Well on the topic of armour,apparently the third one is in the middle of summer,and the armour probably builds up alot of heat,plus they're not really getting it repaired seeing as the COG dissolved a few months before the game. Also Yay! at least one playable female character!
Cliff has already confirmed that the soldiers are basically "shedding" their armor. To further show, if people look at the new character designs, every character has shed off some of the armor - every character shown now has their arms bared (the one exception being Baird now - he's only missing one sleeve - and possibly Hoffman, didn't get a good look in the gameplay trailer).
If some people bother to watch the interviews and such, they'll see that the people at Epic take their female characters very seriously and they don't want them viewed as just objects like throughout all other video game series.
I'm not too keen on her design, all the other GEARS are heavily armored except for their heads, but when they add a chick, they need to let her show skin, and to justify this they remove some armor for the guys :\