The Different Types of Military Helmets

There are various types of military helmets used by the military or law enforcement personnel in the United States and other countries. These helmets often have certain features that make it distinguishable from other regular helmets. For instance, military helmets often have bulletproof features that provide maximum protection against ballistic attacks, fragmentation, shrapnel, and many other dangers.

Different types of military helmets you can find today:

There are a number of helmet options available when it comes to military helmets. All these depends mostly on the purpose. Here are some of the most common types of helmets.

Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH)

Advanced Combat Helmet, or ACH helmet, is the type of standard military helmet used by the United States Army. The American ground forces have been using this helmet since the early 2000s. The developers of this helmet are the US Army Research Laboratory, the United States Army Soldier Systems Center, and the US Army Special Operations Command. This helmet is the improved version of the earlier PASGT military helmet used by the US Army.

Here’s some additional information about Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH):

  • The ACH helmet is more lightweight than the earlier PASGT helmet used by the US Army in the 1980s.
  • There’s the pre-drilled Night Vision Goggle (NVG) bracket on the helmet.
  • It features the improved pad suspension and 4-point retention system, and it also includes the water-resistant pad suspension system.
  • The helmet has the ballistic resistant hardware installed.
  • It features the slides you can adjust to ensure snug fitting for the helmet at both the front and rear areas of the helmet.
  • Compared to the previous PASGT helmet, the ACH helmet has a higher side trim with no beak.

Ballistic Helmet (Bulletproof Tactical Helmet)

Ballistic helmet is the standard type of bulletproof military helmet, featuring the ballistic protection that can protect you from ballistic attacks, which can injure your head upon impact. This is the type of modern military helmet that has been around for a long time. Today’s standard military helmets are just ballistic helmets with all their enhancements.

Here are some types of ballistic helmets for the military personnel:

  • High-cut ballistic helmet. The high-cut ballistic helmet features the above-the-ear helmet design, meaning that it doesn’t provide any protection for the ears. However, this design will make the helmet more lightweight, and also, you can wear a headset with this helmet and not worry about any interferences you might get. Aside from the headset, you can also attach other accessories on this helmet, which you can use for various tactical operations.
  • Low-cut ballistic helmet. The low-cut ballistic helmet is the ballistic helmet that covers the ear areas, which can provide an additional ballistic protection for the wearer. However, with the low-cut design, the helmet will also add additional weights, which can be troublesome sometimes. It often comes with the modular design, and you can adjust the memory foam inside the helmet to make it a snug fit.
  • Bump helmet. Bump helmet is the lightweight version of the ballistic helmet, with no bulletproof feature. However, this helmet can still protect your head from blunt impact. You can mount accessories, such as Night Vision Goggle, on this helmet without hindering your movements because of its lightweight feature. This helmet is also preferable to use during rescue missions.

PASGT Helmet (Kevlar Helmet)

PASGT helmet, often pronounced PASS GET helmet, is the type of military helmet used by the United States Army in the 1980s to the middle of the 2000s. It is the predecessor of the ACH helmet (Advanced Combat Helmet). The PASGT helmet was the standard helmet for the troops of the United States Army before it got replaced by the Advanced Combat Helmet in the mid-2000s. PASGT stands for Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops.

Here are some features of the PASGT helmet:

  • The primary material for this helmet is the Aramid Kevlar Fiber, which provides the helmet with the bullet resistance property, with minimal deformations.
  • It has a wider cut design around the collar and ears area to allow better reception for communication devices, while still providing maximum protection for the ears area.
  • It has the improved stability for better head fitting using the nape strap, 4-point adjustable harness, and the suede-covered chip cup.
  • This helmet can protect you against ballistic attacks and fragments, along with the shock absorption feature, which is effective against low-velocity impact.

ECH Helmet

ECH Helmet, also called Enhanced Combat Helmet, is the improved version of the ACH or the Advanced Combat Helmet. It offers various improved features that are better than the ones available in ACH or Advanced Combat Helmet. This helmet will become the official replacement of the regular ACH helmet used by the United States Army.

Here are the features of the ECH helmet:

  • ECH provides you with a better protection system against rifle rounds and fragmentation when compared to ACH.
  • It uses a much lighter material called the ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, which makes the helmet feel much more lightweight than its predecessor.
  • It has the pre-drilled bracket for the NVD or Night Vision Device, which you can use during night-time tactical missions.
  • The ECH helmet also features the modular pads that improve the impact protection for the soldier’s head, with flame resistant and moisture resistant properties.
  • ECH also has an improved retention system that allows you to adjust the helmet for the best fit and stability for your head.
  • You can also get the increased protection from the ballistic attacks and fragmentations with the equipped ballistic nape pad, which will provide additional protection for your neck areas.

FAST Helmet

FAST helmet, or the Future Assault Shell Technology helmet, is the military helmet type used by law enforcement and special forces organizations. This is the special military helmet that provides various advanced protection features that allow you to get better protection than the basic military helmets. It also has a distributed weight that makes it comfortable for you to wear it.

Here are the features you can get from a FAST helmet:

  • FAST helmets can carry additional combat equipment and accessories compared to the other standard military helmets, as this is the helmet used for special operations.
  • It is not lightweight, yet it is not weighty, and it offers the distributed weight that gives balance to your head, while providing you with the stability and comfort when you wear it.
  • This helmet has a unique shell shape that allows you to mount more accessories to it.
  • It offers the users with various retention and suspension systems to keep the helmet snug fit on your head.
  • It also has the front-mounting system and the ARC rails that allow you to put accessories like flashlight and camera on it.

Lightweight Helmet (LWH)

Lightweight Helmet, often called Lightweight Marine Helmet or Lightweight Marine Corps Helmet, is the type of helmet used by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Nowadays, the United States Navy has replaced this helmet with the ECH helmet. However, the US Navy and Marine Corps still use the Lightweight helmet for training or non-combat activities.

Here are some features of the Lightweight Helmet (LWH):

  • Just as the name suggests, this helmet is lightweight, while still providing the ballistic and fragmentation protection for your head.
  • It is suitable to use in various environments, so you can use this helmet on various tactical missions that require massive environmental adaptations.
  • It has the same design as the PASGT helmet, while keeping the design materials lightweight for you to wear, giving you better movements in the field.
  • The LWH helmet can provide stability for your head, as it uses the chin/nape retention system to keep the helmet fit on your head.
  • The helmet has the Kevlar ballistic protection shell, and it also has the same 4-point suspension system used in the ACH helmet.

Tips to Choose the Best Military Helmet

It’s important for you to pick the best military helmet that can provide you with the best protection for your head. Follow these tips to choose the best military helmet:

  • Pick the ballistic helmet or helmet with a bulletproof feature if you will use it for dangerous tactical or combat missions.
  • Use a non-ballistic military helmet only for non-combat situations, such as when you use it for training activities.
  • It’s best for you to pick the military helmet that provides the best protection for your head against ballistic attacks, fragmentation, shrapnel, and blunt impact.
  • Always pick the military helmet that follows the safety standards and has passed the strict quality control checking.
  • Pick the helmet that offers modern features and keep your eyes on the latest military helmet technology being developed today.


These are the different military helmets you can find today. Some helmets are no longer in active use in the United States Army. However, even for those helmets no longer in active use, you can still find them on the market today.

Each helmet type has their own features and characteristics, which are suitable to use in different circumstances. The more features it has, the better it will be in providing you with the best protection for your head when you wear the helmet.

For tactical missions or operations, you need to pick the right military helmet to wear, so that you can protect your head against shocks, ballistic attacks, fragmentations, blunt impact, and many other threats that can be fatal or cause serious brain injuries.