The Soldier Enhancement Program (SEP) is looking for products that have the potential to enhance and improve Soldier’s combat effectiveness, in preparation for the next SEP Council of Colonels (CoC). The next SEP CoC, called 21.3, is scheduled to occur in May 2021.
The SEP was established in the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 1990 with the purpose of enhancing the equipment used by Army dismounted Soldiers using Commercial off-the-Shelf (COTS), Government off-the-Shelf (GOTS) and Non-Developmental Item (NDI) products. The SEP uses a buy, try and decide methodology, where proposals for SEP evaluations are reviewed quarterly and new starts are approved twice yearly. SEP has the flexibility to approve “out-of-cycle” projects. Approved products are procured and evaluated either by Soldiers and/or in a laboratory environment. Once the evaluation on a product is complete, a recommendation is provided to the Army that could result in the product being issued Army wide.
The theme of the SEP CoC 21.3 is “Power on the Move.” Many of the capabilities provided to Soldiers today which increase lethality also present greater demands for power. Leaders are forced to choose between mobility and capability. The Army requires a means to effectively power systems through high energy density storage, charge/recharge of batteries, power generation, and energy management that can be managed with minimal interaction, can be employed in a tactical environment, without interruption to OPTEMPO (while on the move).
As always, SEP is seeking opportunities to enhance small unit mobility by reducing Soldier load. Currently, Soldiers carry about 114 lbs. of gear for a 72hr mission. 5.6 lbs. are carried on the head (4.9% of the total weight), 93 lbs. are carried on the body (80.9% of the total weight) and 16.2 lbs. are carried on the weapon system (14.2 % of the total weight). The majority of the weight consists of protection (about 25 lbs. for the helmet and body armor), sustainment (about 37 lbs. for food, water, ammunition and batteries) and combat items (about 13 lbs. for the weapon and optic). The remaining weight mainly consists of clothing, load bearing equipment, pouches, a radio and a rucksack.
The SEP will review all products submitted, but products that reduce overall weight without increasing bulk, stiffness or compromising current capabilities will be given a higher priority.
If you have a product or know of a product that has the potential to enhance and improve Soldier’s combat effectiveness, please submit it to the SEP website at https://www.peosoldier.army.mil/Resources/Soldier-Enhancement-Program/
The information needed is:
- Item Name
- Technical Specifications (if available)
- Statement explaining how the product is better than what is currently available
The suspense for all submissions to the Soldier Enhancement Program (SEP) website is no later than 19 May 2021.