Militaries tend to reflect their national cultures in various ways, and Americans have always been inveterate tinkerers and inventors. It’s a streak that runs deep in the culture, as even a casual glance at America’s late night TV will confirm. Cases in point on the military side of things include the Chavis turret, Hummer mine-rollers, and the door-ripping Rat Claws.
The American political-military-industrial complex has a mixed record when it comes to putting these kinds of innovations in the hands of people on the front lines. On the other hand, the current war has offered an illuminating side by side comparison of the American system vs. other militaries. Despite its size, the American system compares well, thanks in part to agencies like the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force. Another source of encouragement is the Army’s annual “Top 10 inventions” recognition program, which began in 2002.
These programs winners over the past 2 years [2005 | 2006] ranged from modified M113 APCs to wound dressings with built-in blood clotting agents. In June 2008, a new set of winners were announced. Presenting, the US Army’s Top 10 inventions of 2007: