Today was the SRP – the spectacular event where all of our shit is inventoried and we get issued any items that we need.

Rumors abound, of course, but the general feeling is that we’re definitely going somewhere – maybe as soon as the first week of March. For the most part, everyone is accepting the situation with high spirits – most are saying “when do we leave?” rather than “how can I get out of this?” Maybe that’s just because everyone understands the inevitablity of it all, but I feel like there’s some geniune excitement out there. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way.

One of the items for which I was fitted was the Interceptor body armor. Fun facts about the Interceptor:

The new body armor consists of an outer tactical vest lined with finely woven Kevlar that will stop 9 mm rounds and other, slower moving fragments, and is also equipped with removable throat and groin protection. Two small-arms protective inserts may also be added to the front and back of the OTV, each plate being designed to stop up to three 7.62 mm rounds with a muzzle velocity of 2,750 feet per second. The SAPI plates are the most technically advanced body armor fielded by the military, and are constructed of boron carbide ceramic with a spectra shield backing that breaks down projectiles and halts their momentum before reaching the wearer.

Fuckin a…that’s high tech!

It was strange feeling: I slipped the 16 pound vest on to my body (the vest has a convenient carrying handle on the back just below the neck – so your buddies can drag your dead body off more easily?), then the Sergeant Major secured the velcro on the front of the vest. I raised my arms and he cinched the straps on either side, making the vest squeeze me in a protective embrace. It was comforting – the vest was heavy but not excessively so, and not too bulky – and yet simultaneously discomforting – this is a vest designed to prevent incoming rifle bullets from penetrating my body. The vest will stop a 7.62mm bullet, as fired from an AK-47, but I’d rather not find out.

Tomorrow, more new equipment and paperwork. It’s like Christmas with all the new stuff…