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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/30/2006 7:35:19 PM EDT

This is a technical form, but I think we can discuss the technical reasons for why the Army feels Dragon Skin is not acceptable.


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WASHINGTON — Soldiers will no longer be allowed to wear body armor other than the protective gear issued by the military, Army officials said Thursday, the latest twist in a running battle over the equipment the Pentagon gives its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army officials told The Associated Press that the order was prompted by concerns that soldiers or their families were buying inadequate or untested commercial armor from private companies — including the popular Dragon Skin gear made by California-based Pinnacle Armor.

"We're very concerned that people are spending their hard-earned money on something that doesn't provide the level of protection that the Army requires people to wear. So they're, frankly, wasting their money on substandard stuff," said Col. Thomas Spoehr, director of materiel for the Army.

Murray Neal, chief executive officer of Pinnacle, said he hadn't seen the directive and wants to review it.

"We know of no reason the Army may have to justify this action," Neal said. "On the surface this looks to be another of many attempts by the Army to cover up the billions of dollars spent on ineffective body armor systems which they continue to try quick fixes on to no avail."

The move was a rare one by the Army. Spoehr said he doesn't recall any similar bans on personal armor or devices. The directives are most often issued when there are problems with aircraft or other large equipment.

Nathaniel R. Helms, editor of the Soldiers for the Truth online magazine Defense Watch, said he has already received a number of e-mails from soldiers complaining about the policy.

"Outrageously we've seen that (soldiers) haven't been getting what they need in terms of equipment and body armor," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who wrote legislation to have troops reimbursed for equipment purchases. "That's totally unacceptable, and why this directive by the Pentagon needs to be scrutinized in much greater detail."

But another veterans group backed the move.

"I don't think the Army is wrong by doing this, because the Army has to ensure some level of quality," said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "They don't want soldiers relying on equipment that is weak or substandard."

But, Rieckhoff said, the military is partially to blame for the problem because it took too long to get soldiers the armor they needed. "This is the monster they made," he said.

Early in the Iraq war, soldiers and their families were spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on protective gear that they said the military was not providing.

Then, last October, after months of pressure from families and members of Congress, the military began a reimbursement program for soldiers who purchased their own protective equipment.

In January, an unreleased Pentagon study found that side armor could have saved dozens of U.S. lives in Iraq, prompting the Army and Marine Corps to order thousands of ceramic body armor plates to be shipped to troops there this year.

The Army ban covers all commercial armor. It refers specifically to Pinnacle's armor, saying that while the company advertising implies that Dragon Skin "is superior in performance" to the Interceptor Body Armor the military issues to soldiers, "the Army has been unable to determine the veracity of these claims."

"In its current state of development, Dragon Skin's capabilities do not meet Army requirements," the Army order says, and it "has not been certified to protect against several small arms threats that the military is encountering in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The Marine Corps has not issued a similar directive, but Marines are "encouraged to wear Marine Corps-issued body armor since this armor has been tested to meet fleet standards," spokesman Bruce Scott said.

Military officials have acknowledged that some troops — often National Guard or Reservists — went to war with lesser-quality protective gear than other soldiers were issued.

"We'll be upfront and recognize that at the start of the conflict there were some soldiers that didn't have the levels of protection that we wanted," Spoehr said. Now, he added, "we can categorically say that whatever you're going to buy isn't as good as what you're going to get" from the military.

In interviews Thursday, Army officials said aggressive marketing by body armor manufacturers was fueling public concerns that troops are not getting the protection they need.

Army Lt. Col. Scott Campbell said the Army has asked Pinnacle to provide 30 sets of the full Dragon Skin armor so it can be independently tested. He said Pinnacle has indicated it won't be able to provide that armor until May, and the company said that is still the plan.

Campbell said initial military tests on small sections of the Dragon Skin armor had disappointing results. He said Pinnacle has received $840,000 in research funding to develop improved armor.

Spoehr said he believes the directive will have little impact on soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan because it's likely that nearly all are wearing the military-issued body armor.

There have been repeated reports of soldiers or families of soldiers buying commercial equipment or trying to raise thousands of dollars to buy it for troops who are preparing to deploy overseas.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 9:42:34 PM EDT
This is somewhat dated news - the Army brass is full of shit - Pinicale armor is yrs ahead of any armor available currently.
anyone who doubts this is ignorant.

: fire at muzzle range (within 2') by 7.62 and after 8 rounds not a single penetration. cant say mush more than that - thats not using plates -the stuff is flexable / like dragon skin scales made of titanum/ceramic plates.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 10:11:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2006 10:13:00 PM EDT by Dawg180]
Thre was a problem with a small batch of Pinnacle Medium sized Dragon Skin vests. The ceramic "scales" in this batch did not meet spec when tested, i.e. the vest was penetrated by rifle rounds it should have stopped. It was only a very few vests (maybe 2 or 3 IIRC) in a batch of thousands, but they took a big PR hit for it.

