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Xena Body Armor: Military Takes a Cue from the Warrior Princess

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Xena Body Armor: Military Takes a Cue from the Warrior Princess
[ Science]

Xena body armor: They say that life often imitates art, but you generally don’t think that this would apply to syndicated television fantasies featuring warrior princesses. However, if drawing inspiration from television programs and motion pictures helps keep our troops safe and sound when they’re defending our freedom, then I’m all for it. And should these soldiers resemble something entirely badass in the process, well, that’s pretty cool, too.

In an effort to provide better protection for the army’s legion of female soldiers, the masterminds working behind-the-scenes in the military’s research and design department have taken a page from the Lucy Lawless TV show “Xena: Warrior Princess”: The body armor worn by the show’s butt-kicking heroine will serve as inspiration for the armor worn by the military’s own female warriors. Currently, there are 11 different variations of male body armor available to these women, though the army is hoping to improve that selection in the near future.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the new armor will provide better protection for female soldiers by allowing “more curves in the chest and hips”. The problem was addressed in 2009, when female soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division complained about how some of the male-oriented gear was a tad uncomfortable.

“It rubbed on the hips, and the vests were too long in the front, so that when you had female soldiers climbing stairs or climbing up a hill or a tree, or sitting for a long time in a vehicle, that would create pressure points that in some instances could impact blood flow and cause some discomfort,” says Lt. Col. Frank Lozano, who also helped co-design the body armor.

“Some people would like to eventually make plates so it’s like ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ and conforms to the shape [of female soldiers],” explained Douglas Graham, a spokesman for the Army’s Office of Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment.

Of course, in order to provide more protection in the right places, more plates will need to be added to the body armor, which, in turn, will make it heavier for soldiers to carry around. Eight different sizes are currently in development for female soldiers, which will feature narrower shoulders and “bra-shaped darting” in the chest.

Lt. Col. Frank Lozano says testing has yielded some positive results for female soldiers, though the real challenge will be finding the money to mass produce them.

Xena Body Armor: Military Takes a Cue from the Warrior Princess
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  • jerry rice

    i’m in the army and i am a male and i wear body armour all the time the shit is not comfortable. my side are currently bloody and scabbed over from doing combat patrolls. the armour is designed to stop a bullet not allow for your body shape. suck it up bitches.

    • Daniel

      Jerry Rice,
      You need to learn manners!! In what trailer park your ass was raised in but you need to watch your mouth, soldier. And apparently if you have all those wounds YOU need to suck it up and learn how to put it on. I was in the army before you were born and NEVER had that problem!!

    • Rodolfo

      Way to go representing the military. I wonder how many fellow soldiers or Iraqi women you’ve raped.

    • John Raymond

      Love it Proud of your service

  • Jason

    Daniel, chances are the armor was much different from your era so it’s inaccurate to make an assumption implying that it isn’t worn properly. Jerry makes a good argument that the armor is designed to stop a bullet. Unfortunately there are tons of body types men and women alike and if we start tailoring for only women it seems almost biased in the respect that women can’t handle the same gear that men can. Kind of like saying if the military issued rifle has too much of a kick for women we can issue only women a lower caliber rifle? Not really but my point is if you tailor women’s gear you had better tailor men’s gear as well. You know what is even more comfortable, no armor at all… the question is do you want it to work or do you want it to look and feel better?

    • Brian B

      Jason, The article stated there are 11 different variations of male body armor available to these women. And 8 different sizes are currently in development for female soldiers. Pretty good indication that there are plenty of choices for the guys as well.
      In the article Lt. Col. Frank Lozano stated that the men’s armor can be too long for the women causing circulation problems. The armor is likely resting on their upper legs causing them to fall asleep. I dont know, but in a battle zone, I would want the full use of my legs at any given moment, and not have to wait for blood to get back to my feet.

  • Matthew

    I’ve said it one or twice. We don’t have the most dangerous military in the world. Skill for skill there are lots of other militaries more dangerous than our troops. We just bring the most and the biggest weapons to every fight. Now, and with this new Xena armor we damn sure have the best-looking military.

    • Matthew is an IDIOT

      So Matthew did you serve? IF you did serve then you must be one of those idiots who had no pride or couldnt hack it? Regardless, Pound for pouind we are one of the best in the world. Show me the standard you are following for the best in the world. SHow me the ruler the sets the standards. What military in the world has accomplished as much as us in the past 100 years? Korean War, Vietnam War, WWI, WWII, Iraq, Taliban? Eat your words you foolish IDIOT.

      • Spork

        Calm down dude. Just because he’s mistaken doesn’t mean you need to explode. Either way this sounds Like this could be good recruitment poster to me. “Join the Army, where the women dress like Xena”

    • Rich

      How the hell do you figure that the U.S. Military is less skilled than other countries?

  • Jim

    Seriously, patriotic and moronic americans need to sit down and shut up. No one cares about your military, just because you’re the biggest doesn’t make you the best and just because you like to start trouble like all this war on terror bull that you started doesn’t make you an amazing military force it just makes you bullies that need to be wiped out.

    • Terry

      Jim.
      You are merely a pimple on the butt of some troll.
      What you display in your post is envy, not angst. Hate to point this out Jimbo ol’ dummy – but the US Military is not the biggest, damn near the best, but damned badass in the form of whupass.
      What you also forget is the war on terror began when TERRORists tore down about a trillion dollars of prime USA real estate using US aircraft. Those arabs started the war on terror – we should have finished it. Unfortunately we have too many idiots in the front office to do that.
      No balls. No brains.
      Like you.

      • Jim

        Actually america started the war on terror, its funny how you all seem to forget about your atrocities when a couple of your buildings come down, they didn’t attack you for no reason moron. The world hates america, it’s a fact and you invade a country that didn’t deserve it, kill thousands of innocent civilians in your ‘war on terror’ well you’re the terrorists so maybe you should be looking inwards to your own country rather than attacking everyone else.

        • jamesthedemon

          maybe if other countries treated thier people with respect and dignity america would’nt have to get involved. I hope you are not living in “our” america jim because if you are, then you should leave if you are so dissatisfied with it. America gets involved to make other countries better, to help people, and yes, to protect thier interests in that particular country as well. Everyone in the world needs to have a world view of things in my opinion instead of an isolated view of hatred.

  • Wolf

    I served six years in the Army, came out a E-6, Staff Sergeant. When I was in there the armor was heavy and uncomfortable and really was just a thick vest. Two of the women I served with hated the stuff so much they took desk jobs to not have to wear it. If this stuff works, so much the better.

  • Patrick

    Of course if women in the military were not assigned to combat units
    or to duties that placed them in harm’s way, this issue would not
    arise.It would also benefit unit cohesion.

    I am sure my opinion will not be popular with many folks, but that’s
    my opinion. I believe I have expressed myself in a dignified manner.

  • Just Commenting

    I’ve never served our great country, I’ve never worn military issue body armor, and I am not a woman. But, I can see the necessity for making armor somewhat form fitting. Women ARE built differently than men in general so to allow for wider hips, shorter torso, and pronounced breast plate would make sense. From what I understand, our military has made armor for men in several sizes. It can be done for women as well. As far as the argument on military accomplishment, it’s suffice to say that America has proven repeatedly what we’re made of!!! Freedom isn’t free, it’s been paid for by the blood of all Americans who are and have been protecting our country and the rights of others.