Made In Vermont: The U.S. Army's New Standard-Issue Helmet

Jul 6, 2017

In Newport on Thursday, employees and company officials at Revision Military joined Sen. Patrick Leahy, Rep. Peter Welch and Gov. Phil Scott to celebrate a new federal contract.

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The company will provide the standard helmet for U.S. Army soldiers in a deal estimated at a $100 million value, according to retired Lieutenant General Michael Dubie, who is now president of Revision Military Technologies.

Dubie says that that contract will likely mean more jobs at the company’s Newport manufacturing facility.

“We’re at 150 employees and we expect that it’ll probably grow to over 200 employees here once we start delivering the helmets to the U.S. Army,” he said Thursday.

The new helmets are 24 percent lighter than the previous standard helmet and can stop bullets just as well or better, officials said.

The helmets are made by combining dozens of layers of a synthetic material resembling wax paper. The material is cut into shape and then stapled together with plastic staples before employees put it in a specially designed mold that uses high pressure and heat to form the many layers of material into a single helmet shell.

Revision Military makes its helmets by combining layers of synthetic material, stapled together in a precise way. The layered materials are then turned into a helmet shell using pressure and heat.
Credit Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Officials at Revision Military take pride in making their products more effective at saving lives, said Eric Hounchell, the vice president of armor and global operations at Revision Military. The company makes protective equipment such as helmets and goggles, specifically designed for military and law enforcement purposes.

“What we are doing here is we’re producing equipment that’s protecting our men and women that go into combat, so the pride, the absolute commitment that the employees have here, is all about making sure that our soldiers get home safe,” he said.

Revision’s helmets don’t just protect soldiers; a police officer was shot in the head during the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and survived with bruising thanks to a helmet made at Revision Military’s Newport manufacturing facility. In fact, Hounchell said, the company can trace its helmets back to specific employees and materials by using serial numbers, so Hounchell led a round of applause for the Revision employee who shaped the exact helmet that saved that police officer’s life.

Dubie said the latest federal contract is a five-year contract, but the company is also planning to bid on other contracts to serve the U.S. military as well as militaries abroad.