There is a detailed thread on Lightfighter.net concerning this. In particular, one of the high mukcy-mucks of Pinnacle addresses the test and the companies rapid response to repalce those vests. Long sotry short, the company that produces the ceramic plates made an undocumented change to the ceramic forumla and it created a potential for plate failures in that batch of ceramic. they have since reverted to in-spec ceramic provided by a different ceramics company.



Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:35:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 5:35:54 AM EDT by rsilvers]

Originally Posted By Dawg180:
Thre was a problem with a small batch of Pinnacle Medium sized Dragon Skin vests. The ceramic "scales" in this batch did not meet spec when tested, i.e. the vest was penetrated by rifle rounds it should have stopped. It was only a very few vests (maybe 2 or 3 IIRC) in a batch of thousands, but they took a big PR hit for it.




I always hear stuff like this. "There was a problem with 2 out of 1000 and those two are the ones the Army happened to test." Oh, and it was a subcontractor's fault. I hear that a lot also in the silenecer testing world.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:46:48 AM EDT
Link to company who makes it please?
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:52:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:43:24 AM EDT
Yeah, we're about to get the side plates, and none of us want the damned things. We're bundled up like kids trying to play in the snow, and barely fit in our Hummvees as it is with all this shit on.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:00:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:14:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rsilvers:

Originally Posted By Dawg180:
Thre was a problem with a small batch of Pinnacle Medium sized Dragon Skin vests. The ceramic "scales" in this batch did not meet spec when tested, i.e. the vest was penetrated by rifle rounds it should have stopped. It was only a very few vests (maybe 2 or 3 IIRC) in a batch of thousands, but they took a big PR hit for it.




I always hear stuff like this. "There was a problem with 2 out of 1000 and those two are the ones the Army happened to test." Oh, and it was a subcontractor's fault. I hear that a lot also in the silenecer testing world.



My suggestion is go read the lightfighter thread, as I was merely giving the Cliff Notes version.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 7:29:26 AM EDT
What does the Pinnacle armor even run? It looks pretty damn interesting, someone stole my universal idea of making soft level IV, V armor DAMNIT!
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 7:43:59 AM EDT
It is not soft armor. It is hard plates that move like Dragon scales.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:24:54 AM EDT
What's the average cost of the Dragonskin?
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 5:17:05 AM EDT
This is typical of the army culture.

if you wear your coat, you must wear you gloves.

out of uniform without earplugs

no boonie covers...ever

in AFG an army sgtmjr gave me an ass chewing for our Marines wearing watch caps. it was fucking COLD. he said it looked nasty and undisciplined especially under a kevlar. i said "lemme get this straight...the army ISSUED them the watch cap, and its 20degrees in a warzone and they arent allowed to wear it" what a bunch of bullshit.

in the Corps when you go to the field it's "whatever works"

what does dragonskin cost? can you put it inside the OTV shell?
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:30:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DvlDog:
This is typical of the army culture.

if you wear your coat, you must wear you gloves.

out of uniform without earplugs

no boonie covers...ever

in AFG an army sgtmjr gave me an ass chewing for our Marines wearing watch caps. it was fucking COLD. he said it looked nasty and undisciplined especially under a kevlar. i said "lemme get this straight...the army ISSUED them the watch cap, and its 20degrees in a warzone and they arent allowed to wear it" what a bunch of bullshit.

in the Corps when you go to the field it's "whatever works"

what does dragonskin cost? can you put it inside the OTV shell?



The army sgtmaj is just jealous.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:10:02 PM EDT
Didn't the Army ban ALL non issue armor? Probably because some dumbasses were wearing level 2 vests with TRAUMA plates, thinking it was better than the IBA. Unfortunately it also stops the wear of anything that is better.

If the Dragon Skin is so vastly superior to IBA and SAPI, wouldn't it have been easy enough to prove to the Army and Marines? Unless there is some massive conspiracy amongst many, many senior officers and NCO's.

A couple questions. What does Dragon Skin cost? How much does it weigh? How well does gear attach to it, or how well does a vest/chest rig/whatever fit over the top?
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:58:07 PM EDT
I'm sure alot of it has to do with CYA. If one of their joes gets shot up or blown up wearing that then it's on the commander for allowing it. regardless of whether it's better or not, it's no issued so it's inferior in the eyes of turds up top. They seem to stray pretty far form the fact that the .mil gets their gear from the lowest bidder...
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 10:59:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2006 11:01:21 AM EDT by ADaughen]
www.pinnaclearmor.com/body-armor/sov.php

Looks like some really nice stuff. Quite a few configurations too.


Dad was telling me about the "only GI issue" order the other week.

One of my buddies that was in the 82nd. A while back he was in AFG. He saw a guy get blasted 3x in the chest with 7.62x39 almost point blank with the current issue stuff. Said it stopped the bullets and the SGT hurt like hell, but lived. They didn't like wearing the 50+lbs of armor though.

Link Posted: 4/8/2006 10:52:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ADaughen:
They didn't like wearing the 50+lbs of armor though.





An issue IBA with hard plates does not weigh anywhere close to 50 lbs.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:50:12 AM EDT
Couldn't find any pricing on their site. I don't find the current IBA to be too bad. I haven't had any issues wearing it, other than the ACU ones are larger than the DCU pattern.
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