The U. S. Army is, without question, the preeminent land power in the world. Today's Army is the most capable, best trained, best equipped and most experienced force our Nation has fielded in well over a decade. (Source: Opening remarks, Pentagon Press Briefing-January 18, 2006)
Dr. Francis J. Harvey
Secretary of the United States Army
Body Armor and Protective Equipment Reimbursement Program
Between now and 3 October 2006, the Department of the Army will reimburse both current and former Soldiers who purchased body armor and certain other protective, health and safety equipment for use in Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom. Reimbursable equipment includes protective body armor (whether purchased as a complete outer tactical vest (OTV) or as separate components of an OTV), combat helmets, ballistic eye protection, hydration systems, summer weight gloves, and knee and elbow pads. To qualify for reimbursement, the equipment must have been purchased after September 10, 2001, and before August 1, 2004, and all equipment for which reimbursement is sought must be turned into the Army at the time a claim for reimbursement is filed. Claimants who no longer have the equipment must explain in writing why the equipment is unavailable for turn-in.
- Current active duty or active reserve component Soldiers who seek reimbursement should complete and file a DD Form 2902 with the first field grade commander in the Soldier's current chain of command. With the completed DD Form 2902, the Soldier must provide (i) a copy of proof of deployment (such as deployment orders or a DD Form 214 noting deployment), (ii) copies of all available receipts or other proof of purchase for the items claimed, and (iii) either the available equipment for turn-in or the written explanation of why the equipment in unavailable. Former Soldiers and survivors of deceased Soldiers may file a claim by mailing a completed DD Form 2902, along with the items noted above, directly to the U.S. Army Claims Service (USARCS) at the address provided in block 12 of the DD Form 2902.
- A claimant who provides proof of purchase will be reimbursed the full purchase price plus shipping costs for each item, up to $1,100 for any single item. If no proof of purchase is provided, the claimant will be reimbursed at a rate pre-established by the Department of the Army for each item of equipment. For example, the Army will pay $551.60 for a complete OTV if no purchase receipt is submitted with the claim. In addition, shipping costs for delivering items to USARCS are compensable and can be noted on the DD Form 2902.
- Once a claim is filed, the claim will be processed through USARCS for payment by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Claimant will be informed of any deficiencies in their claim, and will be given ample opportunity to correct such deficiencies. Although the claims process has been designed to ensure rapid settlement and payment of claims, potential claimants should not wait too long to file claims, as all claims must be filed by 3 October 2006.
- More information on the body armor and protective equipment reimbursement program - including a printable DD Form 2902 and a list of reimbursable items together with the pre-established compensation rates - can be found by accessing www.jagcnet.army.mil , and selecting the U.S. Army Claims Service link under the "Client Services and Links" section. Claimants or commanders can also contact MAJ Paul Cucuzzella, Project Officer, USARCS, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (301) 677-7009 ext. 431, with any questions concerning this program or for additional information.