"I'm not going to accept this as fact." So....you would not want your son wearing non-issue armor if DOD said their gear (by definition older and cheaper, from lowest bidder) was as good, or almost as good, maybe; but no matter, orders is orders?"
Look. You're not paying attention. I'm saying that I don't believe any such orders not to wear the other armor were ever issued. I don't believe that crap about generals wearing this better armor, either.
This sounds like a crapola story to me. Hackworth's stuff is often bullwhack. Show me the orders that prohibit the wearing of this armor. Show me where it says that the insurance won't pay off.
The story smells.
I believe that any and all DOD elements would be VERY hesitant to bar the use of any product that would enhance surviveability, given the beating they have taken over body armor and similar sensational issues for quite some time now.
If such an order exists, I want to see who signed it.
Then I want to see that idiot shipped to a line unit in Iraq wearing standard GI body armor and standard GI everything else.
But until someone can produce an actual order signed by someone 'very high up' I'll look at this story with a jaundiced eye.
"I don't believe that crap about generals wearing this better armor, either"
Like you, I don't know about the veracity of this story. BUT, from my experience as a staff officer, I can tell you firsthand that generals frequently get to try out the new gear long before it's even procured, let alone issued.
As to the orders to the soldiers about body armor: the one thing that makes it plausible is the way it's enforced: not by the UCMJ, but by a threat that your SGLI "may not cover" your death. That's BS, but to a young man in harm's way, scary. Because of this, I doubt that it's an official "order;" more likely something like a policy guidance. Which, if true, stinks; and is probably rooted in a desire for manufacturer exclusivity (as someone already mentioned.)