Kabul, Afghanistan – With the focus on stopping shrapnel and explosive projectiles from causing injury, the military has recently fielded new groin protectors downrange. The gear, dubbed "combat diapers" by the troops, add a layer of protection that has been celebrated by some, according to Military Times, and blasted by others.
“It just adds more layers and not enough protection,” says Private Jennifer O’Brien. “I sweat in it all day in this ridiculous heat. I would almost feel bad when a guy went down on me right after taking that thing off.” After careful consideration she also added, “Plus that’s one more thing to take off right before a quick romp behind the Comm[unications] tent.”
But the problems didn’t end there. Despite being touted as an excellent form of additional protection, Sgt Benjamin Harris had qualms with its level of protection.
“It’s Kevlar, so it’s made of the same stuff as our helmets, right? Yeah it might stop a 9mm pistol shot, but direct rifle fire will tear right through it, I bet. And deflecting a glancing blow sounds great before you realize it will probably deflect into your femoral artery.”
Several others gathered around to express their agreement. It was soon obvious that tempers were flaring. One bystander was heard saying, “And it’s not like we can test it to make sure, because I’m required to wear it at all times! No one points a rifle at my junk!”
Still another Marine, highly traumatized by the issued gear, shared his story with us on the condition that his last name be kept secret for fear of command reprisal. Jamal, a Lance Corporal with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, told us his first try at wearing the diaper went horribly wrong.
“It just wouldn’t fit,” he said glumly. “I tried all I could, but they didn’t even have a larger size. What am I supposed to do? I have more to lose than those guys and they can’t make an Extra-Large, Extra-Wide cup for me? Man, screw those bigshots, they don’t ever care about the little guy unless he’s THEIR little guy."
These problems are certainly viable, but perhaps most outspoken against the entire issue was the Commander, Brigadier General Alan Foster. “It’s the name that bothers me most. It’s called a diaper but the engineers clearly did not take the collection of fecal matter into account when they made it. It’s totally ineffective as a diaper,” he lamented. “I have put it through several trials during my time in the COC, and every single time some poor schmuck PFC gets stuck cleaning the business off of my chair.”
In the end, the criticism boiled down to one thing: “I don’t have to poop in it, but I’d really like to one day.”