|Leaders Book Note – Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL)
In this edition of my leader book notes I am asking your assistance in ensuring our Soldiers are wearing the safest, best and authorized eyewear. There is a consolidated list of authorized eyewear called the Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL). I have attached a poster that depicts the current authorized versions of eyewear.
Soldiers purchase eyewear products from a variety of commercial vendors. Not all Soldiers know and understand the specifications used for ensuring their eyewear is of the highest quality and provides the greatest amount of protection.
The Army requires the use of eye protection during deployments, field tactical operations, and training. Soldiers in combat and training run a high risk of eye injury. Eye injuries account for over 10% of combat related injuries, the most common causes being explosives (IED, RPG and shrapnel) or the environment (foreign body). With the Army at war we have seen an increase in eye injuries over the last several years.
Eyewear is broken down into two categories – spectacles and goggles. The Military Combat Eye Protection Program (MCEP) tests commercial protective eyewear to the military ballistic standards set by the American National Standards Institute. These stringent standards ensure our Soldiers have the maximum level of protection available. (http://visionrx.com/library/enc/enc_ansi.asp). Approved spectacles must stop a 5.8-grain fragment projectile traveling at 640 feet per second. Approved goggles must stop a 17-grain fragment projectile traveling at 550 feet per second (approximately twice the energy impact as the spectacle). Suitable products are then tested by Soldiers and reviewed by a panel of users, engineers, logisticians, and optometrists, prior to approval for placement on the APEL.
All commercial eyewear products listed on the APEL meet stringent ballistic protection standards. Program Manager-Clothing and Individual Equipment (PM-CIE) provides an updated authorized protection eyewear list at https://peosoldier.army.mil/multimedia.asp#ssv .
Eyewear is available for units and CIFs for purchase by submitting requisitions through the unit supply system. Each approved product has an assigned NSN. Leaders can purchase eyewear from E-Mall at https://emall6.prod.dodonline.net.
Soldiers wearing prescription glasses should work with their local optometrist or medical support facility to obtain ballistic eyewear.
Leaders, it is your responsibility to ensure our Soldiers are wearing approved eye protection from the Authorized Protective Eyewear List.
Army Strong! HOOAH!