As the summer season approaches, it’s essential to address a significant issue that poses a threat to our brave servicemen and women: heat stress. Heat stress is the leading cause of injury in the U.S. military, a danger we all can mitigate with the right precautions. In this article, we delve deeper into the dangers of heat stress to the U.S. military and how Serket’s new Zephyr shirt is a game changer in keeping our warfighters safe in the heat.
Heat stress is a condition that occurs when the body is unable to properly cool itself down. The condition happens when the body exposes itself to high temperatures and humidity or when exerting strenuous activity in a hot environment. Heat stress can cause several symptoms, including sweating, fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, heat stress can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition.
There were 488 incident cases of heat stroke and 1,864 incident cases of heat exhaustion among active component service members in 2021.Health.mil
Heat stress is a major concern for the military, as it can significantly impact the performance of service members and increase the risk of heat-related injuries and death. In recent years, several high-profile cases of heat-related deaths in the military occurred, leading to an increased focus on heat stress prevention.
The military has many programs in place to prevent heat stress, including training service members on the risks of heat stress and how to prevent it, providing service members with the proper clothing and equipment to protect them from the heat, and monitoring service members for signs of heat stress and taking action to cool them down if necessary.
Despite these efforts, heat stress remains a significant risk for service members. According to health.mil, there were 488 incident cases of heat stroke and 1,864 incident cases of heat exhaustion among active component service members in 2021. The risk of heat stress is highest during the summer months and in hot, humid climates.
Long Term Effects
The long-term effects of heat exhaustion and stroke can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the person’s overall health. In some cases, people may make a full recovery with no lasting effects. However, in other cases, people may experience long-term problems, such as:
- Chronic fatigue: People who have experienced heat exhaustion or stroke may experience chronic fatigue, which can make it difficult to do everyday activities.
- Memory problems: People who have experienced heat exhaustion or stroke may experience memory problems, which can make it difficult to remember things or learn new information.
- Concentration problems: People who have experienced heat exhaustion or stroke may experience concentration problems, which can make it difficult to focus on tasks or follow instructions.
- Mood swings: People who have experienced heat exhaustion or stroke may experience mood swings, which can include feeling depressed, anxious, or irritable.
- Sleep problems: People who have experienced heat exhaustion or stroke may experience sleep problems, such as insomnia or difficulty staying asleep.
Unique Factors Contributing to Heat Stress in Military Settings
There are a number of unique factors that contribute to heat stress in military settings, including:
- Physical demands: Military training and operations often involve strenuous physical activity, which can increase the risk of heat stress.
- Environmental conditions: Military personnel may find themselves exposed to hot, humid climates, which can further increase the risk of heat stress.
- Personal factors: Certain personal factors, such as obesity, a history of heat-related illnesses, and certain medications, can increase the risk of heat stress.
- Equipment: Military uniforms and equipment can also contribute to heat stress by trapping heat and making it difficult for service members to cool down.
While the overall number of deaths is low related to heat injuries in the military (2-3 a year), the number has steadily risen. Over the past decade, the average temperature has increased by about 0.14 F, with 2022 being the sixth hottest year on record. While this may seem like a small difference, it will mean that the prevalence of heat-related injuries will only go up unless we do something about it.
A large part of combating the issue comes with proper education on what to do. Common practices such as hydration, being able to identify symptoms, and wearing personal protective equipment can all help you stay safe in hot and humid conditions. Only a medical practitioner can properly treat heat stress, but there are ways you can help stop the problem from happening in the first place. That’s where we come in.
With all the statistics in place, Serket decided to roll up our sleeves and began searching for a solution to this growing problem. We asked the question, how do we offer no melt/no drip apparel that will also keep our warfighters cool in extreme heat scenarios? After months of preparations and design, we have now come up with what will be an ideal solution in helping to prevent heat stress for our armed service members.
Keeping Warfighters Cool With Serket’s Zephyr Shirt
Each season has its challenges when it comes to staying safe in military operations. With both heat stress and stroke in mind, Serket is now releasing the brand new Zephyr Shirt as a way to keep our warfighters cool and ready for action.
Serket is proud to announce the launch of its innovative Zephyr Shirt, designed to combat heat stress and provide the U.S. warfighter with ultimate protection. This rugby-style, tropical-weight shirt is Berry Compliant and crafted from robust NYCO Cordura fabric, offering the lightest and coolest experience while maintaining exceptional durability and adhering to no melt/no drip standards.
1. Tropical Weight No Melt MIL-SPEC Fabrics The Zephyr Shirt is constructed with ultra-lightweight MIL-SPEC fabrics designed to withstand extreme conditions without melting or dripping. This feature is crucial in high-heat environments, where traditional fabrics can become a safety hazard. The Zephyr Shirt’s unique fabric composition ensures it remains intact and provides consistent protection, even under intense heat and stress.
2. Highly Air Permeable We implemented the Zephyr Shirt with high air permeability, a feature that promotes breathability and helps to regulate body temperature. The feature is particularly important in hot conditions, where the body’s core temperature can rise rapidly, leading to heat stress or heat stroke. The Zephyr Shirt’s highly air-permeable design allows for efficient heat dissipation, helping to keep the wearer cool and comfortable.
3. Moisture Managing Quick Dry Fabrics The Zephyr Shirt features moisture-managing quick-dry fabrics that wick sweat away from the skin, promoting faster evaporation and helping to keep the wearer dry. This is a critical feature in combating heat stress, as excessive sweating without proper evaporation can lead to dehydration, a key factor in heat-related illnesses.
4. High-Rise Collar Protects the Neck from Vest and Chest Rigs The Zephyr Shirt has a high-rise collar that provides additional protection for the neck area. It’s oftentimes exposed to friction from vests and chest rigs. This feature not only enhances comfort but also reduces the risk of skin irritation and injuries.
5. Button Flap Bicep Pocket With Loop Tape The Zephyr Shirt also includes a button flap bicep pocket with loop tape, providing convenient storage for small items. This feature adds to the shirt’s functionality without compromising its lightweight design.
More About Serket
Serket is a leading provider of personal protective equipment for the U.S. military, constantly challenging the boundaries of what is possible in building and maintaining safety for our warfighters. The Zephyr Shirt is a testament to this commitment, offering a comprehensive solution to combat heat stress and protect our servicemen and women in the line of duty.
The Zephyr Shirt’s unique combination of features, as seen above, makes it an essential addition to any military wardrobe. As we move into the summer months, the Zephyr Shirt stands as a pillar of protection in military personal protective equipment, offering unmatched protection against heat stress.
In the heat of a mission, when everything is on the line, you can’t let yourself be anything but your best at any given time. The Zephyr Shirt will keep you cool and prevent setbacks, such as heat stress, from getting in your way of achieving mission-critical success.
Serket knows the importance of this, and we continue to build and design cutting-edge PPE that will keep you safe in the summer heat. From the very beginning of Serket to where we are now, we will only continue to provide you with the best apparel and technology imaginable.
Contact Us For More Info
To keep up to date with Serket news, fill out the contact form here, so you’ll never miss another blog. If you’d like more information on how Serket can help you with your next mission, you can send us an email at Sales@SerketUSA.com. Whatever your challenge, you can feel confident knowing Serket provides you with a uniform built for performance.
Did you hear about our recent updates to the Serket portfolio? You can read all about our new cutting-edge designs here.