Putting on tactical body armor boosts your confidence, there’s no doubt about it. Suddenly a part of you body that was vulnerable a few seconds ago can withstand some of the most powerful handheld weapons in existence.

But when this confidence goes to your head, you might forget that a substantial part of your body is still exposed. After all, body armor is not meant to protect the whole body, it’s meant to protect your most vital organs and to give the highest survivability rate.

Does tactical body armor increase the chances that you’ll survive a firefight? Absolutely, without a doubt. But don’t let the confidence boost make you think you’ve donned the latest suit of Iron Man armor. First of all...

  • Don’t let the body armor convince you to run into situations you shouldn’t be in. This isn’t paintball, so ill-advisedly running from one position to the next when being shot at full-auto isn’t the way to go.
  • Your opponent spraying the field with bullets isn’t necessarily aiming for you chest. Your arms and legs aren’t covered in armor, so protect them with tactics instead of armor. Just because your arm isn’t considered a vital organ doesn’t mean that you can’t bleed out if that’s where you’re hit.
  • We all know that being shot in body armor doesn’t send you flying 20 feet through the air, and that most people aren’t even knocked out by the impact. You’ll probably stay in the fight. But you will be startled and distracted, so it’s best not to let overconfidence put you into a bad situation in the first place

Know the limitations of your armor and your self. Remember, tactical body armor is designed to be your last line of defense. Make sure your brain is the first.