Monday, February 27, 2006

I'm Invincible!

Body armor is a big business these days. And why not? It’s a situation where everybody wins. The manufacturers of the armor make millions, the politicians can claim they support the troops and the American people can feel a little less guilty when they read about attacks in Iraq.

As far as the soldiers are concerned, we get Kevlar vests with ceramic strike plate inserts that can stop a high-powered 7.62 mm round. We get new ballistic helmets, ballistic eye protection, knee protection, elbow protection, throat protection, neck protection, groin protection (A.K.A. the codpiece), deltoid protection, rib protection, ear protection and chemical protection masks. We’re invincible! Unfortunately we’re also immobile.

Each unit debates how much of the armor they should actually wear. The weight of this modern body armor is roughly the same weight as a suit of medieval chain mail, over 50 pounds. It reminds me of the Battle of Agincourt as told by Shakespeare in “Henry V.” Old Henry had his soldiers take off their armor and then prayed for rain. The rain came and turned the battlefield into a quagmire. When the French knights fell off their horses, all the English had to do was watch them drown in the mud.

Still, it seems the modern Army isn’t interested at all in mobility. Next thing you know, they’ll be rolling us up in bubble wrap and sending us out to battle with stickers that say “Fragile, handle with care.”

Now, the armor has saved many lives, and I don’t want to discount that. In fact, I’ve developed a new kind of body armor that will save even more lives and hopefully make me rich. I’ll let you in on it if you promise not to steal it.

The bulletproof vests we have right now use a few layers of Kevlar and about an inch of a specially designed ceramic that absorbs the impact from a bullet. My method would use air to stop the bullets. That’s right, air. By surrounding soldiers with a few thousand miles of air in every direction, they become 100 percent bulletproof. Plus, my patented air armor weighs next to nothing. The only down side is that it decreases mobility on the roads of Iraq. To be honest, to use this armor in Iraq, the soldiers would actually have to be physically standing in the U.S. But if it’s protection over mobility we want, then I think my air armor is the best solution.

Bush and Cheney, if you care about the troops, you’ll send me a multi-million dollar no-bid contract immediately.

Photo: I'm standing in my office wearing all the gear. It's almost like a scene from "A Christmas Story." If I'm ever in combat, my battle cry will be, "Ralphy! Ralphy!" Photo by: Ryan Poland, film genius.


Blogger salemonz said...

Ha! And there are plans to put sappi plates in the interior deltoid pads (the ones that hang below the armpits), and then a three-part sappi plate for the shoulder pauldrons.

Then they are coming out with quadricep (thigh) pads.

It'll be worse than platemail! And have you had to go out on foot patrol with all that crap on? Eeeh gads! Just let the sun kill us, who needs bullets!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Spencer Case said...

I think 50 pounds is too conservative an estimate. The new chest plates alone weigh 42 pounds. Add 8 pounds for the Kevlar at at least ten for everythig else. We're looking at 60 pounds minimum, not counting weapons and whatever other equipment you've got to carry around.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As you might very well know, many other servicefolk have already opted for the air armor - over 5,000 I believe. They have voluntarily redeployed to Canada and other friendly locations in these here them United States.

The problem with the air armor is its political fallout - it kinda conflicts with the Bush doctrine of You Fight Them There So My Kids Don't Have to Fight Them Anywhere.

2:08 PM  

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