The United States Army will take thousands of sets of body armor out of service after the Pentagon’s inspector general reportedly said they were not properly tested and could put lives in danger, FOX News confirmed.
The decision comes after an audit by the office of Defense Department Acting Inspector General Gordon Heddell that concluded bullet-shielding ceramic plates in the armor failed testing.
Though the Army disagreed with the findings, Army Secretary Pete Geren announced the recall of 16,000 sets of the ceramic body armor plates amid fears they may jeopardize the lives of American soldiers abroad, The Washington Times reported.
A Defense official told the Times that while there have been no reports of defective armor or of deaths or injuries of military personnel wearing it, the body plates are being recalled so soldiers won't worry that their equipment is unsafe.
The recall concerns armor produced between 2005 and 2007, which amounts to about 1.6 percent of plates that the Army has bought, the Times reported.
The recall announcement comes a day before a briefing by the inspector general before the chairman of the House Rules Committee, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-N.Y., who has made faulty body armor a focus of her tenure.
"During a time of war, it's shameful that the Army would not scrupulously ensure that every piece of equipment is properly tested, especially a fundamentally life and death product such as body armor," she said after reviewing a report on the matter in April.
"I demand that those who negligently and callously gambled with the lives of our brave men and women in uniform be fired immediately."
Hundreds of thousands of body armor sets have been manufactured by nearly a dozen different companies over the past seven years. The vests are now standard gear for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.