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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps is conducting a survey to look for ways to improve the suspension system for Marine helmets.

In October, the Corps required Marines to wear padded helmets, which tests have shown provide better protection against head trauma.

The Corps started issuing the pads in August after lawmakers grilled Corps officials on why Marines were going to a private charity for helmet pads while the Army was issuing soldiers padded helmets.

The 15-minute survey asks Marines to compare the new padded helmets with the old sling suspension system.

The survey also asks Marines to rate the helmets’ ballistic shell, headband, suspension assembly, chin strap and retention assembly from a scale of 1 or, “completely unacceptable”; to 7, or “completely acceptable.”

“For any ratings of Completely Unacceptable (1), Reasonably Unacceptable (2), and Barely Unacceptable (3), please give a brief explanation for your rating in the comments section,” the survey asks.

Another question asks if Marines have experienced blunt force trauma, blast force, fragmentation or other situations while wearing their helmet and then asks if their helmets protected them.

Other questions include how the helmets fit, how comfortable they are and how they hold up under a variety of weather conditions.

Program Manager, Infantry Combat Equipment (PM ICE) is conducting the survey, which is available until June 30, according to a recent Corpswide administrative message.

Marines who want to take the survey should go to: www.marcorsyscom.usmc.mil/sites/pmice/feedback.asp

Once at the Web site, Marines can click on the link “Lightweight Helmet Survey” to take the survey.

“Any personal data collected by the survey will be available only to the surveyors and will be held in strict confidence,” according to MARADMIN (Marine Administrative Message) 351/07. “Respondents will not be identified individually but only referred to statistically in future presentations or publications.”

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