Today, a certain possible presidential candidate for 2008 has weighed in on this armor question.
The Truth: U. S. History-- A great U. S. Confederate General, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson said, “When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard.” Robert E. Lee, believed that the best defense is a good offense. He struck hard at McClellan, defeating him in a series of encounters known as the Seven Days Battles (June 26 - July 1, 1862). Ref: 1 2
At the battle of Poitiers, a brave but inefficient French King John lost his advantage of superior numbers by ordering his knights, weighted down with their armor, to dismount and advance on foot against the hail of English arrows. Click ... Armor above to read more.
The Truth: In Mosul, Iraq, we had all the latest armor. My porcelan plate was dated April, 2004 and I initialed mine. We also had the neck and groin attachments.
There were times when wearing of the personal protective gear are directed. At other times, it was up to the individual, depending on his, or her protective posture and location.
Today, in my opinion, a similar inefficient politician has interjected her opinion into the arena of military professionals. If we learned anything from Vietnam, it was to keep the politicians out of the business of war that involves the lives of fighting men.