PEO Soldier, located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is an organization that provides capabilities that enhance the lethality, mobility, and survivability. Its mission is to develop, acquire, field and sustain an affordable integrated state-of-the-art equipment to improve Soldier dominance in Army operations today and in the future. One example is the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), which will improve Soldier sensing, decision-making, target acquisition, and engagement. This next-generation, 24/7 situational awareness tool is set to hit the field in 2024. You can check our other army-related essential topics on our website, AKO Offline.
PEO Soldier is the Army’s procurement and sustainment organization responsible for developing, integrating, acquiring, fielding, and supporting Soldier systems that improve battle command, situational awareness, survivability, and lethality. The organization’s annual budget is $3.2 billion, and it carries out the Army’s mission by supporting the Soldier through the supply of 130 programs of record and 253 products, including essential capabilities like body armor, helmets, sensors, and lasers to legacy weapons systems.
PEO Soldier has four Project Manager (PM) offices and one Project Director office. The PMs oversee specific areas of the organization, namely Product Manager Soldier Lethality; Project Manager Soldier Survivability; Product Manager Soldier Maneuver and Precision Targeting; and Program Manager Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS).
In addition, PM Small Arms Fire Control is responsible for Family of Weapon Sights, Small Tactical Optical Rifle Mounted sights, and the XM157 Next Generation Squad Weapon Fire Control. These are systems used to locate, identify and designate a target for engagement by guided munitions or other means.
Among the programs in this PM office that have received significant improvements are the TRIGR Family of Weapon Sights, which are now lighter and smaller than their predecessors. These are now less than three pounds and use less power to operate, making them more effective.
According to a recent briefing at the National Museum of the United States Army, this technology could soon be used by Soldiers as part of an Integrated Visual Augmentation System that will enhance their 24/7 situational awareness and increase their reaction time to threats on the battlefield. This type of system, which may be available to all Soldiers within a few years, will integrate multiple tools and high-resolution digital sensors to help improve their ability to sense, respond and engage targets.
General Odierno also learned that PEO Soldier is working to make a conformal battery that shapes to the Soldier and provides power to numerous devices; and a solar blanket that converts sunlight to power for a variety of items. He was particularly impressed with PEO Soldier’s work on reducing weight on Soldiers, which is an area he devotes a lot of his time to.
Wha does PEO Soldier do?
Program Executive Officer Soldier (PEO Soldier) provides critical products and equipment to the US Army that improves battle command, situational awareness, survivability, and lethality. The organization works in close partnership with the Department of Defense, operating forces MACOMs, industry, and Army civilians to deliver the latest weapon systems and equipment to our troops.
PEO Soldier supports the needs of our soldiers by rapidly developing and fielding new and improved weapon systems, ammunition, tactical sensors, and other products. These capabilities enhance the Army’s ability to fight and win against near-peer threats in a modern battlefield.
The product managers at PEO Soldier work across the Army’s mission areas to support all aspects of modern warfare and ensure a comprehensive set of capabilities are available to Soldiers. These products include advanced Soldier protection, comfortable uniforms, and improved parachute systems that defeat ballistic and fragmentation threats in combat.
One of the major development challenges at PEO Soldier is reducing our soldiers’ weight, particularly in terms of weapons and body armor. Last Summer, PEO Soldier worked with the Rapid Equipping Force to test a number of ways to reduce weight at all levels; weapons, body armor, uniforms, personal items, and watches.
By taking a system approach, PEO Soldier is working to optimize the size, weight, and power of these subcomponents to maximize our soldiers’ mobility, effectiveness, and lethality. This is accomplished through the Adaptive Squad Architecture (ASA), which provides a comprehensive technical database and interfaces that rapidly deliver integrated capabilities to squads that enhance their lethality in a wide range of operations.
Another development goal at PEO Soldier is to provide an Integrated Visual Augmentation System that one day could integrate next-generation 24/7 situational awareness tools and high-resolution digital sensors, allowing our Soldiers to see everything on their plate. This would allow for better decision-making and target acquisition on a real-time basis while on the battlefield.
As a Program Analyst, you will work under the direct supervision of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) project manager as a contributing member of an integrated contractor / government team that designs, develops, and procures state-of-the-art sensor / information technology systems to support the PM IVAS. You will support this project office by establishing and maintaining effective communication with internal and external stakeholders and providing professional acquisition program analysis and technical assistance to PM IVAS staff and project personnel.
Who does PEO Soldier report to?
PEO Soldier is just one of seven affiliated Program Executive Offices (PEOs) responsible for life-cycle management of Army programs. The others are Aircraft Carriers, Integrated Warfare Systems, Ground Combat Systems, Mission and Technology Integration, Sensors, and STRI.
PEOs are responsible for delivering new technologies and capabilities that meet the Army’s current and future needs. They are supported by a multitude of partners and stakeholders, including operating force MACOMs, industry, the Army Contracting Command, and several acquisition command offices.
The PEOs are complemented by a cadre of capable and experienced senior leaders with a clear vision for the future of the Army. The most important of these is the Program Executive Officer. This leader oversees the organization and enables it to achieve its mission.
While the most successful programs are those that are best positioned to take advantage of the opportunities available in the market, it is not uncommon for some programs to fall short of their potential. Therefore, selecting the best program managers for your organization is important. The best way to accomplish this is to look for the most qualified and motivated individuals with a proven track record. Then, be sure to make them aware of the program’s many benefits.
PEO Soldier mission
PEO Soldier, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, procures and sustains the equipment that Soldiers wear or carry on the battlefield. The organization’s mission is to deliver products that improve battle command, situational awareness, survivability, and lethality.
To accomplish its mission, PEO Soldier operates 130 programs of record and 253 products and non-programs of record, including essential capabilities from body armor, helmets, sensors, and lasers to legacy weapons systems. Its four project management offices and one project director are responsible for acquiring, fielding, and sustaining the products issued to Soldiers.
In addition to fielding new technologies and providing the tools soldiers need to do their jobs, PEO Soldier is committed to delivering capabilities that enhance combat overmatch against near-peer threats. To that end, it recently launched a squad architecture that will enable the rapid delivery of integrated capabilities to Soldiers.
General Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, visited Fort Belvoir in November to learn about the work being done by experts at PEO Soldier. He was briefed on various items, including fused thermal and night vision goggles, laser targeting systems, and improved body armor.
He also received a presentation on a series of products that are designed to reduce weight, a major challenge for the Army. For example, PEO Soldier is working with the Marine Corps to redesign rucksacks so that Soldiers can move their weight from their shoulders to their hips.
Another area that is a focus for PEO Soldier is reducing the weight of weapons and other equipment. Over the summer, Soldiers provided feedback on various pieces of gear, and PEO Soldier used that information to make improvements to several products.
These improvements include an adjustable side-plate carrier and a modified internal liner that reduces rubbing and chafing. Additionally, a stronger drag strap and simplified quick-release features were introduced.
PEO Soldier has also expanded its Soldier Enhancement Program, which locates and tests commercially available clothing or equipment that can be used to fill Soldier needs, a process that significantly reduces the cost of fielding new products. The program has already supplied tens of thousands of Soldiers this year with apparel and gear they will need when deployed abroad.