No, the guy in the picture is not with the James Gang, riding to hit a bank in Kansas – he’s wearing ballistic protection for his neck.
Take a look at Fighter Design LLC’s F.R.A.G. Ballistic neck protector – the modern gorget.
Grunts – gorget. (You watch Game of Thrones on HBO? You’ve seen a gorget.)
At the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our troops headed into battle with armor little improved from the Vietnam conflict. Most had been issued the “new” OTV interceptor vest, which was the only protective advancements made for our Joes in nearly two decades. Everyone wore the 1980s design PASGT helmet, and SAPI armor plates were issued to most units for the first time. Marines. Soldiers, Sailor and Airmen went into battle without full armor protection, wearing broken or wore out gear, most of it at least relatively obsolete by decades. Operating out of canvas door equipped, unarmored Humvees, they fought anyway, and did so with typical American ferocity. In the early years of the Iraq war, improved armor seemed slow in development and issue. Many units welded home- made armor on to their vehicles (remember the “Hillbilly” or “Mad Max” armor?), with Kevlar blankets and sandbags to fill the gaps. As the IED threat increased in form of roadside bombs, the causalities mounted, particularly for turret gunners. The nation cried out in outrage, and the government reacted.
In little time, our warriors became laboring, lumbering juggernauts of ceramic, Kevlar, Nomex and nylon. The “turtle” joke became popular, where a serviceman would lay on his back when fully kitted out, and was powerless to get back up. The sheer weight of the equipment made them as helpless as a turtle turned upside down on its shell. The services became obsessed with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), a civilian industry term applied to the fighting man. At times PPE was noticeably more important than actual mission accomplishment. The struggle went from no armor to the opposite end of the spectrum where troops had TOO MUCH armor, and no leeway how to tailor it to their own unique mission requirements. After a decade of fighting, this has THANKFULLY changed greatly, with more modular and scalable designs being issued out. There is still plenty of room left for improvement, and it is hopeful that our services will be better equipped for future conflicts. We are always looking for these advances, and trying to track the developments so we can pass it on to our readership. One such piece of gear we recently stumbled upon is the F.R.A.G. neck gaiter from Fighter Design LLC.
F.R.A.G. Fragment Resistant Artery Guard
Simply put, the F.R.A.G is a lightweight ballistic neck gaiter-style garment. It is made as a blast resistant neck protector that is light, soft, and flexible. It is suitable for both hot and weather, and is extremely cost effective for its intended use. Silver impregnated for antimicrobial action, the gaiter can be worn around the neck or pulled up over your face for additional protection against fragmentation and blast. While not rated as ‘bullet proof’, it’s definitely better than having the skin of your throat and face exposed. It can be worn with a variety of common helmets, and will function properly with additional PPE such as goggles or face shields. Its reversible from black to MultiCam, and they are currently looking at making FR improvements to the design. The F.R.A.G. may not be a flak jacket for your throat, but it will provide some measure of protection for an otherwise unshielded (and very critical) area. The trade off is the ability to maintain movement and comfort while gaining ballistic protection.
Will it stop a 7.62 round? Nope. Will it defeat a razor sharp sliver of shrapnel trying to bury itself in your jugular? Potentially, yes, and at $50 bucks its worth having for some peace of mind. Hopefully soon the company will make a MARPAT or coyote brown version for our Marines. Gunny loves PPE, but he hates civvie gear that stands out.
Check it out at the link below, and let us know what armor solutions you would like to see – or what has worked well for you.
Fighter Design LLC is on Facebook here.
Features of the ballistic neck gaiter:
– Antimicrobial Interlock
– Made with 95% Black Kevlar, 5% X-Static fabric
– Ballistic Performance – Stops fragments up to 600 fps
– FR fabric (Fire Resistant) – Coming soon