I am always wary of the media in how they portray stories. I will provide some thought on points the investigation portrays.
The investigative report suggested the banning of Dragon Skin was because some of the procurement officers now work for the companies of the Interceptor vests. Although possible, another equally valid reason (albeit politically incorrect) is the recent 167 million dollar contract. That’s 167 million dollars of tax dollars lost, not including the funds required to purchase the new Dragon Skin armor. Although Congress or the taxpayers might be willing to make such a sacrifice in the military budget -allocating additional dollars to purchase Dragon Skin- the Army would never give up the 167 million dollars of armor without promise for more money replacing them with Dragon Skin.
The idea that the ban took place in March, before the Dragon Skin testing in May also is misleading. In the Marine Corp, a ban was placed on any synthetic shirts outside of camps with the same, “safety of use message.” Especially where body armor is concerned, forcing troops to use the tested Interceptor Vest is better than the allowing untested Dragon Skin. If the Army had any interest in my opinion, I would make such a ban provisional, until Dragon Skin was tested independently of any preconceived answers considering the financial or procurement bias. Desired objectivity might even justify why the Army reportedly didn’t allow the Mechanical Engineer -and Dragon Skin proponent- to the Dragon Skin testing. However, the news special said the Army didn’t give a reason.
I digress. The Army didn’t use such a reason, and according to the Brigadier General Mark Brown’s response to the interview with Lisa Myers, “13 of 48” Dragon Skin tested suffered full penetration in a variety of testing conditions. Thus, they are not claiming it’s because of money, but because of legitimate testing (see Brigadier General’s press release).
I can’t answer if the US Army or Pentagon banned Dragon Skin due to corruption. A more realistic answer is perhaps the Army testing may have purposely produced negative test results (see Pinnacle Armor’s account of testing); the Army testers creating certain testing conditions to produce unfavorable results.
Such questionable testing occurred when the Army tested the AR-15 in Alaska without telling Stoner -with improperly assembled rifles!
Despite this, I’m still on the fence on who to believe, the US Army or Pinnacle Armor? Although I don’t doubt the testing by the media and numerous demonstrations by Pinnacle Armor, I believe Pinnacle Armor and the media have not addressed the accusation of failure at different temperatures (-60, 120, and 140 degrees Fahrenheit). Such a failure makes all the difference, I wouldn’t use the armor in combat knowing the adhesive might fail- regardless of how awesome it is at normal room temperature (however, see ballistic test with Dragon Skin in 170 degrees Fahrenheit). On the other hand, does the Army standards, specify testing armor at multiple temperatures? Or did the Army decide to do so because they wanted to produce instances of Dragon Skin failing like the M16 testing in Alaska? If indeed the Army was not using the test standards as an article from Defense Review states, it discredits many of the soldier’s trustworthiness (see Pinnacle Armor’s response to SOUM for particular instances of vagueness on the verge of lies).
More youtube videos:
PBS Newshour Debate (note the difference between what Col. Maginnis says about the lack of ballistic testing and Defense Review’s findings on ballistic testing)
For more details following this issue see: