About time

Pentagon testing combat gear designed to protect women’s reproductive organs

A Marine Corps female recruit adjusts her Kevlar helmet. (Stephen Morton/Getty Images)

Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, a governmental organization responsible for designing the Army’s equipment, is testing a new set of gear designed specifically for women. The gear has a pelvic protection system, along with increased protection of the abdomen, inner thighs, buttocks, and genitals. The initiative comes in response to complaints from female soldiers, who have long been issued armor that was designed for men. Standard groin protectors, in particular, are manufactured to shield external organs like the penis and testicles, rather than the ovaries, which are higher up the abdomen.

Lt. Col. Kathy M. Brown, a product manager for PEO Soldier, told Motherboard that female soldiers have “highly rated” the new gear. And yet, because of bureaucratic processes, the gear is only likely to become available in 2019. In the interim, the Pentagon plans to test a pilot program that will see the military healthcare system pay to freeze the eggs and sperm of troops who have been rendered infertile by an injury.

Read the full story at Motherboard.

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