Body Armor Redux

Soldiers in Iraq Buy Their Own Body Armor

Yahoo! News has an AP story about families of deployed or deploying soldiers continuing to buy body armor.

First off, I’m still pissed about the whole body armor SNAFU. There is no excuse for a shortage of body armor. None. Whatsoever.

Second off, why haven’t heads rolled over this one? Well, besides the troops that died but might have lived if they had been issued armor, I mean. (In all fairness, does anyone really have any numbers on that? I mean, are there fifty deaths that can be attributed to the lack of armor? A hundred? Ten? Does anyone know?)

But the headline is a little misleading, at the same time. If you will read the article, the soldiers and families are buying armor despite assurances from the Army that all troops will be issued proper armor upon arrival. Now, of course that’s what the Army is going to say. But are there still servicemen in Iraq without it? Is there really still a shortage? The story doesn’t even address that issue.

I’m very skeptical that the big hand-off from returning soldiers to arriving soldiers is going to work as advertised, but at the same time I wish we wouldn’t see headlines like this without any indication of the actual situation.

The type of headlines I’d like to see all involve the heads rolling. Multiple heads. Rolling down the steps from the Pentagon’s front door. (via Across the River)


  1. Murdoc, I got back from Iraq just after Thanksgiving so I can only comment on what I know of prior to that time. Guardsmen had a shortage of body armor then, they were also told when they deployed that they would get body armor upon arriving in Kuwait before being moved to Iraq. That didn’t happen so Guardsmen were in Iraq with no protection other than their cammies. Thus began the buying of armor by families and donated armor from policemen etc. Lack of armor for their humvees was also a grave issue. I wouldn’t put any trust in any handoff myself. It isn’t that I don’t trust the military to do their best, it is the orders coming out of the DoD that make me nervous. There has been no shortage of armor for the civilian contractors of KR&B aka Halliburton. When you have seen a convoy of Guard troops, with no body armor or armored humvees being sent to escort some contractors wearing the best body armor & driving a armored humvee, you really question what is going on here. I tell you, I used to consider myself an Independant voter. Granted, I voted more often for Republicans over the years than Democrats. After Iraq, I’ll never vote for another Republican again. What I experienced and saw in the sandbox was enough to change me forever. It wasn’t just one SNAFU but a unending chain of them. That’s probably more than I should even say but I think you needed to get the picture right.

  2. What is the real problem. MONEY The democrats talked about the Armor issue for about one day. WHY only one day? Because it costs money to give troops armor, money the democrats said they didn’t want to spend on IRAQ. This means they don’t want to give the military units body armor, if they can get away with it. The military is getting more funding now than they have in a while. this is good. I hope that in the future we can better equip our guys putting their lives on the line.

  3. Yes. As far as I can tell, they’ve caught up and everyone in Iraq has the proper armor now. The goal was the end of 2003, and they missed it by two months. But everything I’ve read sounds good. Finally.