ear protection is for the range... who has time to stop in the middle of a firefight and put in their ear plugs....
Unfortunately that's the case, and as a result one of the biggest VA disability claims when soldiers return from duty is Tinnitus, or constant ringing in the ears. Couple that with PTSD and some are in for a real tough time. Although I have not served, I do suffer from tinnitus, and let me tell you sometimes it really sucks. They really should issue electronic hearing protection, they allow you to hear everything around you but dampen out sounds over 120db if I remember correctly. There is currently no cure for tinnitus either, but in the past 10 years or so with so many veterans coming back with ringing in their ears studies have really increased. Sorry to get off topic.