Army to issue new “transitioning” eye protection

Oakley Mframe eye protection are popular among servicemembers (Not the transitioning lenses mentioned in article). Photo credit: Oakley

In addition to a startling array of sensors and equipment, the Army’s new Soldier Protection System may have a touch of luxury added- in the form of transition lenses.

These lenses provide protection to soldiers’ eyes from hazards such as smoke, shrapnel and dust but now offer the ability to wear at all times of day.  They allow the user to switch from dark to light conditions without having to manually change or keep up with an extra set of lenses.

“It doesn’t sound like much,’ said Army Deputy Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. John Murray, ‘but that is a huge deal to not have to physically transition eye protection. The actual lenses do it for you.”

Army Lt. Gen. Michael Williamson, military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics, and technology says the lenses will also increase blast protection by 10 percent.

According to, other features of the Soldier Protection System will include sensors to measure vital signs, hydration levels and technological advancements to body armor, including a face shield reminiscent of the Microsoft Xbox Halo series of games.

According to Williamson, the Soldier Protection System is also aimed at lightening the load for soldiers.

“The goal for the entire system is 10 to 15 percent less weight than the soldier carries today,” he said.

It is not yet known which units will be the first to field the lenses or when they will be fielded.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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