Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Army Certification Program

What is the Army Certification Program?

The Army Certification Program was developed by PEO Soldier to evaluate commercial gear to determine if it is acceptable for use by Soldiers in combat. While the Army strives to issue the best gear to our Soldiers, we recognize that many Soldiers augment the gear they are issued with personally purchased items. In such instances, PEO Soldier became concerned that Soldiers may not have sufficient information in order to make a choice on what to buy other than just appearance.

By subjecting commercial items to the performance and testing standards of issue gear, PEO Soldier is able to determine which items will perform satisfactorily. Items which successfully pass such an evaluation are authorized as acceptable for combat use.

What happens when an item is authorized?

Army Certified LogoPEO Soldier is developing Authorized Products Lists (APLs) for certain types of gear. When an item is authorized, it is placed on the APL. The APLs are published on the PEO Website, furnished to the Army/Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), and communicated to Army commands.

In addition, authorized items are marked with the US Army logo with the words "Team Soldier Certified Gear". This is a trademarked logo which allows Soldiers to know at a glance that an item has been authorized.

Will all authorized gear have the logo?

Eventually, all gear on PEO Soldier Authorized Products Lists will have the logo incorporated into the packaging and on the item. The logo design was only recently approved, so manufacturers are currently working to incorporate the logo onto their items.

Does this mean PEO Soldier guarantees the items?

No. The authorization means that when PEO Soldier evaluated the item, it met performance criteria necessary to be included on the APL. In order to remain on the APL, a vendor cannot change the design, material, or manufacturing process of that item. This does not mean that PEO Soldier is guaranteeing the item.

What Authorized Product Lists have been developed?

The first list was the Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL), which details which commercial ballistic protective eyewear has been certified.

The Flame Resistant Combat Glove Authorized Product List details combat gloves which have been certified to meet flame resistance requirements.

The Authorized Family of Flashlights List is being finalized. It will detail basic handheld, tactical; hands free, and weapons lights which have been certified.

How is it decided what items need an APL?

PEO Soldier works closely with representatives from the Army Schools, and AAFES to determine for which items an APL would best benefit Soldiers. We also receive feedback from Soldiers and Army commands to help establish the APLs.

Where can we find authorized gear?

AAFES is provided the various APLs in order to stock those items for Soldier purchase. Posters are placed in the AAFES stores which provide details on the APL items, including pictures of each item. APL items are clearly identified, and segregated from non-authorized items to preclude confusion.

In addition, APL vendors may elect to sell their authorized products in other commercial retail stores.

How can I know if an item sold in a retail store is authorized?

Vendors selling authorized items in commercial retail stores may use the logo on the item and in their advertising. The logo will be the way Soldiers can verify that the item is authorized.

Vendors using the logo for commercial retail sale of authorized items will require a License and Royalty Agreement with the US Army.

What is the advantage of buying authorized gear?

When Soldiers buy authorized gear, they know that the item has been examined by PEO Soldier and judged safe and effective for use. They know that the item has been subjected to the same requirements and standards as issue gear. They also know that they are not buying "knock-off" items that may look okay, but do not meet the necessary functional characteristics.

Does this "knock-off" protection apply only to APL items?

No. The current market place abounds with clothing and individual equipment which looks like issue gear, but is substandard in use. PEO Soldier recognized that using the logo could also be a way to help protect Soldiers from buying "knock-off" items represented as "Mil-Spec".

What issue gear will have the logo?

PEO Soldier plans to incorporate the logo into the new Army Combat Shirt.

As the Certification Program grows, the logo will be introduced into other gear as deemed appropriate.

What if someone puts the logo on a "knock-off" item?

PEO Soldier, working with Army Legal Services, will take action to ensure that only actual authorized items have the logo. A range and series of actions will be taken against any fraudulent use of the logo.

Are all APL items Berry Compliant?

The Approved Products List (APL) is provided for informational purposes only, regarding items which conform to technical requirements for Soldier use. The APL may carry non-Berry compliant products to provide individual Soldiers as many options as possible to make their own best value decisions when buying products for their personal use. Contracting officers are reminded that clothing and textile items (purchased in amounts greater than $100,000), even those on any Approved Products List “APL,” are required to comply with domestic origin restrictions in “Berry” Title 10 USC 2533a. This is true even if items are certified for performance specifications under “Team Soldier U.S. Army Certified Gear Program”. There is an exception for items purchased for resale by Post Exchanges, Commissaries and Non-appropriated funds. Further, government procurement of clothing and textile items should be made through the integrated material manager IMM, Defense Logistics Agency, per DFARS 208.70, unless DLA grants an exception.

Page last updated on February 24, 2012