Body Armor and Threat Level in the Military

Body Armor and Threat Level in the Military

In the military, we face a different type of war. And depending on where you are in the world and the mission you’re on, you might have to wear one piece of armor over the other. In this post, we’re going to hit on body armor intended explicitly for our warfighters and how to pick the right armor for your mission.

Body Armor and Threat Level

It’s pretty well known, as a military member, your threat level stateside is going to be different from the threat level you expect to encounter while fighting terrorism overseas.



CONUS is what we refer to as stateside. It stands for the continental US. It’s no secret; bad people are doing bad things. And while there is a chance you may face rifle fire at your home duty station, statistics tell us it’s not near as likely as facing small arms fire. This is why you might come to see you’re wearing soft armor instead of hard plates like when you are on deployment.


OCONUS is what we refer to as overseas. It stands for outside the continental US. And the thing to consider while deployed is that there’s a greater chance you’ll face rifle penetrating rounds in that OCONUS setting. This is why you wear those hard plates. The soft armor you’re used to wearing stateside just won’t cut it. It isn’t rated to withstand the powerful penetration of a 5.56 or 7.62mm bullet. And unfortunately, those threatening your life are most likely carrying a rifle as opposed to a handgun.


Body Armor for the Military

We have a lot of fine individuals serving in our military and fighting on the front lines. With that, they must have the right body armor for the job because we want them to make it back home and enjoy the freedoms they’ve been fighting to help us keep.

Fact: Did you know, while the name of the game keeps changing, meaning the type of ballistics used against us changes, it’s been more than 30 years since the last time new disruptive technologies were brought to the world of ballistic protection.

That’s where ShotStop® comes into the pictures. We realized our soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines all needed an upgrade. And we offer level III and level IV Mil-Spec plates. Not only that, but our plates are the lightest body armor on the market at any given threat level.

How did we do it? We created our patented Duritium® technology, which ensures our plate weighs up to 50% LESS than some other plates on the market at the same threat level protection.

We did this because we know pounds equal pain, unnecessary pain, which can be avoided with proper body armor. Now you can win the war overseas without paying the cost with increased physical fatigue and body aches, which can lead to compromised decisions.  This can mean the difference between mission success and failure.

While we might not be able to lessen your gear load, we can help you say goodbye to lower back and neck stress from excessive weight and weight displacement issues from unnecessary body armor weight.


At ShotStop®, we will always aim to exceed the standard. And our standards both surpass and, of course, strictly follows the established standard ballistic guidelines.

Simply put, we do it better than the other guys. Why? Because ShotStop’s Duritium® technology doesn’t require as much material. We provide the most comfortable armor on the market, and our plates are thinner and lighter. This means our warfighters can stay in the game longer, stay comfortable longer, and increase their chances of survival, mobility, and speed when placed in the combat zone. 

And to add to an already good thing, our plates are also more durable than ceramic and aren’t as susceptible to cracking. With our exceptional and unheard of warranty length, you can feel comfortable knowing you’re making a safe and smart purchase for those defending our country. 


Women are joining the forces; we’ve been doing it for more than a few years now. But most recently (2016), women were given the official word that they can join combat career fields in the United States military. With that, a need for women’s body armor has risen. Unfortunately, that call hasn’t entirely been answered in the way or speed we deserve.

As both a member of the military and a female who works in a career requiring body armor, I can feel your pain. Luckily ShotStop® is working to fix this. 

However, until then, you’re still expected to wear body armor assigned to you.  You don’t really have a say on what brand your unit purchases (as an individual member), and you can’t choose just not to wear the proper gear. 

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I mean, you could, but then if something were to happen to you and you didn’t have your required PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), then you’re looking at losing your SGLI benefits.

This means, just like the boys, you have to wear the armor dedicated to your threat level, as given to you by your higher authority.

Yes, it’s imperative you get the level of protection needed, but do you have to sacrifice comfort and practicality? Absolutely not! ShotStop® makes the lightest and most comfortable hard armor in the industry, and while we don’t have any specific cuts for women—yet—it is the best available option.

ShotStop® is now researching ways to create hard plate inserts specifically designed for women. Unfortunately, research takes time, but we are committed!

So make sure you stay tuned for more information as we work diligently to create cuts dedicated to our female warfighters because you need to be able to do your job efficiently and effectively. 

To learn more about female body armor, check out our blog: Women’s Body Armor | Is it a Myth?

Selecting the Best Body Armor for the Mission 

No matter what career you serve in, police officer, security, military, corrections, etc. the type of body armor you wear matters for that specific job and the threat you face in that environment. Which means you need to make sure you are choosing the correct body armor. 

At ShotStop®, we believe there are four factors one should consider before making a body armor purchase. First, you should consider the threat-level because this could be the difference between life and death. Then there’s weight, profile/wearability, and longevity.


Threat-level is based on where your mission takes place and what you’re likely to face on that mission. If your mission is in a retirement community, your threat level is most likely going to be different than if you’re working in a big city where crime is at an all-time high. The same goes for your threat fighting terrorism versus your risk of working in a minimum-security prison.

If you determine your threat level is going to involve rifle fire, then you’ll need a different level of protection than what is needed for small arms caliber rounds. For instance, some of our local law enforcement officers might expect to be shot at by handguns. In contrast, our overseas military members are most likely to face rifle fire.  In making your decision, it’s best to refer to your local/regional data, which can be found using resources like the FBI’s LEOKA site.  ShotStop encourages all operators, military or otherwise, to make decisions based on data only rather than emotional or marketing sizzle, which is prominent in the armor world.


As current and former members of the United States military, our staff can tell you that weight has been a huge concern. There used to be a time when all body armor was heavy and cumbersome. Now, with the invention of our patented Duritium®, we’re able to supply lightweight armor, rated for the most common rifle penetrating rounds to both our members serving in the military or as police officers.



Before ShotStop® came about, body armor was uncomfortable. Knowing you were about to wear it for yet another 12+ hour shift made it that much worse.

“The first time I wore the ShotStop plates for a full shift, I noticed at the 4 hour point that I had forgotten I was wearing rifle plates!”

— Dustin Mowery, Police Officer/Tactical Trainer

ShotStop®, of course, considered those long hours and discomfort when creating our armored plates. We wanted to get rid of unnecessary bulkiness while still ensuring their effectiveness against being shot.

We’re pretty sure anyone who wears body armor can relate to that beautiful moment when you finally get to take your vest off, feeling lighter but still feeling the aftermath of carrying around that uncomfortable armor that dug into your body.

Fortunately for you, wearing body armor doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable if you purchase our ShotStop® armor.


Body armor is expensive, but it also has a shelf life. Unfortunately, it’s also a necessity if your job requires you to face deadly weapon’s fire. 


Here at ShotStop®, we’ve created a product that is not only affordable, but it will last significantly longer—not considering any damage taken on by bullets. 

If you take care of your ShotStop® armor, it should last. We also offer a 15-year ballistics performance warranty on our level III body armor—the only warranty of that length on the market.

We also offer a 10-year ballistic performance warranty for our level IV armor.

Have questions about the right plates for your mission? Check out our rifle plates or email us at

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