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Reporter Ballistic Vests & Rifle Plates



  • Level IIIA Collar with split overlap both front & rear
  • Level IIIA Pull-Down Groin Protector
  • Tailbone Protector
  • Large Front Pocket big enough for a Reporter's Notebook and personal items.
  • Easily read "PRESS" logo Velcro patches, front and back
  • Comes with a carrying bag for transport or storage.

Media Press Vest (MPV)
Purpose-built to withstand wear and tear subjected from reporting in the world's hotspots. A professional appearance is vital for on-air personalities and stringers alike, so this system was designed to not only protect, but to look good doing it.

Smooth outer carrier constructed in abrasive-resistant Cordura™ with heavy duty Velcro closures, all in internationally-recognized PRESS blue.

Extensive ballistic protection provided by NIJ Certified Level IIIA Inserts which can be easily removed for laundering of outer carrier.

The Vest features Front and Rear Rifle Plate pockets that accept full-size 10" x 12" Ceramic Composite Protective ESAPI-rated Plates.

Two things to consider before you acquire a "PRESS" Blue ballistic vest.

  1. You're real easy to spot from a distance because you don't blend in, and
  2. You don't blend in.

Coyote or Ranger Green or ACU or MULTI-CAM would all be better choices for an Imbedded reporter.

CBS's Ray B. in Afghanistan

If you're considering a visit to a hot zone, reference this video for what is required.

Ballistic Information:

  • Background:
    • Certification of Body Armor
      The National Institute of Justice has a rating system for body armor (NIJ Standard 0101.03, 0101.04 and the interim 0101.05). As you add layers of a ballistic fiber, you add protection.
      Vests are tested not just for stopping penetration, but also for blunt trauma protection – the blow suffered by the body from the bullet's impact on the vest. Blunt trauma is measured by the dent suffered by a soft clay backstop to the vest – a maximum of 1.7" (44 mm) is allowed.
  • What does NIJ Level IIIA mean?
    • The highest-rated soft body armor ballistics protection from penetration:
      Level IIIA 9mm 124 gr. FMJ RN at 435 m/s & 44 Magnum 240gr. JH at 435 m/s
    • The highest blunt trauma protection rating in soft body armor. The best for very high-risk situations to cover more of the uncommon or unusual threats.
    • Minimizes blunt trauma injury due to layer-count & construction.
  • What about rifle rounds?
    • The addition of Rifle plates (or ESAPI Plates) which are centered over the torso core, provide protection from such. Weight is an issue and an I.C.W. (in conjunction with) protective plate will shave pounds off of the system.
  • And my head?
    • Unlike the old PASGT military helmets that were handed out to reporter, new Level IIIA Ballistic Helmets are available which are lighter and stronger. The web-suspension system of the past has been replaced with EVA deceleration foam pads that prevent concussive-impact by the helmet when hit with a pistol round.
  • Why not Level III or Level IV soft body armor?
    • To assemble a Level III ballistics panel, it would have to be able to stop most lead-core, mild steel core commercial small arms rounds. The resultant vest would be like a turtle shell and weight over 50 lbs.
    • To assemble a Level IV ballistic panel which could stop military Armor Piercing Rifle rounds would be made entirely of solid ceramics and weigh over 3000 lbs.

Something to remember while reporting from the front lines:

FLAK-Jackets did a great job of stopping small shards of metal fragmented from larger chunks when and I.E.D. blew up. They just didn't stop bullets.

Today's Level IIIA Ballistic Vest will provide extensive high-velocity fragmentation protection from I.E.D.s themselves.

Because of the blunt trauma protection provided by the Level IIIA ballistics, being tossed around inside an ambushed vehicle so attacked, will not produce the severity of wounds as being unprotected would.

Level IIIA is the most protective while being the most flexible (comfortable) to wear.

Our MPV Package designed for
On-Air Personalities and support staff

  • Media Press Vest (MPV)
  • Groin Protector
  • Tailbone Protector
  • Collar
  • 2 x Ceramic Plates Level IV
  • Press Logos
  • Carrying Bag.
  • Ballistic Helmet IIIA "PRESS" Blue

    Corporate Pricing

    As of 01/22- Subject to change without notice



    Extra Charge


Martha Raddatz, then senior national security Correspondent for ABC News
in Mosul, Iraq, '05.

 Picture credit - Greta Bradlee

Just because your news bureau gave you a vest to wear doesn't mean it will protect you.

In this photo, you can see that the vest being worn is ill-fitted, torn and poorly designed. There is no rifle plates, and the collar does not protect the center throat. Also the PRESS patches are missing!

Looks to be a hand-me-down from another reporter

Just received info from the US embassy in UAE. Recent changes in UAE law warrant your attention as they relate to the transportation of police equipment through the UAE. Bottom line is that violators will face prosecution and fines and the US embassy there will not intervene on your behalf. Please give this the widest possible dissemination.
Please do not ad lib or edit contents below.

  • All US News personnel - to avoid violation of Emirati laws by the intentional or accidental transport of any arms or items considered as law enforcement equipment or military gear. UAE airport personnel will x-ray all baggage - checked or carry-on - and cargo shipments, including household goods, both incoming and outgoing.  UAE authorities will confiscate any weapons, weapon parts, ammunition, body armor, handcuffs, sensitive electronics, cryptographic devices, and/or other military/police equipment transported to or through a civilian airport. Persons found to be carrying such items will be arrested and face strict criminal penalties, including imprisonment and large monetary fines

    One such incident involved one bullet, found in the bag of a traveller who had unknowingly left the item in his bag.  This individual was detained by the police and now faces a possible jail sentence and large monetary fine.  In other similar incidents, U.S. Defence contractors transiting the U.A.E. with weapons were arrested and are now serving jail sentences of several months.

 The following is a sampling of the types of items that are illegal in the United Arab Emirates.  The list is NOT all inclusive, but does include the following:


  • Weapons of any type, to include guns of any type, including simulators, assembled or disassembled, in carry-on or checked baggage.
  • Ammunition or pyrotechnics of any type to include spent brass or casings.
  • Body Armor, including ballistic vests and military/police helmets.
  • Police or law enforcement paraphernalia, including; handcuffs, flexi-cuffs, night vision goggles, gun holsters, pepper spray etc.
  • Military-style electronics and cryptographic devices.

The smallest quantity of any of the above mentioned items can result in detention and prosecution, to include a possible jail sentence, in the United Arab Emirates.

U.S. individuals are traveling to hazardous areas in foreign countries where they need to wear body armor for personal safety.

 Consequently, the Department of State is amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to add an exemption for the temporary export of body armor covered by 22 CFR 121.1, Category X(a)(1).

The exemption is available for destinations not subject to restrictions under ITAR § 126.1 and to Afghanistan and Iraq under specified conditions. In order to use the exemption, the protective equipment must be for the individual's exclusive use and must be returned to the United States.

The individual may not re-export the protective equipment to a foreign person or otherwise transfer ownership. The protective equipment may not be exported to any country where the importation would be in violation of that country's laws.

The U.S. person declaring the temporary export of body armor to U.S. Customs and Border Protection should use CBP Form 4457 entitled the “Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad.”

The export information is not required to be reported electronically using the Automated Export System (AES). Upon re-entering the United States, the CBP Form 4457 should be presented. Link

In the event the body armor is lost or otherwise not returned to the United States, a detailed report about the incident must be submitted to the Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance. The report should describe all attempts to locate the body armor.


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