First created in 2051, the military-grade combat armor was designed to protect key sections of the human body from ballistic trauma with hard armored plates made from complex polymers and ceramics, with a flexible body suit interwoven with thermal-dissipative membranes and bulletproof material. The earliest models of the combat armor were manufactured as specific plates mounted on combat webbing, although as the technology improved, body-enclosing suits of armor were created and entered active combat duty, though in limited quantities. The armor came with a matte-finish olive drab coloring by default, making it suitable for woodland and/or urban camouflage.
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 posses 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.
This armor provides the same level of protection as combat armor but has a higher item HP meaning it will degrade more slowly. It can typically be found earlier in the game than combat armor but repairs will be an issue without Jury Rigging or actively killing NCR Rangers and looting their armor. If the player is in good enough standing with the NCR, they will receive an NCR emergency radio and be able to call in an NCR Ranger to aid them in combat. If this Ranger dies, their armor may be looted without impacting the player's relationship with the NCR. It can also be repaired by non-player characters, and is substantially cheaper to repair than normal combat armor. The armor also has a black ceramic combat knife holstered on the left chest plate which is unusable by both the player and non-player characters. As stated in the concept art picture, there is a 'water sackpack' in the back of the armor, obviously to protect and store water. This is only a cosmetic feature and cannot be used.
Can be found at Ranger Station Charliewhen checking it out for Ranger Andy in Novac. When you enter the outpost building, go through the broken door to the left. Use caution, because the door, like almost everything else in the outpost, is booby-trapped. The armor is in the inventory of a body, but is not equipped, making it seem as if there is no armor on the body.
During the quest You'll Know It When It Happens, a Ranger gets pushed off the tower that the Legion sniper gets on to kill President Kimball. You can loot his body for fully repaired Ranger Patrol Armor and Ranger Hat.
In the quest Still in the Dark, you can let the NCR Ranger disarm and remove your explosive collar. Seconds after the conversation, 3 Brotherhood troops will attack. The collar will explode soon afterwards, most likely killing the ranger and giving you a free copy of the armor. It's recommended that you stay at the back of the chamber, as the explosion is large and powerful, and may kill or seriously injure you if you're close enough.
pcxbox360 When equipping the Ranger Patrol Armor your characters idle animation will permanently change to a different stance, and back-holstered weapons will switch from an overhand equip action to an underhand one, as well as causing all similar varieties of weapon to clip further away from the back of your character, making the weapon appear to hover several inches in mid-air behind your character. Fast travel, reequipping or unequipping the weapon/armor and changing areas do not fix the bug. The idle animation this armor triggers is that of a power armor. Being much bulkier that regular apparel, power armor requires characters to stand like this to avoid clipping.
This issue can be fixed by equipping a different set of armor, saving the game, then reloading the save. Without using this workaround, the issue will persist between save-games.
xbox360pc There is a clipping problem while wearing the armor in third-person with most weapons. While in motion and holstering the weapon, it will appear to be partially in the armor (or if using a pistol it will be completely inside). The problem can be fixed by drawing your weapon and then holstering it while standing still.