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For women in military combat, new armor is matter of life and death

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WASHINGTON — For Air Force Maj. Julie Roloson, new body armor being fielded specifically for women is more than a matter of fit and weight. It could be life or death.

Roloson, 34, commands the 88th Security Forces Squadron at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and says the new vest, tailored to fit women and lighter than men’s versions, gives her a better chance to fight and shoot.

Fighting and shooting. Basic requirements for combat jobs, all of which the Pentagon opened to women five years ago. From helmets to accommodate a hair bun to maternity flight suits, gear designed for women is being developed and issued, changing the way the previously one-male-size-fits-all military outfits troops.

“So when you’re shooting the M-4, you need to have the butt of the weapon in a really pretty specific spot on your shoulder to ensure good stability,” Roloson said. “And that was always

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