Combat uniforms are meant to protect our troops from the dangers they face on the battlefield. While there is gear designed specifically to protect service members from bullets, these pieces have not been designed with recent combat environments in mind. After conducting several interviews, with veterans and current soldiers, the recommendations suggested to me were to create a uniform that was more durable and breathable. Soldiers were more concerned about these areas of the uniform the most.
I analyzed the casualty statistics, which allowed me to understand what caused the most injuries on the battlefield, and that the casualty statistics have actually increased in recent years especially the amount of amputees, explosive injuries, and head injuries. My primary research included interviews with Kent State veterans as well as active service members to learn more about the uniforms they wore while serving in combat.
Breathable uniforms allow for air movement around the body, keeping them cooler in unbearable heat and protecting them from weather-related medical conditions, such as heat stroke. Also, a comfortable uniform will enable wearers to be more focused on their situations and surroundings instead of being distracted by the temperature.
My research also indicates that soldiers sometimes will take off parts of their uniforms, such as their vests, because they are extremely hot and the perception is that the vest does not offer much protection. But when troops don’t wear their protective gear on the battlefield, it can decrease their survival rate.