When the United States Army, Marines and other service units are faced with a variety of tactical challenges, one of the most important tools they have to deploy is their vests, Hard Armor vests and other armor solutions. Today these vests have changed how these protect soldiers both in the active components and in the protective gear when they are on the job. Vests and other armor solutions have evolved from basic covers that would provide protection from a shooting injury and from the effects of chemical and nuclear weapons. The designs and technology that go into the vests and soft armor solutions have evolved over the years to be more effective and to add to the protection of the user. There are vest manufacturers that design specific products for law enforcement agencies and then there are companies that design them for the military as well. These days, vest and other armor solutions are being used by many different industries and across a range of different applications.
Military vests and soft armor levels were originally designed for wear by the Marine Corpsmen and they were made of heavy canvas and were very effective against the heavy land obstacles that they would encounter in their line of duty. Advances in engineering have allowed for much more advanced soft and hard armor levels. Today’s vest and other armor solutions are made to resist ballistic impacts, impact from a knife or sharp object, bullet penetration, explosion and flame blast. These protective garments and protective shields can be used for a number of different applications as stated above. Although they were initially designed to protect the Marine Corps, today’s vests and other armor levels are often used by other law enforcement agencies as well as the armed forces.
Some of the main differences between Hard Armor vests and Soft Armor are in the materials that they are made out of and the protective level they offer. Hard armor protects against ballistic projectiles such as shot gun fire, shot and bullet fragments and other projectiles that may be launched at a vehicle. Soft armor is used to protect the user from the impact of bullets and knives and other sharp objects.