the commander in charge of a unit that is going to be deploy into Iraq (as of when they where researching the article)

Mr Carburetor

the whole guidelines and such I can understand and respect to a certain extent, but they should have some mobility in upgrading revolutionary superior technology and equipment especial in our day and age with the advancement that can come at a moment's notice. this story has been brewing for a long time, multiple performance problems with the interceptor armor even compare to other armor which are less expensive and closer in weight to the interceptor kit, but they were almost dead set on getting their pet project than going outside of their own circles for new equipment. this is a growing trend in military acquisition which I’ve seen in other areas. The in house 6.8 caliber vs. the 6.5 which is just amazing when you consider that is more powerful than 5.56 at short range and superior both 7.62 and 6.8 at long range.



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 09:40 PM
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How much of a tax increase would it require to have everyone, or at least combat troops, issued Dragonskin?

I suspect that the american public would say 'no thanks, let 'em die'.



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 09:41 PM
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Nygdan

The article did address that but it seems that it was on a one time only basis and only after pressure from congress.



Original article

Last year the DoD, under severe pressure from Congress, authorized a one-time $1,000 reimbursement to soldiers who had purchased civilian equipment to supplement either inadequate or unavailable equipment they needed for combat operations. At the time there was no restriction on what the soldiers could buy as long as it was specifically intended to offer personal protection or further their mission capabilities while in theater.



This reimbursement does not apply to new troops being deployed, and the deadline for this has already expired.


www4.army.mil...

New DoD policy allows for reimbursement to eligible Soldiers who personally purchased certain equipment after September 10, 2001 and before August 1, 2004.



It looks like there won't be disciplinary punishments, rather the DOD will refuse death benifits for the next of kin.

This story still raises questions about military contracts. DBH could be in serious trouble and has already settled one lawsuit out of court with a NY police officer IIRC.

While it could be just a simple mistake. Maybe the army is stuck with interceptor because of the huge contract. It is still unexcusable that they are stopping our troops from having the best equipment available. Especially if they buy it with their own money.

DBH seems to be a shady company that should not be supplying our troops with armor.



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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Originally posted by LeftBehind
It looks like there won't be disciplinary punishments, rather the DOD will refuse death benifits for the next of kin.[/quote3]
Hmm. Difficult to argue against that. Unapproved armour might very well contribute to their death. Crappy and shoddy armour made by profiteers, which happens quite a bit, might contribute to their death.

Then again, if they're wearing it in addition to their army issue stuff, then its hard to see how it could contribute to their death.

Also, the fact that generals and such are wearing dragonskin doesn't help their case any.


I agree though, its petty of the Army to do this. Pencil pushers are trying to screw people over for a dollar.

Here are two threads on the re-imbursement
www.abovetopsecret.com...
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 10:14 PM
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Agreed and understood Oblivians.

To me flexibility is crucial for soldiers when surviving. I can understand rules and guidlines when they are used appropriately. However when the big wigs go on cruize being like robots following the guidlines to a T. Then they loose sight of the everchanging and fluctuating playing field. I can understand if a soldier is penalized for going on the front line in a T-shirt, but if he goes on the front line with superior armor instead of the standard...then somebody on top doesn't give a rip about his case and is only seeing in black and white letters. These soldiers are the experts at what they do. They have been through the training and schooling....they know what their strengths and weeknesses are. They should have an opinion on what tools work best for them.

Carburetor



posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 01:55 AM
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I simply cannot understand the thrust of this article. Surely the protection of it's citizen soldiers must be uppermost in the minds of those who deploy them in harm's way?

Should the commanders fail to adequately protect their troops with the best products available, surely - in these enlightened times of 'Health & Safety', they are committing some sort of offense?

We Brits have always had these problems. Especially with boots. I myself own a pair of Altberg boots that cost me £120. The difference between my boots and issued boots is quite simple.

1. My Altberg boots are totaly waterproof.

2. All lower sole/seam sticting is protected by a rubber membrane.

3. The 'all terrain' sole has a unique '7 grip' system.

4. If any part of the heel or sole becomes very badly worn down, I can send them back to the manufacturers in Yorkshire and they will resole them for me.

I have had these boots for about 10 years and although I do not wear them all the time, the soles have hardly any wear on them!

We also had this problem with what we call webbing or belt order. My unit had to make do with the old 1958 Pattern webbing whilst other units were being issued olive drab webbing and bergens.

Many of us went out to firms like Arktis and bought DPM webbing only to be told we were not allowed to wear it because it 'makes you stand out'!



posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 07:15 PM
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Originally posted by fritz We also had this problem with what we call webbing or belt order. My unit had to make do with the old 1958 Pattern webbing whilst other units were being issued olive drab webbing and bergens.

Many of us went out to firms like Arktis and bought DPM webbing only to be told we were not allowed to wear it because it 'makes you stand out'!


How long ago is this? I can understand my being issued 58 pattern webbing when I joined the Army Cadets at 13, but to be using such an outdated piece of kit in the Regular Army is absurd! Plus that stuff gets heavier when wet!



posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 07:42 PM
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I would like to know more about this Dragonskin. Has there been any third party testing of it yet?

