The Soldier Enhancement Program was established in 1989 to field equipment for a tactical environment that is worn, carried, or consumed by the individual Soldier. The mandate was to evaluate, test and type qualify commercially available, non-developmental items. SEP collaborates with a parallel Marine Corps Program named the Marine Enhancement Program or MEP.
An underlying reason to establish these Soldier/Marine programs was to expedite the fielding of Soldier equipment vice spending an inordinate amount of time in formal acquisition programs.
The SEP program, over two decades, has received consistent but moderate funding and has, on a continuous basis, delivered to the Soldier successful capabilities that have and continue to enhance the lethality, survivability and force protection areas for the Soldier.
The mission of SEP is to identify and evaluate commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), government-off-the-shelf (GOTS), non-developmental items (NDI) individual weapons, munitions, optics, combat clothing, individual equipment, water supply, shelters, communication and navigational aids which can be adopted and provided to Soldiers.
SEP solicits suggestions from individual Soldiers, field commanders, large and small commercial manufacturers, combat and material developers worldwide. PEO Soldier, in coordination with TRADOC Capability Manager (TCM) Soldier, reviews submissions and prioritizes items for potential further consideration and decides whether to evaluate an item further, possibly purchase it in order to conduct field testing, to standardize and issue it to Soldiers in the field.
Each year, dozens of proposals are received and reviewed in the quest for technologies that offer new capability enhancements to our Soldiers, but only a handful end up as new initiatives.
SEP Rules: COTS/GOTS/NDI, test and evaluate to confirm or deny applicability for Soldier use.
SEP Constraints: SEP shall not be used to "reinvent" technology, nor to launch lengthy developmental efforts or to produce large numbers of major items for use.
Last Updated: 24 February, 2012 4:09 PM EST