Super Soldiers

Body armor saves lives. Modern ballistic body armor is truly a “game-changing” innovation that gives U.S. soldiers a significant battlefield advantage over adversaries. Militaries have long invested in protection, such as helmets and armor, but today U.S. troops have greater protection than their historical predecessors or contemporaries around the globe. Nevertheless, this protection has limitations and dismounted troops remain vulnerable to a range of threats.

Current body armor systems suffer from three major shortcomings:

The Super Soldiers series covers findings from the Center for a New American Security’s study on dismounted soldier survivability that was conducted for the Army Research Laboratory. The series examines opportunities to improve dismounted soldier survivability in the near-, mid-, and far-term through changes to policies, improvements in equipment, and by harnessing emerging technologies. There is no magic solution for improving soldier survivability, but there are many opportunities that the U.S. military can seize upon that can yield significant improvements.

Analyses in this Series

Technology & National Security

Super Soldiers: Summary of Findings and Recommendations

This report, the seventh and last in the Super Soldier series, covers findings of the Center for a New American Security’s study on dismounted soldier survivability. This repo...

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Technology & National Security

Human Performance Enhancement

Executive Summary No attributes are more foundational to success in combat than the physical and cognitive performance of warfighters. Technological advantage has always playe...

Technology & National Security

kEmerging Technologies

Executive Summary Changing the Survivability Paradigm In World War II, being an infantryman was the third deadliest job in the American military, behind bombardiers and submar...

Technology & National Security

The Soldier’s Heavy Load

Body armor saves lives. Modern body armor has given U.S. troops an unparalleled advantage on the battlefield, improving survivability and reducing casualties. This protection ...

Technology & National Security

Protecting Warfighters from Blast Injury

Executive Summary Key Findings Hundreds of thousands of servicemembers suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI), including from exposure to blasts from improvised ex...

Technology & National Security

Soldier Protection Today

Introduction The Super Soldiers series examines opportunities to improve dismounted soldier survivability in the near-, mid-, and far-term through changes to policies, improve...

Technology & National Security

A Strategy for Enhancing Warfighter Survivability

Introduction Survivability is an essential component of military effectiveness. Militaries have long invested in protection, such as helmets and armor, to improve the survivab...