May 16, 2008

DoD IG Letter to CREW Confirms Investigation into Substandard Helmet Contracts

FOIA Requests (Legal Filings), Federal Agencies, Department of Defense, FOIA, Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – Earlier this year, in light of evidence that Sioux Manufacturing, a company that makes Kevlar helmets, has been outfitting our nation's troops with substandard Kevlar helmets, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Defense asking for all records related to Sioux Manufacturing. In response, CREW has received a letter from the DoD Inspector General’s office stating that there is an ongoing investigation into the matter.

This past February, it was reported that Sioux Manufacturing had agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company had shortchanged the armor in up to 2.2 million helmets for the military, including helmets used by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense, aware of both the problem with Sioux's helmets and the company's efforts to cover it up, awarded another contract to Sioux a mere 12 days before the lawsuit was settled.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said today, “We are hopeful that the investigation will uncover the reasons as to why the Department of Defense is contracting with a company that produces substandard helmets for our soldiers. Again and again this administration has opted for dangerous cost-cutting measures in lieu of ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of those serving our country.”

Just yesterday, CREW and released an e-mail from a Veterans Affairs (VA) staff member asking that VA employees refrain from diagnosing soldiers and veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to an increased number of “compensation seeking veterans.”

CREW also sent a letter in February to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees requesting an investigation into a Department of Defense $74 million contract awarded to Sioux Manufacturing.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit or contact Jordan Libowitz at 202.408.5565 or