All U.S. Marines to be Outfitted with New ESS Crossbow Ballistic Spectacles

August 18, 2011  |  ESS UPDATES
All U.S. Marines to be Outfitted with New ESS Crossbow Ballistic Spectacles

August 18, 2011 -- Sun Valley, ID USA

ESS (Eye Safety Systems, Inc.) today announced that its Crossbow™ ballistic spectacle has been selected as the standard issue eyewear authorized for use by the United States Marine Corps.  All Marines will receive a new set of Crossbow™ spectacles in a total force resupply commencing in 2011 and continuing throughout 2012. The Crossbow™ is part of a complete eye protection system from ESS that includes the Profile NVG™ goggle and the U-Rx™ prescription insert. These three ESS products now represent the only standard issue authorized eye protection for U.S. Marines.

The selection of the Crossbow™ is the result of the Marine Corps Systems Command’s new IBE (Improved Ballistic Eyewear) program.  The program was launched to select the best protective eyewear available for Marines by subjecting competing products to a rigorous and extensive series of mission-related field tests and reviews. The IBE evaluation process was completed earlier this year, and the Marine Corps chose the Crossbow based upon the spectacle’s advanced performance characteristics, excellent value proposition, and the unanimous preference for the Crossbow over the competition by the Marine subject test groups. Following the Marine Corps’ own recent announcement regarding the findings of the IBE program, Shannon Day, Project Officer for IBE, said, “The ESS Crossbow has the quality, comfort, and optical clarity the Marine Corps needs.”

The Marine Corps’ choice underscores ESS’ historic role as the preeminent provider of eye protection to the U.S. Military. In 2004, the ESS ICE™ eyeshield became the Marine Corps’ authorized protective eyewear and it maintained that status until it was replaced by the improved spectacle offered today. “ESS is honored to continue to serve the U.S. Marine Corps’ eye protection needs,” said Brian Ross, ESS General Manager.  “The PM-ICE team ran one of the most diligent and competitive review processes ever performed for eye protection, and we are thrilled that the Crossbow emerged as the preferred spectacle system for Marines.”

As the world’s leading manufacturer of military eye protection, ESS has the ability to support the significant production volume required to fulfill the USMC’s ballistic eye protection needs.  ESS will produce the eye protection needed to outfit the Marines while continuing to meet the very high demand for the Crossbow™ from the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. Having earned a listing on the elite U.S. Army APEL (Authorized Protective Eyewear List) in 2010, the Crossbow’s popularity is still on the rise amongst military and tactical customers and has now expanded to other eye protection users - including hunters and shooters - who appreciate the many benefits of this high-performance military product.

The Crossbow™ spectacle system is compliant with U.S. MIL-PRF-31013 (Clause, U.S. Federal OSHA, ANSI Z87.1 2010 Edition and CE EN 166. All Crossbow™ lenses provide 100% UVA/UVB protection.  Visit for further details.



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"Dear ESS, On deployment in 2012, my vehicle was struck with an IED while performing route clearance in Afghanistan. The IED flipped my vehicle, knocking me unconscious and launching my rifle into my face. My cheek, nose, and eye socket were shattered from the impact, but my eye was saved from the ESS Crossbow I was wearing. When I put a pair of Crossbows back on, you can clearly see where I would have lost my eye if I wasn't wearing them." SSG Pronzati