Army to vendors: Shrapnel-proof underwear must be comfy

By John Hudson

April 4, 2012

Yesterday, the U.S. Army sent out a new request to its clients in the military industrial complex: We need heavy-duty underwear. But not just any old bullet-proof boxers; they must be comfy.

There is, of course, a deadly serious reason for the request since it means the difference between a mangled pelvic region and the nether regions of a solider living to see another day. The solicitation form doesn't specify exactly how the indestructible undies have to work, but the performance requirements are clear: "The system shall be capable of providing a ballistic resistance (V50) against 2gr Right Circular Cylinder (RCC) of at least 700 ft/s."

And there is this: "Use breathable fabrics, each with air permeability of at least 240 cfm/ft sq," reads the solicitation. It also gives specifications about moisture vapor transfer and anti-microbial performance. And to be clear, we're not talking about tighty-whities: "Similar style to male boxer briefs, including fly front," reads the instructions. The removable ballistic inserts that come with it must "provide protection to the front thigh and do not interfere with normal walking or running motion." Also, the area of coverage must include "genitals, perineum, anus, and inner thigh."

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire


By John Hudson

April 4, 2012

http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2012/04/army-vendors-shrapnel-proof-underwear-must-be-comfy/41680/