U.S. Army Bans Use of Privately Purchased Body Armor

In the latest twist in a running battle over the equipment the Pentagon gives its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. Army officials have announced that soldiers will no longer be allowed to wear body armor other than issued protective gear. Army officials told The Associated Press that the order was prompted by concerns that soldiers or their families were buying inadequate or untested commercial armor from private companies. Read more.

FNC wants to know what YOU think —

What do you think about the Army's order that troops cannot buy their own body armor?

E-mail us at speakout@foxnews.com and jump into the debate!

Here's what people in the news are saying:

"We're very concerned that people are spending their hard-earned money on something that doesn't provide the level of protection that the Army requires people to wear." — Col. Thomas Spoehr, director of material for the U.S. Army

"Outrageously we've seen that (soldiers) haven't been getting what they need in terms of equipment and body armor...this directive by the Pentagon needs to be scrutinized in much greater detail." — Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT)

"I don't think the Army is wrong by doing this, because the Army has to ensure some level of quality." — Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Here's what FOX Fans are saying:

"When I saw privately purchased body armor, it had a lower level of protection nowhere near t hat of the Army's armor, with ceramic plates. I also never saw any American soldier or Marine who did not have the highest level Army issued vest. The incoming replacements had even better protection, which is how it should be. The situation should always improve during each rotation. The Army operates on standardization. Leaders can only focus on the issued items and not waste their time on the items the soldier thinks he should wear after hearing some marketing ploy." — LTC Martin (Retired)

"If I were in the field and they told me to go out on patrol without sufficient body armor, as described by Army directives, they would have to court martial me. The pencil pushing Army bureaucrats just don't want anyone to think they aren't doing their jobs, when they aren't. Those same idiots at the Pentagon will find out that there isn't enough body armor to cover their big butts. I would not care where my men got the armor, as long as they had it." — Jim (Tupelo, MS)

"If and when the armed forces do not supply the necessary body armor, soldiers should be able to use any resource possible to get their own, whatever they can get their hands on, even if it isn't up to standards. At least it's something, right? If we're not going to protect our troops, at least give them a chance to protect themsleves." — MTN

"I spent 12 years in the Kentucky Army National Guard, and I, along with many others in my unit, bought all kinds of uniforms and personnel equipment with money out of our own pockets. This is nothing new in the history of the world, troops can't wait for the bureaucracy associated with government to get them the things they may need. Remember: Adapt, Assimilate and Overcome!" — Chris (Paris, KY)

"If Senator Dodd has any proof that our soldiers are not getting the best possible body armor, then he should present the evidence. Politicizing does not serve our country well in time of war." — Frank (Banning, CA)

"The military is not Burger King. You can't have it your way. It is authoritarian, and you volunteered knowing that. The military provides you what its leadership deems you need. What next? Pick and choose your battles?" — Dennis (Sparta, NJ)

"I think the Army is right! Too many unscrupulous people will try to sell inferior equipment." — Dick

"I am confounded to why this is even an issue. First of all, the Army doesn't want soldiers spending their hard-earned money on something that is provided for them. Second, who doesn't have body armor? I am on my second tour to Iraq and have never left America without new body armor. In fact, we all got the new upgraded plates for our armor shortly after arriving in Iraq. Same goes for every single soldier in my unit. We aren't allowed to leave the camp without body armor! The bottom line is, soldiers do not need to purchase body armor since it is provided by the Army." — SSG Paul

"This is typical BS from the Army. The body armor the Army uses is for shrapnel only. It won't stop bullets. The soldiers should be allowed to wear anything and everything they can get." — David

"The Army routinely tests equipment to be sure that minimum standards can be met before they award a contract. I imagine that some of the privately purchased body armor outfits are inferior and the companies are playing on the publicity of men not being adequately equipped to make a fast buck. While the Army was slow to equip men, I understand that those who need armor have it now. Those products should be tested since some men may still be using these privately purchased products. Those companies should immediately provide their products to Army testing facilities and the results should be made public." — Graham (Plano, TX)

"This is nothing more than a piece of anti-Bush propaganda!" — Herb

“In the name of heaven, why are we not supplying our brightest and best with body armor from government funds. The feds are paying for all these new Mexican babies born in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, instead they should buy armor for our brave soldiers.” — Georgina

“The military was slow to provide soldiers in Iraq with body armor, so soldiers and their families were providing their own. But when Congress passed a law requiring the military to pay for privately purchased body armor, the military forbade private body armor. No doubt it was a way to avoid having to pay for private body armor.” — Louie (AL)

“I think it is an important move. You do not want troops to by substandard materials. If a service member thinks they have found a good deal, buys the equipment cheap and it is not the real deal it could cost them their lives. The military does need to resolve this issue, but letting troops buy their own is not the answer.” — Lorna (Military Wife)

“If the Bush gang won't supply it, which they did not for at least a couple of years, of course troops should be able to buy their own. The Rummy who runs the Pentagon never did understand the needs of troops in combat. Armored Humvees are another good example. There is incompetence at all levels of this administration.” — Ron (Prescott, WI)

“If army-issue body armor is available, soldiers should wear it. When it's not available, they should be able to wear their own, just because something is better than nothing, even if it isn't up to military standards.” — Dana

“I think the military should provide the highest level of protection for our soldiers. It should be an utmost priority. If they are unable to provide the equipment needed in a timely fashion, why shouldn't our soldiers and their families do everything in their power to protect them.” — Cheryl

“I think if you're going to ban soldiers from buying personal body armor, then the Army is responsible for providing EVERY soldier with whatever body armor they deem adequate first. Something is better than nothing. Why do they care how soldiers and families spend their money in a free-market United States? Wouldn't a buyer beware memo be sufficient?” — Matt (Camden, TN)

“I'm shocked that the Pentagon would take such a bold step. After all, they are not putting their butts on the line.” — Dan (Clementon, NJ)

“Our only son, who is a 19-year-old freshman ROTC cadet, will be going to basic training at Fort Jackson, SC right after the semester closes. He intends to serve as an active duty infantry officer upon graduation and commissioning in 2009. I want him to have the option of wearing the best IBA that money can buy. The individual soldier should have every resource available to them in order to serve and return, whole, healthy and alive.” — A.J. (Clayton, NC)

“Private armor should be banned. It's called quality control. Why not drive my own tank? Or fly my own plane. Or use my hunting rifle.” — Geoff (Seattle, WA)

“I used to work in an Army-Navy store that sold body armor to local police departments. All body armor is not the same. There are different levels of protection. Without proper testing and certification of the body armor, well-meaning family members and friends of soldiers could be wasting their money. The Pentagon is right on this.” — Phil (Locust Grove, GA)

“This is about money, and that is very sad. Soldiers should be able to purchase whatever equipment they need to protect themselves. Commanders in the field should ignore this ridiculous directive. Furthermore, American soldiers on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan are better judges of the quality of the equipment they use than an Army official sitting behind a desk in Washington, D.C.” — Doug