| ||For an overview of combat armor variants in all games, as well as background information, see Combat armor.|
|The following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
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).
Combat armor is among the best forms of protection in the post-War Wasteland. Although extremely expensive, the protection value of this armor is surpassed only by the few incarnations of power armor.
- Combat armor would be classified in the advanced armors category and would be possible to batch by the Prisoner.
- The Enclave background character Arcade Gannon, as well as the lost Enclave patrol leader encountered in the Utah area, would be equipped with Enclave-branded (though likely identical in game terms) combat armor.
- General Coleridge's renegade NCR soldiers as well as NCR soldiers present in Hoover Dam would be equipped with combat armor from Fort Leavenworth.
The presense of combat armor from Fort Leavenworth was integral to the final act of Van Buren. However, when Fort Leavenworth was re-written into Tibbets Prison, the source of the combat armor was never changed and was therefore never explained.