Do our men wear ears?


PDA






Drjones
March 22, 2004, 02:23 AM
Well?

Do any of our soldiers on the ground wear hearing protection or keep any with them for firefights?

Obviously there are pros and cons;

Pro: Save your hearing

Cons: Hampers ability to hear what's going on around you. (Like others on your side yelling at you) Actually, this may be negated by the fact that if you do NOT wear ears while shooting, you won't be hearing anything for a while... :banghead:

So, what's the answer?

If you enjoyed reading about "Do our men wear ears?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
PATH
March 22, 2004, 02:30 AM
I believe artillery do!

Devonai
March 22, 2004, 02:52 AM
While earplugs are part of a soldier's kit, they aren't worn by infantry unless the engagement becomes prolonged. When on patrol you certainly shouldn't be wearing them, and when you have contact with the enemy you have plenty of other things to worry about. The only comfort is knowing that the enemy is going to be just as deaf as you after about thirty seconds.

OEF_VET
March 22, 2004, 10:40 AM
How to make Artillery Earplugs:

1) extend your arms to your sides, parallel to the ground
2) curl your thumb and three lower fingers on each hand towards you
3) bend your elbows until your extended finger is in close proximity to your head
4) insert your extended fingers into your ears
5) after big gun goes BOOM, remove fingers and load the next round

<---former RedLeg

Ed
March 22, 2004, 11:40 AM
Or do what I have been known to do, Stand beside a Paladin when it fires Red bag and you don't need any more earplugs:neener:

Werewolf
March 22, 2004, 11:53 AM
Seems to me the military is missing the boat regarding ears.

Soldiers should be outfitted with the type of headsets that attenuate the gunfire to safe levels but amplify the ambient sounds of the local environment.

Current models of the above are probably too bulky for military use but I bet compact ones that fit snugly into the ear could very easily be designed.

Some might complain of the cost but in the long run I bet it would be cheaper for the government than paying a hearing loss disability to discharged soldiers for the rest of their lives. In addition soldiers not experiencing hearin loss one would think would be more effective in combat than those that do.

Make Sense???

AJ Dual
March 22, 2004, 12:42 PM
Exactly, from Afghanistan and Iraq, we've seen that the DoD has a great deal of willingness to put all sorts of extra do-dads on our guy's rifles and on thier vests for thier eyes, why not thier ears?

The argument that electronic hearing protection will actually enhance hearing up until the noise cut-out of an actual gunshot is an excellent argument in favor of it's use.

Anyone who has used these devices can state with certianty, that when the gunfire cut-out is activated, there's still no mistaking it. And since rifle bullets are supersonic, there is much greater advantage in hearing a hidden adversary, since the first enemy rounds will impact before you hear the gunshot anyway.

CannibalCrowley
March 22, 2004, 12:43 PM
Soldiers should be outfitted with the type of headsets that attenuate the gunfire to safe levels but amplify the ambient sounds of the local environment.

Current models of the above are probably too bulky for military use but I bet compact ones that fit snugly into the ear could very easily be designed.

Sorry but as a former infantryman I must say that any attempt at adding hearing protection to the current combat loadouts is foolhardy at best. It gives one yet another piece of gear to carry (along with its batteries) and is bound to get in the way. Unless the device inserts into the ear (like an electronic version of an earplug), it will get in the way of covers, helmets, gas masks, goggles, hoods, or the myriad of bandoleers and slings that are thrown over the head in a hurry.

Furthermore, wearing a headset may not bother you at first, but having one on constantly in an already uncomfortable environment is bound to make things worse.

Personally, I'd rather fire a rocket and risk losing some more hearing than have to wear a headset all the time or fumble for hearing protection while under fire.

cdbeaver
March 22, 2004, 01:02 PM
Werewolf:

You've got a good theory there, but unfortunately it doesn't work out that way.

