Duckworth introduces military PPE legislation

Illinois Senator, Tammy Duckworth, is working to ensure that female members of the military are equipped with proper fitting and functioning personal protective equipment (PPE).

Along with Iowa Democrat Joni Ernst, Arizona Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Richard Blumenthal, they have introduced legislation that aims to improve troop readiness and effectiveness. They address issues of inaqueate and ill-fitting body armour and PPE across the military, but particularly faced by women.

Duckworth’s reasoning for introducing the legislation was due to her experience serving as a combat veteran overseas and how this hindered her job as a helicopter pilot.

Recent reporting done by the Defence Advisory Committee on Women in the Services have shown that access to female-specific PPE and smaller sized PPE was severely limited and only issues to some women who were deployed and not to any women during initial entry training or those in regular unit environments. Poorly fitting PPE has been shown to be the main cause of injury for ALL service members, regardless of sex or deployment.

The legislation includes expedition of procuring new contracts for PPE, encouring development of PPE through new technology with academia and industry, increasing transparency of reporting by the Department of Defence and requrining reporting to Congress about the progress and protection of PPE in the military to reduce injuries.

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