Unauthorized gear risky to Soldiers
August 13, 2009
- Soldiers are buying ballistic protection, body armor from unauthorized sources such as internet retail sites, local stores
- Army memo states equipment many times doesn't meet Army protection and safety standards
- Only authorized sources for procuring equipment are AAFES and DoD supply channels such as unit supply rooms or CIF
FORT BENNING GA - Soldiers are putting themselves at risk by using unauthorized ballistic protection and body armor. That's the message the Army is passing down to troops this week following reports of Soldiers buying protective gear from unapproved sources.
According to a memo sent to key leaders this week, some Soldiers have bought ballistic protection items, body armor and Advanced Combat Helmet padding through a variety of sources including internet retail sites, General Services Administrative Advantage and local retail stores.
"In most cases, these items do not meet Army protection and safety standards and many have failed Army safety testing," the memo states.
Though this is not a huge issue at Fort Benning, Dave Shepherd, the post's acting Director of Logistics, said it is good to remind Soldiers about the potential dangers of buying protective gear from unauthorized sources.
"These items haven't been tested through Army channels, so there is no way to know if they do what they're intended to do," he said.
Some items Soldiers are purchasing can be replaced cost-free through Army supply channels, Shepherd said.
Additionally, if Soldiers are looking to replace items they've lost, they should know CIF will not accept items from unauthorized sources, Shepherd said.
"We check everything that comes back in," he said.
"This is a good policy and we need help from commands to make Soldiers realize they put themselves at risk if they aren't using approved equipment through approved Army sources," Shepherd said.
The only authorized sources for ballistic protection gear are through the Department of Defense supply system and Army & Air Force Exchange Service's Military Clothing Sales Stores.
For more information, contact your unit supply manager or CIF at 706-545-8413.