Upgrading Your PASGT Kevlar Helmet Suspension System

MDT does a request.

Here’s the thing:

This fight is going to be long and ugly.

There will be government forces (certainly domestic and likely foreign) involved in trying to wipe out the “domestic terrorists”.

You may well be facing more than just small-arms fire.

Why not have a little upgraded protection put together while the Big Supply Depots are still open?


Bonus question to the jump-qualified: What are “bunny ears” and why are they used?

56 responses to “Upgrading Your PASGT Kevlar Helmet Suspension System

  1. Practical Man

    Bonus question: they’re called bunny ears because Cherries tuck them under the camouflage band in the assembly area and look like bunnies.

    Parachutists Retention Straps was the proper nomenclature at JM school. They are routed beneath the chinstrap and outboard of the chinstrap adjusting buckles. Their purpose is to keep the helmet on your head should the parachutist fail to properly tuck chin to chest during exit; failure to tuck chin to chest frequently results in the parachute risers delivering a nasty slap to the head. The metal L-bar shapes connecting loop on the riser leaves quite a mark.

    The foam impact pad serves a similar purpose. If ones head isn’t properly tucked during the parachute landing fall, a solid thump is delivered to the skull. Concussion is a common result. The foam impact pad limits cuts and shock to the brain.

    In truth the PASGT is a decent helmet. Hard to get a good prone firing position while wearing one but not impossible.

    Foam impact pad will melt if exposed to insect repellent.

    Foam impact pad, parachutists retention straps and improved suspension band are all good kit. Keeping a spare protractor and VS17 section in the helmet works out great.

    We affectionately called it the dome of obedience. Put it on and do as you’re told, at least west of Gruder Road. That standard was less rigidly enforced downrange.

  2. robroysimmons

    Is this the thread where us old timers can regale the youth with tales of our steel pots and how we loved them?

    • Yes, regale away………

      • robroysimmons

        We all probably got lead poisoning from cooking food in them, the best was rattlesnake at 29 Palms.

    • Johnny Paratrooper

      I accidentally took a dump in my helmet once.

      A big steamy, squirtie Dysentary dump full of pin worms.

      • JP, I thought one is supposed to crap in someone else’s helmet.


      • SemperFi, 0321

        At least with the old steel pot you could wash it out and then cook in it later. These new ones the whole harness will still smell funny.

      • Why not just shit on the ground?
        I’ve done that many times and it never crossed my mind to try to aim for a helmet. Besides, what do you do with the helmet after it’s shit infested?

      • I’m trying to imagine how you got into the immediately prior situation of bare behind positioned over a helmet. I’m mentally rolling this movie backwards…squat…lower pants…put helmet on ground…none of that sounds accidental.

  3. I installed the kit from Oregon Aero several years ago, works very well and is complete. Make sure you get the size appropriate for your helmet size. My fat head takes an XL. I think you can get the kit for less direct from Oregon Aero, I didn’t pay over $100.00 for it.


    • One other thing, I wore the steel pot and liner for a number of years, didn’t miss that AT ALL.

      • Agreed. When I PCS’d back to Fort Campbell after 3 years in Germany and wearing steel pots all the time, I was told to buy a red beret or wear a steel pot. I was wearing a beret at formation the next morning.

    • Another vote for Oregon Aero…I have their upgrades to all of my helmets (flight helmets especially) and even my headsets….highly recommended!

  4. Are these what s called Mitch helmets?

    • Johnny Paratrooper


      The ACH and “Mitch” aka PASGT are two different helmets.

      The PASGT was designed for head blows, explosive shockwave deflection, and shrapnel/ricochets

      The ACH can take a 9mm submachine gun burst point blank, Can stop an AK round from 500 and beyond, and helps to protect the user from 21st century explosives devices that use much, much better steel penetrators.

      • The MICH is the no ear coverage version of the ACH. The PASGT is the original kevlar helmet and came before the ACH (a clipped, stronger ballistic protection PASGT) or the MICH (an earless ACH).

        • Johnny Paratrooper

          I was unaware the MICH was a tankers helmet.

          When I was in, We used to just call every helmet a “MICH”

          • The MICH is what most SF are using now because it works well with their headsets. Kinda defeats the purpose of wearin’ a helmet when half of the side coverage is missin’…….

  5. Where or how does one get a PASGT, or Mitch?? They have been banned “assault rifles” since Hillaries first term as co-President. Every online supplier is LEO only (only ones) and wouldn’t even sell to current military for unknown good reasons.

    Just axxin’ ‘cause I’ll buy one if it’s genuine and regulation helmet.

      • Thanks tee,

        After I wrote that, I went to coffee, with my shoot guys retired mil. They corrected me and explained the genesis of the mich. because of their small army backgrounds, they said it’s a waste of money, go with the kpot, were not running comms, so no point in the expense.

        So when we play, which isn’t often we use bumps, simply to support nods. They are bullet proff, or resistant, sits on a shelf.

        • and the weather is fucking brutal.

          a solid 4ft of snow n ice on the roofs and ground, 3″s of ice on the plowed surfaces after an all day rain 2 days ago and then down to below zero again… trees still are snapping from the weight, 8-12 more inches on the way tomorrow, and temps in the teens and more snow forecast for the next 2 weeks ahead. i’ve burned 7 full cords of wood so far since Oct 1st and 450 gallons of propane. i just dug my sled out of 5 feet of powder out in back of the house. where’s that fucking groundhog Phil whatsitsname?

