The US Army is beginning to equip their soldiers with a bit more protection where it really counts – for the privates.
Despite innovations in blast-proof vests and life-saving surgeries, many GIs are still walking near landmines wearing only standard-issue cotton underwear. But all that is beginning to change. Kevlar protective underwear is making its way onto the battlefield, say Army spokespersons.
Known in Army parlance as the PUG, meaning protective undergarment, it goes on under the uniform, and can either be worn over the top of, or in place of underwear. Taking a cue from the advances in athletic underwear, moisture wicking material helps keep things cool while knitted Kevlar along the inner thighs protects the thigh and femoral artery. Additional knitted or woven Kevlar is located over the groin.
“We can tell you that the Tier 1 protective undergarment (PUG) is currently being fielded through the Unit Issue Facilities (UIF) to units before they deploy,” Barbra Hamby, Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), told the Underwear Expert. “Marines will receive four pair of Tier 1 PUG per deployer.”
In last November’s Men’s Health magazine, contributing editor Bob Drury wrote about the increased number of soldiers suffering injury to their genitals due to land mines. “In many cases, the force of the explosion also travels straight up into your genital and pelvic area, blasting tiny shards of rock and dirt into your torso between your front and rear Kevlar body-armor flaps,” Drury wrote. “If all or part of your ‘package’ is not blown off by the detonation itself, the flying debris from the blast often penetrates soft tissue, leaving you vulnerable to penile, scrotal, testicular, and rectal infections. If the damage is bad enough, it could even lead to a full or partial amputation of your genitals.”
Thank goodness, then, for the introduction of this necessary piece of armor.
Photo: USA Today