Unfortunately for today’s teenagers, they will never know who Xena was. But for people older than 20, Xena’s body armor, weapons and fighting style are easy to remember. The military research and design department recalled Xena’s body armor during a brainstorm for better protection for female soldiers. Thus, the army decided to create a body armor inspired by Xena, the Warrior Princess.
A lot of female soldiers complained the generic gear was not exactly shaped or comfortable for women. So, even if it might sound like a joke, sure, but experts have put together 11 versions of the body armor. Christian Science Monitor’s Anna Mulrine reports the body armor inspired by Xena will be roomier for “curves in the chest and hips”.
Lt. Col. Frank Lozano is part of the team that designed the Xena body armor for female soldiers. He explained that generic body armors, created for men, were not exactly comfortable or effective when women had to wear them.
“It rubbed on the hips and the vests were too long in the front, so that when you had female soldiers climbing stairs or climbing up a hill or tree, or sitting for a long time in a vehicle” the generic body armor would become very uncomfortable. The pressure points created in the scenarios Lt. Col. Frank Lozano talked about “could impact blood flow and cause some discomfort”.
Douglas Graham is spokesman for the Army’s Office of Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment. He said of the army’s new body armor project. “Some people would like to eventually make plates so it’s like ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ and conforms to the shape [of female soldiers]”.
Researchers have developed by now eight different sizes for female soldiers. The first tests had positive results, but their projects require significant funds to actually come true.
However the need for protection in other places than in men, have impacted the overall weight of the body armor, thus making it harder for soldiers to carry them. But at least, the Xena inspired body armors will give women the relief of having a chest “bra-shaped darting”.