The Pentagon is finally developing combat gear that fits the female form

women combat gear female soldier
Unisex clothing isn’t all that popular among the civilian population, so it’s no wonder that women in the armed forces haven’t been thrilled by the rather one-dimensional design of combat gear. While women have technically been allowed to serve in combat positions within the U.S. military since 2013, it’s taken awhile for the logistics of that decision to catch up to the times. But finally, the Pentagon is taking a closer look at their combat gear, and actually looking to create something that understands the difference between male and female bodies. 

Clothing for the military seems like such a basic provision that it’s a bit shocking that it’s only now being addressed. As Motherboard notes, women have been wearing male-centric armor to dangerous situations in Afghanistan and Iraq for nearly 10 years, and the issue is much more than aesthetics. These supposedly protective coverings failed to accommodate women’s curves, ended up shifting the placement of gear, and simply put, didn’t pay respect to the distinct anatomies of men and women.

“My entire lower pelvis was exposed,” Army Sgt. First Class Elana Duffy, who served from 2003 to 2013 in intelligence told Motherboard. “If the gear was truly meant to protect my reproductive organs, I wouldn’t have been able to bend over.”

So now, the Pentagon is seeking a change, and none too soon. As per reports from the Department of Defense Trauma Registry, more than 53,000 injuries have resulted from explosives in the Iraq and Afghanistan. And many of these injuries affect the genitals, leaving servicemen and women either infertile or forced to reproduce via artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization. As such, creating protective and actually wearable gear is becoming more important than ever.

Still, while progress is on the horizon, it is unlikely that the new gear will be implemented before 2019.

“Sometimes change is too slow, especially in areas as critical as body armor for our deploying troops,” Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) told Motherboard. The congresswoman previously served as an Air Force pilot, and is intimately acquainted with the dangers of combat — she was one of the first women to undergo a double leg amputation when her helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in 2004. “Undoubtedly some of it could be cultural, but I think it’s mostly bureaucratic. It just takes a long time from when a requirement is first identified to when something can be fielded.”

Health & Fitness

In search of the fountain of youth, beauty companies turn to tech

Beauty tech is a fairly new concept, but at CES 2019, companies such as Olay, L’Oreal, and Neutrogena were fully embracing it with all kinds of gadgets that promise to give you glowing skin.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.