Female body armor named among best inventions by Time Magazine

Members of the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade will be the first to test the new female body armor, which was named one of Time Magazine's best inventions of 2012, in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Members of the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade will be the first to test the new female body armor, which was named one of Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2012, in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

NATICK, Mass.  — An innovation that will leave female Soldiers safer and more comfortable on the battlefield was named one of Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year 2012.”

A collaborative effort between the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and Program Executive Office Soldier resulted in an improved outer tactical vest, or IOTV, designed specifically for women. The 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade will be the first unit to test the new female body armor in Afghanistan.

The new armor was designed to offer better protection and to prevent bruised hip bones that women experienced when wearing IOTVs meant to fit smaller men.

Maj. Joel Dillon, assistant product manager, Product Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, PEO Soldier, called the Time story a motivator for those involved in the body armor’s development.

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