No matter who we are working for, the team at Anthrotech is dedicated to doing an exemplary job. We find our work with any client to be extremely gratifying, and our work for the U.S. Marine Corps was particularly rewarding. This was a project commissioned by the Joint Program Management Office, where we worked to establish an accurate tariff for the sizing system for the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) suit worn by the four branches of military personnel. JSLIST is a common chemical protective clothing ensemble including a lightweight chemical-bio protective garment, multi-purpose overboots and gloves.
In 2003, feedback from Operation Iraqi Freedom identified the existence of problems with JSLIST suits. In addition to sizing issues, the tariff of the existing sizes was incorrect in part because of a limited understanding of which body dimensions were associated with particular garment sizes, and in part because of inadequate body size information on the U.S. Marines, the U.S. Army, and the Army National Guard. These issues resulted in shortages of some sizes, and excess inventory of others.
Anthrotech was brought in to help establish an accurate tariff for a newly expanded JSLIST sizing system. A plan was developed to sample the Marines, the Army, and the Army National Guard, collect basic anthropometric and demographic data, and determine – through garment try-on – the best sizing for individuals.
How Anthrotech Helped
The study sample comprised 1,000 Marines, 1,000 U.S. Army soldiers, and 500 soldiers in the Army National Guard. The sample was distributed into categories representing both sexes, four age groups, and four ethnic classifications. The study participants were tested at five locations across the US.
Investigators measured participants for 10 clothing-related dimensions:
1. Chest circumference
2. Sleeve outseam
3. Crotch height
5. Hip (buttock) circumference
6. Waist circumference (at the navel)
7. Neck circumference
8. Waist circumference (preferred)
9. Shoulder circumference
Fit tests of the 11 existing sizes of the JSLIST coat-and-trouser ensemble were conducted to determine each participant’s best-fit size.
The results of this fit test led investigators to recommend revised tariffs. Since analysis of the anthropometric data showed that each service component was distinctive in size and shape, separate tariffs were drawn up for each one.
The study concluded that three new sizes — Small Regular, Medium X-Short, and Large Short — would greatly improve the accommodation of the user population and that three existing sizes could be eliminated. Further analysis of the fit test data showed that the prediction charts which guide the user’s choice of size were not as accurate as they could be. We increased the accuracy of the chart from 71% to 74% for the coat portion of the suit by adjusting the divisions between the sizes. In the case of the trousers, the prediction chart was improved from 68% to 74% by changing the key dimensions from waist circumference and inseam to weight and inseam.
The fit test showed that the problems reported from the field were not with the garment itself, but with the available sizes. Some members of our fighting forces were in the wrong size, and of course, that negatively influenced their protection. As a result of our work, soldiers, Marines, Air Force and Navy personnel on the ground were offered better and more comfortable protection.