Date: 24 November 2016 15:34
A Marine corporal may have just invented something that could save thousands of soldiers’ lives.
Cpl. Matthew Long created a tweak in his body armour to treat injury from a gunshot wound the second a bullet pierces the armour. Long, who is a motor transport mechanic, said the invention could replace the “flak” jacket currently issued to all Marines.
Long’s design is a tear-proof package filled with a cocktail of blood clotting and pain-killing agents that sits behind body armour. The package would be released instantly if pierced by a bullet.
“Flak” jackets are current issue for Marines, but it could become obsolete if Long’s invention is picked up by military branches. “Flak” jackets come with small arms protective insert plates to stop bullets, but they can have trouble stopping multiple rounds.
If his invention is fielded, it would render first aid immediately and give Marines a “second chance” to keep fighting and to get to a more secure area. The simple tweak could help save lives when medics are not immediately available.
If medics don’t need to run across an open street or field to attend to an injured Marine, it would give more opportunity to fight the opposition. The invention has the implications of changing the battlefield and the way infantry warfare is fought.
Cpl. Long was selected in September as a winner of the Corps’ Logistics Innovation Challenge for the ground-breaking invention.
“We thought we’d get one, maybe two ideas, but thanks to your support, we got hundreds,” Lt. Gen. Mike Dana said in a video announcing the winners. “We’re going to send all winners out to DoD labs to prototype their idea. These ideas might end up in the Marine Corps.”
Long is competing against two dozen other winners and will be considered for further use by his branch, the Marine Corps. The winner will be partnered with government-affiliated labs to prototype, experiment, and implement their idea.
Previous winners of the Logistics Innovation Challenge came up with a way to make affordable 3d-printed drones, an idea for a wrist computer, and glasses made for medical tele-mentoring.