31 July 2016

Confidence Testing

There are several instances in the Army where the troops use a piece of equipment in its intended role, just to show them that it works.

The gas mask in a small building choked with CS (tear gas) being the classic example.

Some parachute drops are the same thing.

We were treated to videos and films (remember film?) of our tank be subjected to and surviving all manner of abuse to prove that we'd survive the experience.

It just hit me...

Not a single video, film or photo of our body armor taking a hit.  Almost as if they knew the PASGT helmet and vest weren't very useful.  As tankers, the CVC (combat vehicle crewman) helmet had even less protection than the steel Helmet, M1 (with ballistic liner).

We knew to be cynical about the old M1 pot, they perforated one for us live on rifle range day.

I know, now, that the old M59 vest and the PASGT armor wasn't intended to stop bullets.  It's intended to stop fragments.  Fragments are much easier to stop than bullets.  Because there are so many of them, artillery being the king of battle after all, fragments account for a lot of casualties.

I find it odd we never got shown that the vest would and would not stop.

I wore mine religiously because it stops the hatch coaming in the loader's hole from breaking ribs.


  1. Huh, never thought about that... But then I was Navy, so we didn't get those 'confidence builders'...

  2. If you are Mech Infantry you wear your helmet religiously to prevent your head from getting creased/ripped/crushed by all the various bits and pieces of your own vehicles and equipment, every one of which is made of metal.

  3. Back in my undergrad days, US Army Materiel Command set up a display on campus. One of the show-‘n-tell items was a PASGT helmet that had saved the wearer from a 4.2″ mortar round. The rear of the helmet looked like shredded wheat where the Kevlar had delaminated.


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