First we had the female combat drawers, now Tommie is being fielded what looks like a pair of MultiCam Kangapants to help protect his junk from roadside bombs.
A tipster sent us along this BBC report on the British military's latest piece of pelvic protection...
They look like black cycling shorts, but are made from special ballistic material crafted from silk and synthetics, which is ultra-lightweight but can stop or mitigate the effects of most small pieces of shrapnel and dirt travelling at high velocity after a blast.The underpants are combined with a wrap-around ballistic piece that's worn on the outside (kind of reminds you of that famous revolutionary decree from Esposito in Woody Allen's Bananas: "In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check").
Although no figures are available, many soldiers wounded by roadside bombs in Afghanistan have suffered severe injuries to the pelvic area, mainly due to the increased use of "victim-operated" roadside bombs, when the weight of a soldier or a vehicle triggers the explosion.
That means that much of the destructive force of the blast is aimed upwards, directly towards the groin and top of the legs.
The "combat codpiece" comes in camouflage colours, and looks like a bulky pair of underpants which tie on at both sides, which is worn over the trousers.So far the Brits have fielded 45,000 pairs of the underpants and plan on 25,000 of the "codpiece" (such a Brit term...), the BBC says.
It can be rolled up and clipped to a belt at the back of a pair of trousers with two velcro straps, and then - when needed on patrol - be pulled through the legs to clip together at the sides to form a protective pouch.
And the kicker: the undies are made of tightly-woven silk instead of Kevlar or another ballistic resistant material. Hmmmm...luxurious!