The Army's advanced combat helmet plays a vital role in the survivability of its soldiers.

But while it provides basic protection for soldiers, it's not always easy to add new and improved technology to the helmet itself.

The mission-configurable helmet cover by Gentex aims to offer another level of protection and convenience, said retired Army Col. Patrick Stallings, director of business development at Gentex.

The cover takes a basic Army-issued helmet and lets soldiers attach different add-ons by using the rails that run along the sides of the cover.

"The ACH is a great helmet that protects the head," Stallings said. "But it doesn't provide help in terms of situational awareness or additional protection."

A soldier can add face shields, side armor and communications devices to give the helmet a boost in safety and technology.

Night-vision goggles can be added to the shroud that's sewn into the helmet cover, and sensors can be added to the Velcro top.

This helmet cover is currently being used by soldiers in the field, and there's a new version undergoing testing.

That version removes the need for bolts by using a chin strap that is sewn directly into the helmet cover.

The helmet covers take a necessary piece of equipment and enhance it to help today's soldiers succeed in their mission, Stallings said.

Charlsy is a Reporter and Engagement Manager for Military Times. Email her at

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