About a year ago I sought VA assistance in obtaining hearing aid(s) because of combat-induced hearing loss. The VA cooperated fully, saw that I took hearing tests (even paid me mileage to get to the VS hospital for the testing).

After all the tests and stuff, the VA acknowledged that my hearing loss was indeed the result of prolonged high-volume noise during the conflict (the Korean War). I had about a 25 per cent loss, but I was not eligible for any type of disability payment, including the cost of hearing aids.

Because I had no real documentation (they don't give Purple Hearts for shattered eardrums) I had no basis to contest the ruling. So I guess it's up to me to get my own hearing aids, and that is not a problem.

Evil_Ed
March 22, 2004, 01:18 PM
There are already small inside the ear versions of the electronic ear protection many people use at the range. They cut out noises above a certain frequency range and amplify lower end sounds around the person. The net result is you actually hearing more of what's going on close to you without the hearing damage from the gun fire. I can't imagine why they haven't started providing them to the combat teams in our military...of course they had problems providing body armor to our troops to protect their lives so I guess if they don't care about their lives they probably could care less about their hearing.

PALEFACE
March 22, 2004, 02:11 PM
hmm........i never did and i don't know of anybody else either, and we we're mannig 50cal's

JShirley
March 22, 2004, 02:14 PM
We typically wore earpro while firing our mortars. Supposed to wear DOUBLE earpro when firing M120.

Then again, 11C are supposed to be back behind the 11B types, giving them fire support...when we played opfor, guys on my squad would give me grief for putting in my ear plugs before rattling off blanks. Hard to find a good compromise.

John

Vern Humphrey
March 22, 2004, 04:07 PM
Quote:
----------------------------------------------
Sorry but as a former infantryman I must say that any attempt at adding hearing protection to the current combat loadouts is foolhardy at best. It gives one yet another piece of gear to carry (along with its batteries) and is bound to get in the way. Unless the device inserts into the ear (like an electronic version of an earplug), it will get in the way of covers, helmets, gas masks, goggles, hoods, or the myriad of bandoleers and slings that are thrown over the head in a hurry.
-----------------------------------------------

As a former infantryman (22 1/2 years, company commander in Vietnam), I pushed all my career for ear protection. I had a mech rifle company, and ear injuries were significant -- hit a mine, and you have half a dozen ruptured or bruised eardrums in the squad.

We should DESIGN our equipment around protection -- if earplugs/muffs aren't compatible with the helmit, redesign the system to incorporate them.

If we need batteries, provide them. If we need more, provide more. The overall cost of ear injuries and hearing loss is a hell of a lot more than the cost of a few batteries!

We should shoot for a system that ENHANCES hearing, as well as protecting the ears -- think of it like Night Vision Goggles. Who would get rid of NVGs? They're heavy, get in the way, and so on, but they've proven their worth. Enhanced hearing will prove its worth, too.

Mr. Clark
March 22, 2004, 04:10 PM
They make Hunting, Target, and Tactical Models. One ear or both. They reduce the loud noises and amplify the low ones. They are sort of expensive, but certainly less expensinve and less inconvenient than a lifetime of hearing problems. I'm sure the military could get a significant discount when purchasing a few million of them.

I used the target version briefly once. It seemed to work well. Just as good as the foam earplugs I usually wear. I am thinking of purchasing one myself.

Electronic Hearing Protection (http://www.walkersgameear.com/index2.html)

fix
March 22, 2004, 04:24 PM
It's coming Vern. The newer helmets with integrated comms provide a measure of protection. Probably a few years from accross the board adoption, but it's coming. Talking to (actually yelling at) my brothers from the ground side makes me thank the Lord I was in aviation, where hearing protection was mission critical.

Vern Humphrey
March 22, 2004, 04:25 PM
Trying to carry on a conversation in a crowded room makes me wish the Infantry had hearing protection during my day.

