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ESTABLISHMENT OF BODY ARMOR PROTECTION LEVELS

Date Signed: 7/10/2009
MARADMINS Number: 0415/09

R 101441Z JUL 09
UNCLASSIFIED//
MARADMIN 0415/09
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC PPO//
SUBJ/ESTABLISHMENT OF BODY ARMOR PROTECTION LEVELS//
REF/A/MSGID:MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC PPO/162016ZAPR2009//
AMPN/REF A IS MARADMIN 254/09, MARINE CORPS POLICY ON THE WEAR OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE).//
POC/T.D. WOOD/MAJ/UNIT:HQMC PPO (POG)/-/TEL:703-692-4315/EMAIL:THOMAS.D.WOOD@USMC.MIL//
POC/H.A. BARRERO/MAJ/UNIT:HQMC CDI (FMID)/-/TEL:703-784-6219/EMAIL:HERNAN.BARRERO@USMC.MIL//
POC/L.F. LARA/MAJ/UNIT:MARCORSYSCOM (PM-ICE)/-/TEL:703-432-3323/EMAIL:LUIS.LARA@USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  PURPOSE.  THIS IS A COORDINATED PP&O, CD&I AND MARCORSYSCOM MESSAGE THAT ESTABLISHES MARINE CORPS POLICY DEFINING BODY ARMOR PROTECTION LEVELS.  SIMILAR TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL MISSION ORIENTED PROTECTIVE POSTURE (MOPP) LEVELS IN THE 1980S, THE INTENT OF ESTABLISHING STANDARDIZED BODY ARMOR PROTECTION LEVELS IS TO ENABLE COMMANDERS TO TAILOR PROTECTIVE POSTURES BASED ON THEIR ESTIMATE OF THE SITUATION AND/OR BASED ON GUIDANCE FROM SERVICE/JOINT/THEATER COMBATANT COMMANDERS.
2. BACKGROUND. AS STATED IN REFERENCE (A), THE MARINE CORPS RECOGNIZES THE OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENT TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACH IN DEALING WITH BALLISTIC PROTECTION.  MARINE CORPS UNIT COMMANDERS MUST RELY INSTEAD ON MISSION ANALYSIS AND MILITARY JUDGMENT IN MAKING CRITICAL DECISIONS WHICH AFFECT THE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE POSTURE OF THEIR MARINES, AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FULL SCALABILITY THAT THE FAMILY OF MARINE CORPS PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) PROVIDES.  ESTABLISHING ARMOR PROTECTIVE LEVELS PROVIDES STANDARDIZATION WHILE FACILITATING COMMANDERS' DECISION MAKING IN REGARDS TO PPE.
3.  BODY ARMOR PROTECTION LEVELS (APLS).  THE FOLLOWING APLS ARE ESTABLISHED.  THEY APPLY TO ALL MARINE CORPS-ISSUED BODY ARMOR SETS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE MODULAR TACTICAL VEST (MTV), OUTER TACTICAL VEST (OTV), PLATE CARRIER (PC) AND FULL-SPECTRUM BATTLE EQUIPMENT (FSBE).  READ IN TWO COLUMNS:
APL        DESCRIPTION
LEVEL 0    NO BODY ARMOR WORN
LEVEL 1    VEST/PC WITH SOFT ARMOR ONLY
LEVEL 2    VEST/PC WITH FRONT AND BACK HARD ARMOR PLATES
LEVEL 3    VEST/PC WITH FRONT, BACK, AND SIDE HARD ARMOR PLATES
3.A.  MARINE CORPS-ISSUED BODY ARMOR ALLOWS FOR THE WEAR OF PROTECTIVE ATTACHMENTS.  HOWEVER, IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO ESTABLISH APLS THAT INCORPORATE EVERY POSSIBLE CONFIGURATION IN WHICH THESE ATTACHMENTS MAY BE WORN.  COMMANDERS WILL DESIGNATE THE WEAR OF HELMETS, BALLISTIC GLASSES/GOGGLES, GROIN, NECK, THROAT PROTECTION AND/OR QUAD GUARD AS REQUIRED BY THEIR UNITS' MISSION, THE THREAT AND LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS.  WHEN ISSUED FOR WEAR WITH A SYSTEM, THE CUMMERBUND MAY BE WORN AS FOLLOWS: (1) WITHOUT SIDE PLATE POCKETS; (2) WITH SIDE PLATE POCKETS AND SOFT ARMOR ONLY; (3) WITH SIDE PLATE POCKETS, SOFT ARMOR AND HARD ARMOR PLATES.
3.B.  HIGHER NUMBERED APLS PROVIDE INCREASED BALLISTIC PROTECTION THROUGH THE ADDITION OF MODULAR ARMOR COMPONENTS INCREASING THE AREAS OF COVERAGE AND/OR BALLISTIC PROTECTION.  HIGHER NUMBERED APLS CORRESPOND TO GREATER WEIGHT, INCREASED THERMAL LOADING, AND REDUCED MOBILITY; THUS DEGRADING INDIVIDUAL AND UNIT PERFORMANCE OVER EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME.
3.C.  BASED ON THEIR UNIQUE MISSION REQUIREMENTS, MARINE SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (MARSOC) PERSONNEL WILL WEAR BODY ARMOR PROTECTION DIRECTED BY THEIR OPERATIONAL COMMANDER, SOCOM.
4.  COMBAT VEHICLE CREWMAN PPE.  GIVEN THE INHERENT PROTECTION OF COMBAT VEHICLES, THEIR CONFINED CREW SPACE AND INCREASED INTERNAL TEMPERATURES, PPE FOR COMBAT VEHICLE CREWMAN (CVC) IN TANK, LAR, ASSAULT AMPHIBIAN, AND COMBAT ENGINEER BATTALIONS IS BEING DEVELOPED AND IS SCHEDULED FOR FIELDING IN JAN 2011.  ONCE READY FOR FIELDING, CVC-SPECIFIC APLS WILL BE PUBLISHED.  IN THE INTERIM, WHEN MAKING DECISIONS REGARDING APLS FOR COMBAT VEHICLE CREWMEN, COMMANDERS MUST BALANCE THE INHERENT PROTECTION THAT COMBAT VEHICLES PROVIDE WITH THE REQUIREMENT TO MAINTAIN INDIVIDUAL CREWMAN MOBILITY WITHIN THESE
VEHICLES.
5.  AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY.  IN ACCORDANCE WITH REFERENCE (A), OPERATING FORCE COMMANDERS AT THE LIEUTENANT COLONEL (O-5) LEVEL AND HIGHER ARE AUTHORIZED TO DETERMINE THE REQUIRED APL FOR WEAR BY ASSIGNED PERSONNEL.  COMMANDERS WILL CONTINUE TO ENSURE THAT MARINES ARE PROPERLY TRAINED AND FITTED IN THEIR PPE AND VERIFY THEIR MARINES' ADHERENCE THROUGH THOROUGH PRE-COMBAT CHECKS AND INSPECTIONS.
6.  THIS MESSAGE IS APPLICABLE TO THE MARINE CORPS TOTAL FORCE.
7.  RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY LTGEN J. F. DUNFORD JR., DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR PLANS, POLICIES, AND OPERATIONS.//