One of the most prevelant forms of ceramic armor currently in use by
the United States military is the IOTV. It went into large-scale use by
the Marines in 2007 (nee, the MTV), and his since been relatively popular, as personal armor goes. It is lighter than the older Interceptor body armor and it is compatible with the Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts and SAPI systems.

Besides weight, the IOTV is relatively easy to don (over the head or
from the side) and has better weight distribution. More importantly, it
has a quick-release “rip cord” that can be yanked for rapid remove for
tactical or medical reasons. Putting the vest back together after the
cord has been yanked is a little complicated, but no more difficult
that dismantling and cleaning a weapon.

This video combines a brief introduction to the IOTV from the
official Army news service, plus a YouTube video by Iraq soldier Adam
Martin, who has been maintaining a vlog
of his experience there. Martin demonstrates how the IOTV is worn, how
the rip cord works and how the vest is put back together. Thanks,

The current status of the IOTVs are somewhat up in the air, most likely to the current review
of personal protective systems that the Pentagon has launched.
Protective Products of America, the main supplier of the Marine’s
IOTVs, is apparently perturbed but willing to wait out what is supposed
to be a short delay – until July 31 –  in awarding the contracts for
the Army’s version. Said Stephen Giordanella, PPA’s CEO,

“Although we are disappointed by the delay in the
bidding process, we are still very optimistic about the outcome, as we
believe we are one of the few companies that can manufacture the IOTV
to U.S. Army specifications. As the sole supplier of the Modular
Tactical Vest (MTV) to the U.S. Marine Corps, we have had a successful
record with the military and we can quickly ramp up to meet demand once
the IOTV contracts are awarded.”