At the request of the National Institute of Justice, ASTM International convened a committee that included law enforcement and correctional officers, researchers and manufacturers to develop the content for ASTM E3003, Standard Practice for Body Armor Wearer Measurement and Fitting of Armor. The standard contains information on proper measurement and fit, as well as a worksheet that an officer can use to perform an assessment of his/her body armor fit. This standard increases consistency in how measurements are taken by providing guidance to help officers and agencies properly fit ballistic-resistant body armor and stab-resistant body armor covering the torso.
Proper measurement is necessary to obtain sufficient coverage of the torso and vital organs while allowing the range of motion required for officer operations. Find tips for measuring your personal armor in the Personal Armor Fit Assessment checklist (PDF)—excerpted from ASTM E3003.
ASTM Standard 3003 Standard Practice for Body Armor Wearer Measurement and Fitting of Armor available from ASTM International addresses correct methods for obtaining measurements for concealable (normal duty) and tactical (special duty) armor for both male and female officers. It does not address area of coverage (that is, how much of the torso is covered by the vest) nor does it address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use.
Some agencies prefer body armor to be worn under the duty uniform; others, over their duty uniform. The choice is a matter of agency policy. For guidance concerning the selection, procurement, use, care and maintenance, and other considerations related to ballistic-resistant body armor, consult NIJ's Body Armor Guide—Selection and Application Guide to Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor For Law Enforcement, Corrections and Public Safety, NIJ Selection and Application Guide-0101.06.
Alex Sundstrom, Testing Coordinator