| ||For an overview of combat armor variants in all games, as well as background information, see combat armor.|
Prior to the Great War, combat armor was nearly exclusively the property of military forces and special police units. Currently-available historical documentation shows users only in the North American continent, but allied nations were likely to possess identical or similar systems. Combat armor was the de facto armor of the United States military, issued to all combat soldiers not in the powered armor units. Additionally, at least one Canadian partisan was caught on camera wearing a suit of combat armor.
Civilian ownership of combat armor was highly restricted. A special permit was required from the Bureau of Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, Firearms and Lasers for private ownership of the combat armor (though it was marketed to US citizens without mentioning this fact).
In this more advanced and expensive pre-War model, the torso is covered by the primary armor assembly, including a split breastplate, pauldrons, gorget, and abdominal ring. The sleeves of the body suit are full sleeves, and include armor plate protection for the upper and lower arms. The lower body is protected by woven trousers and incorporate no hard armor, save armored boots. In the interests of comfort and maneuverability, the armor encasing the foot and lower leg is articulated, not sealed. While this permits longer wear times and more comfortable and sure footing, it compromises the armor integrity. Consequently, water and other liquids can enter the armor and affect the user.
The helmet is a ballistic assembly, designed to protect the wearer from projectile and energy weapon impacts, bladed weapons, blunt trauma, and concussion. An integrated polarized visor protects the user's eyes from the ordinary battlefield hazards of grit and dust, but also laser blindness and fragments. Helmets also incorporate a combination camera/laser rangefinder unit built into the helmet's right side, just above the ear. Those suits of combat armor surviving in the wasteland still have the housing for that equipment, but no suit has been documented as having working hardware.
Although it is more expensive, this armor gives more protection (+2 DT) and weighs the same as standard combat armor.
- Devil's Throat - a suit in poor condition along with a party hat and authority glasses can be found in an abandoned truck near the CZ57 Avenger minigun, on a dead prospector.
- Followers safehouse - a suit in perfect condition is found on a bed, along with a matching helmet.
- Gomorrah - a suit in good condition is awarded after winning more than 6,750 chips in the casino.
- Gun Runners - sold by the Vendortron.
- Mercenary camp - the mercenary carrying the YCS/186 at the camp east of Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch is wearing a suit and helmet that are both in good condition. Note that this group is replaced by aliens with the Wild Wasteland trait.
- Walking Box Cavern - one can be found inside a duffle bag.
- Sealed sewers - can be found inside a duffle bag with the helmet.
- Lakelurk cove - can be found in a duffle bag with the suit and helmet at medium condition.
- It looks like regular combat armor while lying on the ground, though it is completely different from combat armor on the character.
- While in first person some weapons (primarily Melee Weapons and Unarmed) cause the shoulder pads to clip through the view while attacking, similar to the centurion armor shoulder pads.
- It resembles the combat armor from the first two Fallout games.