Army Displays New Equipment, ‘Team Soldier’ Logo
By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 13, 2008 The Army displayed its latest product line of clothing and equipment here today in the Pentagon courtyard.
Ward Eldridge, left, exhibit manager at Program Executive Office Soldier, explains the XM320 Grenade Launcher to Navy Captain Ted Lucas in the Pentagon Courtyard during a PEO Soldier display, June 13, 2008. Defense Dept. photo by Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Representatives of Program Executive Office Soldier gave Pentagon personnel a look at the Land Warrior System, the Common Remotely Operated Weapon System and the T-11 parachute. They also presented several new and improved shoulder-fired weapons, gloves, eye protection, and night vision gear.
“We’re responsible for everything that the soldier wears, carries and uses in combat – uniforms, weapon systems, body armor, bomb suits, etcetera,” said Army Sgt. Maj. Tom Coleman, the senior enlisted advisor for PEO Soldier.
The organization incorporates soldier-suggested improvements and modifies weapons systems, clothing and other equipment to enhance soldier effectiveness and increase their survivability in combat.
“Our team is continuously looking for ways to make improvements,” Coleman said. “We’re always looking to improve, and we’re always looking for the next best thing. The soldiers are the number one priority.”
Feedback and success is what PEO Soldier works for, Coleman said. “The most important thing we do is listen to the field, collect data on how the products are doing out there, and make improvements,” he said.
Army Staff Sgt. James Young is one of the soldiers who provided feedback to PEO Soldier. Young serves as a squad leader with 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash. Today, he was at the Pentagon as an equipment demonstrator.
Young told people viewing his display that the Land Warrior System is the best piece of equipment the Army ever issued to him.
The Land Warrior System is a 10-pound, soldier-worn computer system designed to provide improved situational awareness and communication capabilities. It gives brigade commanders all the way down to the team leader to ability to quickly and accurately monitor dismounted elements through a helmet-mounted eye piece.
Soldiers outfitted with the Land Warrior System can mark targets cleared and adjust sectors of fire – if other units are in the area – using a computer mouse-type, hand-held control panel. Soldiers from 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team have been using the system successfully in Iraq for more than one year.
“There’s no second guessing with the Land Warrior System,” said Young who used the system during deployment in Iraq. “You can’t get lost; you can’t lose communication with adjacent teams and squads or brigade and battalion headquarters.”
PEO Soldier’s goal is to ensure equipment used by soldiers on the ground is put through the most rigorous testing possible, said Army Brig. Gen. R. Mark Brown, head of PEO Soldier.
PEO Soldier only buys equipment from suppliers who meet the Army’s standards of safety and protection, Brown said. However, some gear, such as eye protection, gloves, rifle bi-pods, and tactical flashlights and boots purchased individually or with small-unit funds don’t meet these standards of durability and quality. Often, manufacturer products labeled ballistic or flame resistant doesn’t meet the Army’s protection and safety standards.
“We’ve had several instances, in which soldiers and units have procured knock-off equipment,” he added. “Today, PEO Soldier is starting a process to take care of that problem in a major way.”
PEO Soldier unveiled its newly developed certification logo that will eventually be stamped on Army-approved equipment at the manufacturer level. The patented and trademarked logo reads, “Team Soldier Certified Gear” and incorporates the black and gold star from the Army logo, so soldiers and leaders can easily identify equipment that’s meets Army standards.
As of now, only a family of flashlights and flame-resistant gloves are marked with the logo, but Brown said PEO Soldier will soon have the logo to other manufacturers, including survivability gear, such as body armor and eye protection.
Eventually, a list of all products and manufacturers marked with the logo will be compiled, and a list will be readily available for units and their soldiers, so they can purchase equipment with confidence that’s it’s approved by the highest standards, Brown concluded.