British and American soldiers and marines are receiving additional groin protection. This consists of “ballistic boxers” and codpiece attachments for their body armor. Both boxers and codpiece consist of multiple layers of Kevlar. Both items were developed by British firms, and British troops began receiving the new protection last year. American marines got them earlier this year and U.S. Army troops are receiving them now.
The "ballistic boxers", or Kevlar underpants, have several layers of Kevlar around the groin and thigh area. This protects troops from genital damage, and projectiles that might sever the femoral arteries (which run down each leg, close to the inner thigh.) Bleeding from the femoral artery is a major cause of combat deaths, as it is very difficult to stop the flow of blood. The "blast boxers" originally sold for about $100 a pair, but demand has been so high that the price has declined by over a third. The idea for the ballistic boxers was suggested by the troops themselves, and the medics that treat many of these wounds. The increased number of groin injuries comes largely from the growing use of roadside bombs and mines by the Taliban in Afghanistan.