    • Color, you,want one, I’ll use my ID, get it for you.


  6. Get it squared away.
    Then stop playing with it.

    • Johnny Paratrooper

      That helmet wasn’t designed to stop a bullet anyway.

      • The point remains: it doesn’t do dick if you’re fucking around with it off your head.

        • Johnny Paratrooper

          I think the moral of the story is that he would have kept his head down lower if he wasn’t under the impression it would have worked.

  7. https://tnvc.com/shop/norotos-usgi-rhino-mount-arm/

    Or this one.
    But you need the mounting kit (shroud) for the helmet itself before you can put the bracket on it.


    That price is a bit out there but you can find them on Fleabay for much lower.
    There are other models but for the PASGT because of the brim that JC mentions you have to have one specifically made for it. There is a Shroud made for the MICH that will work on the PASGT but it has a little gap in it.
    MUCH cheaper cost as well.

    Just Loctite the screw in so it will not work loose.

  8. Johnny Paratrooper



    FYI, There are aftermarket pads that are much, much more comfortable to wear. I swear they are 1,000% better.

    I am sure the article mentions this. I did not read the article because my Helmets are already set up using my spare Army issue pads. I do not plan to wear my helmet for 16 hours straight during mandatory fun time.

    I’m also going to unbuckle my chin strap whenever I feel like it. BFYTW

    • Johnny Paratrooper

      I forgot to mention.

      The USMC chinstrap is better than the Army Chinstrap.

      If I recall correctly, the MITCH or PASGT requires you to drill two holes and/or use the suspension harness holes instead.

      The setup is slightly different, but the strap can be adjusted to compensate.

      It looks “slightly” off to the trained eye. But I assure you it works just fine.

      The USMC Chinstrap is a much better design. Especially with Nightvision.

      • Johnny Paratrooper

        I read the article. Right on all counts.

        Although, maybe its just me, but I never found hard harts or the PASGT to be particular uncomfortable. I suppose everyone’s head is a little different.

        If you guys are looking for a helmet, but could care less about the ballistic protection, you should consider a bump helmet or a $100 dollar black hockey helmet.

        The hockey helmets are SUPER comfortable, and are designed for crashes on hard ice or getting put into the wall. They also come with built in wide view eye protection and have holes for easy listening.

        They are not so comfortable(might be my head shape) if you plan to modify one and use it with Night vision.

        However, if you want something that can handle(almost) a dead strike from a baseball bat, the Hockey helmet is the best protection in the game with minimal weight and max hearing and visibility.

        $100 bucks will buy you the most comfortable, and full adjustable Hockey helmet money can buy. Add a coat of spray paint, and some accessories. Light a flashlight or some velcro, and you have yourself a certified real deal fighting/operators helmet.

      • mine came with a ballistic neck protector that hangs off the rear. prolly a good thing..

  9. Those helmets scream insurgent. If you’re going that route make sure it’s ill fitting and paste a CNN sticker on it.

    • Once the helmets come out, IMHO, everyone will be fighting to win and avoid execution in the show trials.


    • Johnny Paratrooper

      OMG. HAHA!

      FYI. Being white screams insurgent.

      If you dont believe me, Walk around Baltimore after sundown.

    • wendystringer48088

      “Those helmets scream insurgent.”

      I would think the AK or AR rifle you are carrying and the mag pouches would be the greater tell…

      By the way, looking at photos of actual fighters in war zones (regular and irregular forces) it seems that not everyone wears a helmet. Am I missing something?

      Myself, for all the protection a helmet would give me against a hit by a 223 or .308 or larger, I think I’d prefer to go with a boonie hat with cloth with burlap / camo strips on it. That helmet silhouette seems to stand out and be easily identifiable even if the rest of the body is camo’d up.

  10. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on FOR GOD AND COUNTRY.

  11. With the ACH one must secure the rear straps first so the helmet stays in one’s head while gently shaking your head upside down, because when firing the M-240 or the MaDeuce it will literally shake it off of your head. Not kidding.

  12. PS. Aesop, machine gunners use short bursts per target, not spray the down range environment, otherwise most rounds strike empty air and no targets. Old infantry dilemma. So Las Vegas was more than one shooter with full auto, in a few minutes would produce only 500 casualties and 60 fatals. I humped the Pig and the 240. Expert in both for 800 metre qual range. Some things you are not the expert, many things you are.

  13. Walter MItty

    This may be a stupid comment but I thought soldiers in WWII did not fasten their helmet chin straps because the blast from an artillery shell could cause some problems for your head? Or was that an old wives tale?
    Just wondering.

  14. Noted in comment at MDT, there’s a site called bulletproofme that offers kits and helmets. Stumbled on them some years back but didn’t buy. Guess I should have. Upgrading suspension goes on the to-do list.
    Paint -a la MDT is a better idea than wrasslin those damnable cloth covers onto the k-pots.

  15. Good article; I went from steel pots and no NVGs to Kevelars, PVS-14+ mounting hardware, and AN-PAQ-4Cs.

    103 jumps, I had a few “feet-ass-head” (backwards) landings on clay and concrete runways..slammed my head too many times (there are gaps in my memories), and yet the kevelar was better protection than the steel pot….but how I got shrapnel on top of my skull without damaging the kevelar I’ll never know.

    This stuff is expensive; a necessity!

    Tangent: chemical warfare poses a significant threat also; those beards will have to come off and the masks go on when the tear gas or VX is wafting….