The SEP represents an aggressive effort to identify and procure off-the-shelf items that have the potential to substantially improve weapons and support equipment for our Nation’s Soldiers, focused on our current Warfighting functional areas of fires, mission command, movement and maneuver, sustainability and protection.
The purpose of the Soldier Enhancement Program (SEP) is to provide general impetus for increasing the combat effectiveness of our dismounted Soldiers. SEP convenes semi-annually to review proposals from Soldiers and industry/civilian proponents, alternating between Fort Belvoir, VA, and Fort Benning, GA.
The program was established in 1990 to “evaluate, test and type classify existing prototypes or commercially available items and to NOT fund lengthy developmental programs or to procure large numbers of major items for use.” The program is pursuant of “lighter, more lethal weapons and munitions for individual infantryman and improved equipment.” The program has continually been funded since 1990 and congruent with Congressional intent utilizing a buy, try and decide methodology to evaluate existing prototypes or commercially available items.
SEP is an enduring process designed to help the Army move at “the Speed of Industry.” SEP funds multiple initiatives, approved semi-annually at the Council of Colonels in September and March:
- 39 initiatives in FY15
- 45 initiatives in FY14
- 11 initiatives in FY13
- 25 initiatives in FY12
SEP solicits suggestions from individual Soldiers, field commanders, commercial manufacturers, capability and materiel developers. Ideal submissions are government-off-the-shelf (GOTS), commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), or non-developmental items (NDI), that:
- Improve Soldiers ability to execute their combat mission
- Improve current Program of Record products with COTS, NDI
- Assist in the refinement and/or generation of Requirements
- Meets a capability gap identified by Soldiers
- Improves Soldier interface with combat platforms