A proper neck strap should not offer a choking hazard. The strap should go over one shoulder and under the other, never getting in front of the throat. It would be silly if all of your soldiers were strangling themselves before getting to battle. That said I don't think I will need one. The shield I was thinking of will be about 24". I was going to use wood, but nothing to thick for wieght reasons. Has anyone used the foam from a pool noodle for edging? If not, is it just not as soft as insulation foam? Is it too thick?