When I see quotes like this


We cannot disclose the nature or absolute capabilities of the SOV-1000 titanium composites or SOV-2000 ceramic composites, or what combination/matrix of ballistic fibers Pinnacle Armor Inc. is using in their vests


It raises my interest. I can understand hiding the combinations of the materials used but hiding the capabilities ???

Looking more into the company it seems they have been granted a DOD (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) )contract since 2003

[edit on 18-1-2006 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 08:36 PM
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I just love this statement.


The soldier reiterated Friday's reports that any soldier who refused to comply with the order and was subsequently killed in action "could" be denied the $400,000 death benefit provided by their SGLI life insurance policy as well as face disciplinary action. [emphasis mine]

sftt.org


If I were killed in action I could deal with losing my death benefits, but disciplinary action would be too much to bear.



[edit on 2006/1/18 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 08:38 PM
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``

at this source: i came across these words...



Currently nine US Generals stationed in Afghanistan are reportedly
wearing Pinnacle Dragon Skin body armor....

according to company spokesman Paul Chopra, (service record acknowledgement),
said his company was merely told the generals wanted to "evaluate"
the body armor in a combat enviroment.



then a few paragraphs later...


...Several months ago DefenseWatch began receiving anecdotal reports
from individual soldiers that they were being forced to remove all non-issue
gear while in theater, including Dragon Skin body armor, boots, and
various kinds of non-issue ancillary equipment.


Was the partial relaxing of orders concerning Dragon Skin
have anything to do with the 9 Generals using the 'non-issue' gear??

i see it as the same-ole-same-ole...
if the link is derailed, try www.opednews.com/
you won't find it instantly, but the dragon skin article is in there



posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
This article, therefore, seems very suspicious.

I agree here. Anytime I see an article that seems to promote a stronger emotional reaction than rational thought, I have to ask myself the question "is this a legitimate news source?" Some more useful questions to ask are:

1) can the contained information be verified from other sources?
2) Is the accusation consistant with commen practice or policy?
3) Who is the author, and what is thier reputation?
4) Is there any specific party or parties that stand to gain or lose from this article?
5) Is the intended reaction emotional rather than logical?

From what I just read, I do not know the answers to 1 through 3. (Though I do not believe it satisfies #2. Staging is not typicly done from "secret location"s, and I've never heard of SoCom issuing orders to regular combat units.) Questions 4 and 5 however shake the credibility of the source article. For number 4, Dragonskin stands to gain, Interceptor stands to lose. For number 5, the article focuses on the plight of individual and anonomous soldiers and thier families, rather than policy, directives, nor even the specific order in question.



posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 09:12 PM
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It's an ass covering.

If I tell you to wear an A suit to protect yourself. And you wear a B suit. and you die.

Your family will sue me because B suit was not tested and issued by me.

-The US Gov.



posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 09:30 PM
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well, there are other sources out there, try the link I'm supplying below, they have lots of other links and so on. As far as pushing Dragon skin, I can see your point and the tugging at the heart strings angle, but many other knowledgeable sources also bring out the same argument, dragon skin is at the forefront of the armor business today, so they single it out because it seems and has been back out by some reports from the field to stand out dramatically in the personal armor field. But knowledgeable sources have stated that other armors, not as good as dragon skin but more comparable in price to interceptor provide better protection and are closer in price but suffer from not being the pet project (in house) which is what many people are protesting. I don’t think we can go through the whole M-16 debacle which took some 20 years to fix all the kinks in it when we have something that by most accounts is extraordinary compare to what’s out on the market. One of the reason’s dragon skin lost out to interceptor besides it not being the in house project was cost, but it will more than pay for itself when you take into account all the money that is going to be spent to upgrade and improve the interceptor kit to anywhere near the protection dragon skin and other kits offer.

www.defensereview.com...


www.defensereview.com...
story of contractor hit with 7.62x39mm API (Armor-Piercing Incendiary)

dragon skin is mention because it’s basically the next evolution in personal armor, but still there are other kits which are better than the interceptor but the brass went with their own project…



posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 06:48 AM
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Originally posted by Oblivions void


I find this very troubling not only that soldiers have to buy their own equipment but are now being forced to use inferior equipment or else. I mean there was a report of private contractor being shot half a dozen times in the back with a AK-47 and him not even knowing he was hit till a few hours later when he was taking it off and saw a peculiar bump in the armor. Those ak-47 rounds would have gone through most armor out there (not sure bout the interceptor) but some of the hits were slightly below the back plate of the interceptor so we all know where this story would have ended up with out the dragon skin. He didn’t even have any marks on his backs, a big problem with body armor is the force of the round still goes through and causes damage, this guy didn’t even feel it. So let’s see it’s stronger, more flexible and you’re being penalized for using the most superior protection on your own dime to boot...



Hmm anyone else wondering why he was shot so many times in the back?



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