The ol’ reliable military flak jacket. Many military veterans who served in the Vietnam War in 1955 would be no stranger to these flak vests due to the large number of mines that were planted by both sides to prevent quick advances by infantry troops, much like the North Vietnamese used during the First Indochina War.

In general, troops would wear military flak jackets to protect themselves from high explosive weapons such as mines, grenades, anti-aircraft artillery, and even some variation of shotgun ammunition that would have their case fragments (frags) blow soldier’s socks off in a blink of an eye. A single slim sliver of metal from a mortar round the size of a toothpick entering your heart will kill you, and has.

U.S. Army soldier wearing a military flak jacket, Vietnam, 1971 (Wikimedia Commons). Source:
US Army soldier wearing a military flak jacket, Vietnam, 1971 (Wikimedia Commons)

Yup, the military flak jacket, protecting our military men since the 1860s. Wait, what? You might be asking yourselves, were there flak jackets in the Civil War? I thought they only had bulletproof vests! For all of you history buffs, sit back and let us take you through a bit of a blast to the past, no pun intended, of course.

Are Flak Jackets, Bulletproof Vests, Kevlar All The Same?

The military veterans reading this would probably get a laugh out of this question, but let’s face it, not many people know what the difference is between flak jackets, bulletproof vests, and kevlar. So to all our military guys out there reading this article, if you ever encounter someone asking about the difference, we think it’s best that they’re informed!