The First Armor Brigade Combat Team Female Engagement Team get fitted for their new tactical vests.
HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) -
First Armor Brigade Combat Team Female Engagement Team will deploy to
Afghanistan next week and will be taking brand-new armored vests with them.
vests are called Female Improved Outer Tactical Vests or IOTVs and eight women
of the Female Engagement Team will be the second group in the entire army to
Listed on the Top 25 Inventions of 2012 by
Time Magazine, the new IOTV'S are
specifically designed for the female soldier. The new vests are much smaller
than the older version which allows the female soldier to move much better.
"I can move so much more - before the
vests were a lot wider and because I am such a small person it would come to my
shoulders so I could only lift my arms this high. Now, you can see I can lift
my arms all the way up here and in front-it's so great," says 2nd Lt.
The extreme improvement in mobility is not
the only advantage.
"With females, the way that we shoot the
weapon would usually rest on the IOTV and now, with how small it is, it will
allow the gun to rest on the squishy part of our arm and greatly improve our
accuracy," Adams said.
The old IOTV's also left the female soldier
more vulnerable to bullets and shrapnel because a lot of times they were just
too big to fit right. So why these are new vests just being created?
"It was not a priority before because it
was assumed that she would not be in combat-well this war has proven that to be
false. Women are just as vulnerable to a combat situation as men," said
Master Sgt. Jeff Fenalson.
The team of eight will be joining a Special
Forces group that goes into dangerous areas.
But with the new vests the team feels a
"I mean, I would trust any of these ladies
with my life with or without the vest but this just makes it that much
better," Pfc. Cheryl Rogers said.