CannibalCrowley
March 22, 2004, 04:59 PM
Walker Game Ear
They make Hunting, Target, and Tactical Models. One ear or both. They reduce the loud noises and amplify the low ones. They are sort of expensive, but certainly less expensinve and less inconvenient than a lifetime of hearing problems. I'm sure the military could get a significant discount when purchasing a few million of them.

Something like that could work. First off, it's not even close to being durable enough. It has to be waterproof and highly resistant to damage. The battery life needs to be multiplied by at least four. A device that needs a small battery replaced in less than a week is unacceptable for combat use. It's also much too expensive, almost a grand per soldier is far too much. Especially when one figures in how many will get lost or broken.

It's coming Vern. The newer helmets with integrated comms provide a measure of protection. Probably a few years from accross the board adoption, but it's coming.

I hope you aren't referring to the Land Warrior's ghastly Integrated Helmet Assembly Subsystem (IHAS). Besides being too bulky, it doesn't provide anything for situations in which servicemen won't be wearing helmets. It would also increase the discomfort in most regions; due to it holding heat when it's already too hot and fogging or icing up in cold environments.

fix
March 22, 2004, 05:15 PM
I hope you aren't referring to the Land Warrior's ghastly Integrated Helmet Assembly Subsystem (IHAS).

No. I'm thinking MICH. For situations where the extra weight of a helmet is not worth it, a lighter weight helmet with similar hearing protection/comm could be worn to offer minor impact protection in place of ballistic protection. I've read a few AARs from OIF that suggested that the ballistic protection was not worth the excess weight anyway. At least two of them recommended adoption of a lightweight helmet to provide impact protection only. The MICH fits somewhere in between plastic hockey style helmets and the PASGT, at least where weight/bulk are a factor. Not sure about the level of ballistic protection the MICH provides, but that information is readily available should you desire to research it further.

greyhound
March 22, 2004, 07:21 PM
The current issue of the NRA "American Rifleman" shows some Army snipers in Iraq practicing, and they are clearly wearin ear plugs.

Then again, the cover shows a sniper in combat, and it looks like no ears.

So maybe at least while practicing, which makes sense to me.

Jeff White
March 22, 2004, 07:43 PM
Prevention of hearing loss is a big thine in the Army. Soldiers are fitted for earplugs in Reception Station. It's SOP in most units to carry them as part of the uniform and to use them.

The ones in the system cut too much of your hearing to be practical for use in combat by anyone who has to depend on his senses to stay alive. Even with all of the emphisis placed on using hearing protection in all training environments, most people who do a career in combat arms end up with a hearing loss. The VA rated mine at 10% loss upon retirement. I have tinnitus and the same problem Vern does, carrying on a normal converstaion with normal background noise. There are a lot of things besides weapons that will hurt your hearing, aircraft, 2 1/2 ton trucks tec.

There is a porduct called S.W.A.T. Ears that fits in the ear, is compatible with most headgear and communications equipment but they are pretty expensive. The new MICH helmet is compatible with a couple models of the electronic muffs.

Jeff

OEF_VET
March 22, 2004, 11:09 PM
I've also got a 10% VA rating for tinitus. I'd be willing to bet a conversation between myself, Vern and Jeff would be quite the yelling match. LOL

Vern Humphrey
March 23, 2004, 12:03 AM
What?

Did somebody say something?

Come around here so I can see you.;)

stiletto raggio
March 23, 2004, 11:06 PM
When I was at Mounted Maneuver Training a year and a half ago, I wore the squishy foam ear plugs under my tankers helmet when firing the 120mm and .50 cal. I couls still hear everything over the commo system just fine, and those combined with the muff built into them seemed to provide very good hearing protection, even against the enormous blast of the smoothbore. Go tankers!

JShirley
March 24, 2004, 01:43 AM
Yeah, the- what is that, CVS? combined with plugs should give you a good deal of protection.

I understand MICH to provide the same level of protection as PAGST.

If you enjoyed reading about "Do our men wear ears?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!