Some soldiers fine with armor decision, others take issue
CAMP ANACONDA, IRAQ — For the most part, soldiers with the 3rd Corps Support Command interviewed Friday said they had no problem with the Army’s decision to ban personally purchased body armor.
Sgt. Justin Egan, 20, said earlier problems getting body armor to all soldiers have been resolved.
“Since there’s enough, everyone’s been issued enough body armor; there’s no need to buy commercially,” said Egan, of Ocala, Fla.
Pvt. Paul Myers, 21, said he did not want to “waste his money” by buying his own body armor.
The Clarksville, Tenn., man said that body armor can cost upwards of $600, and while the Defense Department reimburses soldiers for such expenses, “That’s going to take a while.”
Sgt. Davaras Bronson is satisfied with the issued armor.
“It’s been proven to work, so why should I go out and have to buy my own?” said Bronson, 28, of Columbus, Ga.
Spc. Sonia Rodriguez, 27, of Long Beach, Calif., also said the Army-issue body armor is effective, but she said she believes U.S. troops should be able to buy add-ons, such as knives.
But 2nd Lt. Alan Crabtree, who used to be with Special Forces, said U.S. troops should be able to buy body armor if it has been proven to provide better protection than what the Army issues.
“If you can prove to me that body armor XYZ is better, lighter, lasts longer than what the Army issues and the Army said you can’t buy it, I would have an issue with [the Army],” he said.
Crabtree, who wore body armor other than Army issue in Afghanistan, stressed that before U.S. troops should be allowed to wear personally purchased body armor, “You have to prove it’s better.”